rewild your garden: build a pond

rewild your garden: build a pond

Building an eco-pond is not just about adding beauty to your outdoor space; it's about creating a sanctuary for creatures big and small. Let's dive in (see what we did there?).

Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Spot

Find a cosy nook in your garden that gets a good balance of sunlight and shade. A bit of light is great for your pond plants, but too much sun can lead to an algae takeover. And let's steer clear of overhanging trees to avoid a leafy takeover.

Step 2: Design with Diversity in Mind

  • Depth Variety: Create a multi-level aquatic playground with shallow shores for birds and deeper areas for frogs and insects.
  • Plant Zones: Imagine your pond as a layered cake – each layer (marginal, submerged, floating) offering different benefits and beauty. This diversity is key to a thriving eco-system.

Step 3: Digging and Lining Your Pond

  • Shape and Excavate: Outline your pond's shape with a flexible marker like a hose, then dig away to around 1ft deep! Remember, irregular shapes look more natural and inviting.
  • Choose Your Liner: A good liner is like the foundation of a house – essential for keeping everything together. Opt for a durable material like butyl rubber (which is also recyclable) and make sure it fits snugly in your newly dug bed.

Step 4: Filling It Up

  • Protect the Liner: A layer of sand or old carpet under your liner can prevent punctures, giving your pond a longer, leak-free life.
  • Add Water: If you can, use collected rainwater to fill your pond, mimicking a natural water source. Tap water is fine too, just give it some time to dechlorinate.

Step 5: Planting for Life

  • Edge Planting: Marginal plants not only add beauty but also provide critical habitats. Think of them as the welcoming committee for your pond.
    • Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold): Native to the UK, marsh marigold thrives in wet environments, making it an excellent choice for pond edges.
    • Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Flag Iris): This is a native UK species known for its striking yellow flowers and is commonly found in wetlands and pond margins.
    • Myosotis scorpioides (Water Forget-Me-Not): Also native to the UK, it thrives in damp conditions and is ideal for creating a soft edge around ponds.
 (credit Wildlife Trusts)
    • Oxygenators: These submerged plants are the unsung heroes, keeping your water clear and supporting underwater residents.
      • Callitriche stagnalis (Common Water-starwort) forms dense mats of foliage and produces small, star-shaped green flowers. This excellent oxygenator clarifies the water and provides a good habitat for aquatic wildlife, making it an essential part of a healthy pond ecosystem.
      • Ceratophyllum demersum (Hornwort) is a free-floating, submerged plant with stiff, needle-like leaves that does not require planting in soil. It's great for oxygenating the water and offers hiding places for fish and invertebrates, contributing to a dynamic underwater environment.
      • Potamogeton natans (Broad-Leaved Pondweed) has floating leaves and submerged, thin, and translucent leaves, blooming with small greenish flowers. It's beneficial for oxygenating the water and providing cover for aquatic life, enhancing the pond's natural balance.
     (credit: google)
      • Floating Plants: Add some surface floaters to give shade and shelter, completing your pond's ecosystem.
        • Nuphar lutea (Yellow Water-lily) has big, floaty leaves and eye-catching yellow flowers. Yellow Water-lilies are not just a pretty face; they give shade and a cosy spot for pond dwellers.
        • Potamogeton natans (Broad-Leaved Pondweed It's a bit of an all-rounder: floats on top but also hangs out below. Small flowers, big impact—provides a perfect chill-out zone for fish and bugs alike.
        • Lemna minor (Common Duckweed) has tiny green leaves that skim across the water like a green carpet. Ducks love it, and it gives a great hiding place for pond life. Just keep it in check, and it'll keep your pond looking good and feeling great.

        Step 6: Attracting and Protecting Wildlife

        • Skip the Fish: To keep your pond welcoming to a variety of species, it's best to leave fish out of the equation. They can dominate the ecosystem and deter smaller visitors.
        • Create Hideaways: Use logs, rocks, and native plants around your pond to offer safe havens for visiting wildlife.

        Step 7: Let Nature Take the Lead

        Your new eco-pond will evolve and mature over time, attracting new visitors and changing through the seasons. Minimal intervention is key – let nature do its thing, and you'll be rewarded with a dynamic, self-sustaining habitat.


        Be sure to tag us @bumboo_uk on social media- we'd love to see your creations!

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