Alex Sally from solar solutions fountains has written a book on wildlife ponds (which is how it all started!) and we have lots of experience in all kinds of water features but many customers are interested in bringing their garden to life with moving water.
Britain's wild ponds have declined drastically, half a million have disappeared during the past century! That's where we gardeners come in. Of course ponds look great and really bring a garden to life which is why you'll find water at the heart of every well-considered garden but it's not just human garden lovers that appreciate a good water feature! A water feature also supports a lot of gardeners friends from frogs to thrushes.
A pond designed to accommodate a wide range of wild creatures cannot help but look beautiful. Features that suit natural fauna, such as sloping shallows, boggy margins and wetland areas, also provide opportunities for creative planting. Size is not relevant. In a big garden you have space for something grand, such as a lake, but in restricted spaces you'd be surprised at how much life a tiny pond can support.
The most important thing you can do to improve the value of your garden to wildlife is to add a pond, however small. Even a half oak barrel can support a surprisingly wide range of aquatic invertebrates, and a pond provides fresh water for birds and small mammals to drink.
If you have more space, around a metre or two (3-6ft) square , so much the better. Keep it shallow – 30cm (12in) is deep enough – and slope the sides gradually to make it easy for animals to get in and out. Line with pebbles or cobbles to give the pond life somewhere to hide.
Ideally, fill your pond with low-nutrient rainwater rather than tap water, and don’t add fish. You will be amazed how quickly frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies and other animals are able to find a new pond. You can also add native aquatic plants such as yellow flag iris, water soldier and marsh marigold; these can colonise new ponds without help, but more slowly than animals.
Top tips for a good pond:
It doesn't need to be deep. 90% of pond life (and plants) live in the top 10cm's!
If you have small children you can easily fit a grid over the top.
Keep the edges graded in a slope so birds can drink.
Native plants are the best suited to our climate.
You will be amazed how quickly you have dragonflies , newts and a hundred other fascinating animals.
Everyone is drawn to a pond and a garden is never complete without one!
And of course, bringing your water feature or pond to life is easy with solar solutions fountains!
Green pond water? The secret to getting clear pond water for good!
The number one "problem" for pond lovers is yukky green water. We have been making ponds for over 20 years and know a thing or two about water and this information could save yu a lot of time, worry and money :) It's pretty simple really...
Green pond water is caused by algae and garden centers and aquatics shops don't want you to know this but getting clear water is simpler than you think. Buying expensive chemicals and filters is great for garden centers, it makes them £££ over and over again.Why? because it doesn't work, at least not for long and you will be back for something else later in the season or next year.
At www.solarsolutionsfountains.co.uk we have been working with ponds for decades and the way to nice clear water is pretty simple and even better it doesn't cost a thing.
Green water is caused by algae. Algae turns nutrients in the water (with sunlight ) into more algae. Simple.
Algae blooms when new, nutrient rich water is added to a pond ie:tap water. When the nutrients are used up the algae will stop.
People unknowingly "add" algae to water in several ways, through topping up the pond with tap water, adding new plants in soil full of nutrients or through feeding fish.(fish also produce nutrient rich waste). So you now you know how to think about slowing the nutrient side of the triangle.
The next part of the solution is reducing the light. Ever wondered why a pond covered in lilly leaves or duckweed is so clear underneath? Simply that plant leaves stop sunlight reaching the algae. It will not grow in the shade. Gardeners are experts in knowing how to utilise sunlight to make plants as good as possible, you just need to think of the pond as a vertical flower bed. If the plants in and above the water thrive the algae will not.
solarsolutionsfountains bring a pond to life and help make your water feature a focal point but remember if you have pond questions, we have been been advising british gardeners with ponds for 20 years!