When my youngest daughter was very small, I wanted a water feature but was really worried about safety, so we got a mini pond – essentially a large bowl that we put aquatic plants in to. We put this up out of reach at the back of the garden. It seemed at first that its sole purpose was as a source of hydration for dogs and cats so it acquired the nickname “dog bowl 1!” To be honest, it was a bit neglected for a while, because it was tucked up away from sight. However, one day, when my daughter was older, we decided to move it and found it full of frog spawn. This inspired us to create a bigger pond.
Since then, we have enjoyed many happy hours of pond dipping and simply relaxing, watching the visitors to the pond. We have seen dragonflies and hoverflies, frogs, toads and lots of birds and foxes coming for a drink. Adding a pond is one of the biggest impact additions you can make to your garden for helping wildlife.
Here’s a video we made, where you can see dog bowl 1 and the bigger pond for yourselves. We have added a new pond this winter, so hopefully we will have updates from this too.
Common frogs particularly value our garden ponds. Unfortunately they too seem to be declining in number. One issue is that they are particularly susceptible to disease so please do not transfer frogs or frogspawn between ponds. If our pond is anything to go by, a number of frogs will find their own way to your pond. Head over to FrogLife for some great information and advice.