garden designer and artist
carol whitehead contemporary garden designer and artist
garden designer and artist

wildlife ponds in small gardens

wildlife ponds in small gardens

Wildlife ponds in small gardens are enchanting. Water is the key to life so I love to included them in my garden designs because they encourage wildlife activity.

The water surface provide an exciting dimension to a small garden. The surface reflections mirror the sky and attracts light, insects and birds into the space.

A formal wildlife pond within a courtyard or small garden makes an excellent focal point. Sink the pond into the patio surface. The paving becomes the pond edging.  Install a raised pond with enough coping edge to provide a perch seat. Recycle a faulty bath or sink next to a wall to function as a holding basin under a wall mounted fountain feature.

I use characterful wall water features for small garden ponds in courtyards. They are a great way of introducing a small trickle sound into a tiny space.

Soften the ponds hardscape surround by planting the pond with a few oxygenating plants. These cast interesting shadows on surrounding walls, paving and pond surface. You will become more aware of the light within your small garden. The plants not only support wildlife, but also clean the water, so installing a pump is not necessary for a wildlife pond.

Wildlife appears at the pond at different times of the year. Frogs and newts in spring, damsel flies and bees in mid summer. Dragon flies like the migrant hawker featured below, can be seen emerging in later summer.

Birds use small ponds all year round to drink and bath, and bring lots of visual entertainment. Having a wildlife pond in a small garden is like having free pets, without the responsibility of pet ownership! Instead you are a custodian of some amazing creatures and your pond is a valuable habitat.

I avoid putting fish in my wildlife pond designs. Fish need space to thrive and will eat all the wildlife and plants! I always include a few stones at the pond edge for escape routes for hedgehog visitors who might fall into the pond.

Wildlife ponds in small gardens bring an exciting visual dimension to my garden designs. They complement the planting and hard landscaping, making the space come alive.




Carol Whitehead © 2019. A registered member of the SGD (Society of Garden Designers).

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