Evolution of a pond

We moved to our cottage in March 2011. The garden was the main attraction, as well as the property being off the road and the main boundary being a farmer’s field.  The bottom of the garden was a bit open. The house in the photo was recently built and the owners had planted a laurel hedge but the plants at this stage were tiny.

2011 veg area

2011 Veg area at bottom of garden

The veg garden was very small, surrounded by daffs and there was a small patch of rhubarb. By Feb 2012, I had a much larger veg plot and some snow!

Veg plot Feb 2012

Veg plot Feb 2012

And in March, I had started growing a few more crops:

Things are growing!

Things are growing!

By 2015, I was itching for a pond. Many clickers (and a couple of neighbours) have one and I wanted my own frog spawn, too!! My first imaginings were for a pond in a pot.  I really couldn’t dig up my veg garden; or could I?  Afterall, I was getting better veg from my raised beds at the front of the house compared with the original veg plot.

Raised beds and greenhouses

Raised beds and greenhouses

The ground wasn’t good enough really as can be seen from the selection of nails dug up when digging the pond.

Not exactly treasure!

Not exactly treasure!

These came mostly out of the strip where you see the sage plant!

Pond area

Pond area

So we got going. It’s bigger than I expected. In this pic, you can still see the sage plant before I moved it. There are 3 shelves to the pond.

Facing south

Facing south

No photos but we used some carpet and cardboard to line it first before proper pond underlay and then liner. This is the water going in from one of our 5 rain butts.

Water going in

Water going in

We used gravel on the 3 layers (taken from the other side of the house around the raised beds), all carefully washed of soil, and then I moved some nice big stones from around the garden to the edge of the pond.

Full pond November 2015

Full pond November 2015

The ‘beach’ area is where the birds like to have a bath and I’m hoping the frogs will lay their spawn here next year!

Beach area

Beach area

Most of the top soil was used to make a bank for tall grasses.

Carex pendula on bank

Carex pendula on bank

I can’t wait to see what it will all look like next year! And I hope this critter will love the water!

Common frog

Common frog

23 Responses

  1. Beanstew says:

    Gosh Jane – this is almost a text-book example of how a garden should be developed, with lots of thinking time built into it’s evolution. I say this humbly, as a ram-stam merchant who didn’t do it slowly enough, made poor decisions which wouldn’t have been made with more pondering, and consequently doesn’t have a pond anywhere. You deserve to have an absolute herd of frogs with which to ravage the mollusc population, and I foresee pristine hostas stretching into your future…….

  2. Thank you Sheila – I’m pretty chuffed so far and check it out on a daily basis ;-) The whole garden is damp up to a point and has ditches on 2 sides, which is part of the reason we already have frogs, toads and newts but I also want them to have an environment for reproduction! I wish you would put some pics up of your own garden – I’d love to see it :good:

  3. gertie says:

    Terrific Jane, inspiring and informative blog with super pics :good:

  4. cilla says:

    Great blog Jane, and pics. It is going to look so different by the end of next summer, it is astonishing how quickly pond plants grow, If you get spawn and I don’t (and I never have yet!) I shall have to come over and push you in :lol: I suspect my pond isn’t warm enough in the early months, thanks to neighbour’s enormous conifer overshadowing everything. :-( I shall love following the developing pond, plants and wildlife. Wait until you get frogs, newts AND dragonflies, your cup will runneth over!

  5. Hello Cilla – thank you! I might not get spawn next year as there might not be anything for the taddies to eat :nailbiting: so I’m probably safe from getting wet for a year anyway :lol:

  6. cilla says:

    That doesn’t follow Jane because, when we moved to Ireland, it was a newly built house in an acre of virgin garden………….for garden insert mud, rubble etc etc, and in a puddle was a blob of frog spawn so we made a tiny pond just to house it. :lol:

  7. roly says:

    making a natural ponds seem to be more popular these days for introducing wild life into the home garden

    I built a fish pond when we moved houses I had a large fibreglass preformed liner to move I successfully moved it and the fish and re-sited it to its new home but since re-siting we seem to have lost all the frogs etc

    although e get frogs and toads in the garden they never seem to bother with pond but the gold fish love it I built a canopy over the pond to keep the fish cool in summer its a razed pond about 3ft of the ground maybe that’s the problem

    anyway my wife as so pleased with the pond she got me to make a smaller one on the new sunken garden much smaller than the other one again with a preformed plastic liner both have pond pumps working 24/7 the smaller one had a couple of newts that have since moved

    so my wife wants me to build yet another pond garden made with old sinks to attract the wild life back start building the new pond in spring

  8. VegVamp says:

    Great blog Jane and your pond looks brilliant. :good: Agree with Cilla, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you get frogspawn this Spring, :fingers-crossed: for you. :-)

  9. Walt says:

    …something else…if you do get frogspawn and there is nothing there for them to eat…raw lambs liver suspended just below the surface will do the business ;-)

  10. cilla says:

    When I had my pond in Ireland which hadn’t any natural food in it I did just that. Liver tied with string dangled in the pond……..it was like watching pirhanas coming to feed, brill!

  11. dixon says:

    Cant believe how much the fence has grown jane, if I remember rightly I could hardly see next door. Lets hope you get some lodgers in the pond soon.

    • You’re right, Dix, their hedge has grown enormously, thank goodness ;-) I’ve also put things in my side but mine are all deciduous. I leave my very tall great willow herb till the spring as it helps to block and it’s good for the insects :-)

  12. AliCat says:

    The pond is looking fantastic Jane, and I love your raised veg beds, you have achieved a huge amount since you moved in and it shows how much effort you have put in, its is a real credit :good:

  13. Hayley says:

    I’m coming a bit late to the party here Jane but well done with your pond evolution. :-) It’s incredible how settled in and part of the garden landscape it looks now. It’ll surely be the perfect home for the Kermits when they’re searching for their own place of solace :fingers-crossed: Will look forward to seeing the froglets emerge ;-)

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