Ponds - anything counts!

I have a "proper" wildlife pond, but also have several old washing-up bowls which I've sunk into the ground with stones in for entry/exit, and I know these are appreciated because once I re-adjusted one bowl to get it level ... and up popped a frog to see what was disturbing his peace - I don't know who was most surprised! But to top it all this Summer an empty plantpot (without drainage hole) that had filled with water, was sitting amongst other plantpots that I was watering and I suddenly became aware that something was watching me from the water-filled pot ... yes, a frog! He stayed there for several weeks and always enjoyed his daily shower from the watering can! Motto: a "pond" is never too small ... something will appreciate it!
  • Quite right. Toads will make do with a cool and damp area. They used to love digging themselves into little holes in the rockery at my Mum's house. In the Summer, when we watered the garden (before hosepipe bans) in the evening, the toads would wander out and sit in the spray.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • In reply to monkeycheese:

    Ah, great! What fun.

    A couple of weeks ago we found a huge toad happily sitting in our dogs' water bowl in the utility room!  He must have wandered-in while the door was open early evening.

  • In reply to Dottdi:

    They are so laid back aren't they?

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • In reply to monkeycheese:

    I agree wholeheartedly! Despite some degree of mocking I made a small patio water feature simply using a window planter, a few rocks and a couple of small plants from my pond (water forget-me-not and lesser spearwort). I built a ramp up into the pond and in the pond a ramp down from one side to create a ledge and an easy way in for any prospective amphibian visitors, I then surrounded it with plant pots for some cover. Did it work? Yes indeed, at one point I had at least 2 frogs in there and the local sparrows were using it to drink from through the summer. It's all gone quiet in there now but it was a really quick, cheap and easy way to attract in wildlife.

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • In reply to Birdie Wild:

    Hi D, Nice to know there are Toads around, I Have a Wildlife pond and normally get quite a lot of Frogs, had about 15 in the summer!

    I also made another water feature out of a container and another pond liner, the hard plastic type and several frogs lived in the square container one most of the summer. Unfortunatly we dont get many Toads in the garden here. Hope we get plenty of Frogspawn next Feb/March!! We had quite a lot this year!

  • In reply to wildlifeloversharon:

    Great to hear all these stories of wildlife ponds and water features made from all manner of things!

    I do genuinely believe that any pocket of water in the garden however small has a benefit to some form of wildlife and recycling old containers is a great thing to do for the environment also!

    I thought I'd share my recycled water features on here to show what can be done with a few things that usually end up in land fill...

    1. An old bath tub can make a decent sized wildlife pond...


    And after...

    2. A old toilet can make a fun water feature or in my case 'A Bog Garden'....

    3. And don't forget the kitchen sink!!....

    So if going to the January sales to buy a new Kitchen or Bathroom suite have a think about what you are going to do with your old fixtures and what wildlife could benefit from them!? Landfill isn't the place for such valuable items when birds need to drink and somewhere to bathe, dragonflies need a place to lay their eggs and for their nymphs to live.... the list is endless!

    And here's the proof of how these things can work...

    This toad lives in the mud under the Belfast sink...

    Frogs were in the 'Bath pond' within hours of it being established...

    These large Red Damselflies were mating and laying eggs just four weeks after the pond was built...

    (if you look close enough you can also see some aphids taking advantage of the plants that the Damselflies are on!!)

    So there you have it every little bit of water you can provide is valuable to wildlife and think about 'recycling' before you throw that old bath tub away!

    I hope the great posts above and my examples here gives you all some ideas for adding water and for more recycling in 2014!??..

    (Great original post Dottidi by the way an apologies if I've stolen it somewhat?)



    My Garden 


  • In reply to higgy50:

    Thats wonderful Higgy, very inventive and fantastic place to attract wildlife;    love the bog garden  LOL !!!  


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to higgy50:

    Great ideas there Higgy, & superb photo of the damselflies.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    So if I just put a plastic tub in the garden, fill with rainwater, add some bricks, put a ramp up, perhaps a little water plant will this do?  Does it need gravel at the bottom?  What is washed gravel? Does it have to be sunk, can I just put it on the patio?  I've only got a little modern town house garden surrounded by other houses. There is a hedge at the end of the garden (outside my fenced boundary) but not much in the way of trees or greenery. If you can advise thanks a lot.


  • In reply to birdiebeginner:

    We had a frog arrive in July after putting pond liner in and filling from water butt. I put play sand in the bottom. Bought some pebbles and gravel which I washed myself and planted some plants in aquatic compost. My husband phoned me at work about a week or so later to say there was a frog. I'd never before seen one in the garden in 30 years. Over the next few weeks I could identify 3 individuals. Hoping for frogspawn in the spring. Apart from the frogs it was just amazing what arrived within a very short time. I'm going to sink and line a couple of storage boxes this year and see what happens.