Why Your Wildlife Garden Needs a Pond

Why would you need a pond in your garden if you already have birds and insects all around? It really won’t make a big difference, will it?

These turtles have climbed onto a rock to warm themselves in the sun
These turtles have climbed onto a rock to warm themselves in the sun

You might be surprised just how many different creatures will be attracted to your garden when you add a healthy wildlife pond. It is a completely new habitat all on its own and adds interest to the garden by supporting different types of plants and creatures.

Let’s explore this a bit and see why your wildlife garden needs a pond.

How does a pond change your garden ecosystem?

When you add a pond to your garden you are not only adding water, but you are also adding different plants that only grow in water or marshy areas. You are increasing the variety of plants that you can have in your garden in this will attract different creatures to your garden.

The pond has an ecosystem of its own.

A pond will normally have a deeper section and a shallow section, a shore area and edges. All of these areas will be home to different creatures. Some live out of water along the edges of the pond or on the plants in or near it. Other creatures will live in the water and in the mud along the edge.

These frogs are using the rocks to get out of the water and to sunbathe.
These frogs are using the rocks to get out of the water and to sunbathe.

Don’t let your pond be a death-trap for wildlife

The only rule that is really important when it comes to making a pond is to make sure that you have a shallow shore area where creatures can safely and easily get out of the water. It can happen that a creature will land in the water by accident and it needs to be able to get out of the water. If your pond only has steep sides then some creatures could drown if they are not able to get out of the pond.

You can also create safe places for creatures to drink from by placing a few larger rocks in the pond, but they must not be completely under water. They must be large enough to stick out above the water. If the rocks are too small you can create a small rock pile in the pond and you will get the same result as well as creating a few underwater homes for creatures living in the pond.

Plants in and around the pond

A pond lets you have different plants in your garden.
A pond lets you have different plants in your garden.

Having a pond gives you the chance to include different plants in your garden, the ones that like being in or near water.

To keep it healthy you will need some underwater plants in your pond. These plants are the ones that make oxygen and help to keep the water clean. They are called oxygenating or aerating plants. There are some that get planted in the bottom of the pond and some that just float around.

You could also have some plants that float on the water. Some have roots that go down to the bottom of the pond and some just have hair-like roots that dangle under the surface of the water. These are great for creating shade in the pond and helping to keep the water cool. Just be careful that they don’t cover the whole pond, it does need to get some sunlight in.

Then there are the plants that grow above the water, but like their roots to be in the water. Depending on the plant these can be in the shallow section of the pond, or in the muddy shore. Some reeds are a good option here. The muddy area along the shore can also be thought of as a bog garden. Any plants suited to a bog garden will grow here.

More edging ideas for you wildlife pond.

You can also create a rocky area on the one edge of your pond that will give shelter for many creatures such as toads and other amphibians or reptiles. The rocks will also be used by birds, insects and reptiles for sun-bathing. The plants along the edge will give cover and perches to creatures coming for a drink or to bathe. You might even want to add a small, sandy beach.

Let your imagination guide you

Create a beautiful pond with a pond kit
Create a beautiful pond with a pond kit

Planning and creating a garden pond can, and should, be great fun. You can almost do anything you like and your wild visitors will thank you. If it is big enough you can create an island, or you can add a fountain or a little waterfall. It need not only be designed for your garden wildlife, but can also be a stunning feature in your garden.

Soon you will have a whole bunch of new creatures living in your yard and using the pond area as their home. It won’t be long before you have water insects and frogs, dragon flies and more birds.

You can get pond kits to help you get started with creating a pond. The Koolscapes pond kit includes the pond liner, pump, 2 fountain heads and installation instructions. An ideal weekend project for your garden.

I have mentioned before that it is a good idea to keep a journal for your wildlife garden. Make a note of the creatures you spot in your garden and especially record any changes you make, like adding a pond or planting different flowers or trees. This is the best way to see how much the little changes you make are helping the creatures in your area.

Do you have a pond in your garden? What creatures has it attracted to your yard? Leave a comment below and share your experiences with us.

8 thoughts on “Why Your Wildlife Garden Needs a Pond

  1. You are not joking about how the addition of a pond can attract new wildlife. My father did exactly as suggested at his house in the mountains. The pond seemed to become a hotspot for deer and rabbits, which almost immediately brought the predators, and in no time he had a falcon nesting in one of the trees.

    Great ideas!

    Reply
    1. Post author

      Thanks for visiting!
      Yes, we underestimate what a little bit of water can do when it comes to attracting wildlife. In really does increase the variety of wild visitors to the garden.

      Reply
  2. James W D

    I was dismayed to find out that we were not allowed to put ponds in with the home that my wife & I purchased. This won’t be a problem when we buy our next home as I am really looking forward to having one. I just love to sit back and watch the wildlife associated with them. You made some great points here that I will definitely remember when it comes to design time.

    Reply
    1. Post author

      Thanks for visiting. I did not know that some places do not allow ponds. Perhaps a low-level bird bath can suffice in the meantime. I plan to soon share a pond design that I am working on for my own garden. I am glad that you found the post interesting.

      Reply
  3. Ponds are a great feature for the garden, apart from the benefits to wildlife as you have mentioned. One big downside of having a pond in the garden is safety, especially if you have very small children. Rigid steel mesh frames can be positioned securely over ponds
    Thanks for the post and the info

    Reply
    1. Post author

      Thanks for visiting TK.
      Since my children are a little older and can swim I tend to forget about pond safety. Thanks for the reminder. Perhaps I need to look into some wildlife friendly ways to make a pond safe for small children. The steel mesh frame sound like a good option for a small pond.

      Reply
      1. Well that is true, so how about a small pond, like small enough that young kids will only get wet. And when they are bigger, either make a bigger pond, or have a bigger pond created and have a mini-river stream between both ponds. I think that looks nice 🙂

        Reply
        1. Post author

          Thank you for visiting.
          I like your idea of starting with a small pond and then have the inter-linked ponds. I can imagine a little stream full of pebbles between the two. Great idea!

          Reply

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