Let’s help pond wildlife
Ponds are amazing havens for local wildlife. They can be easy to make too! If you simply take a lid off a water butt, fill it with rain water and put it in the ground, you’ve got the easiest pond possible. So, ponds can be as easy or complicated as you like!
What ever size pond you choose, please make sure you have lots of shallow water. This will allow animals such as hedgehogs to drink from your pond without the risk of falling in and drowning.
Regarding plants for your pond, how about Water lettuce, with the Latin name Pistia? Or how about Water hyacinth, which has the Latin name of Eichhornia crassipes? If you have friends who already have a pond, why not swap some of your plants with some of their pond plants?
Pond plants are endlessly fascinating. If you have a pond with bog bean (aka buck bean) you might notice that the flowers never come out all at once. Instead, they come out in a sequence. Bog bean leaves have a distinctive three-part shape. Scientists call that shape trifoliate.
If you’re looking for a dramatic splash of colour in your pond – which is still greatly loved by wildlife, how about planting Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)? In the wild, it grows in all kinds of wetland conditions, so Yellow Flag Iris is perfect for garden ponds. Even if you think your pond may not have as much oxygen as you’d like, that isn’t a problem either. That’s because Yellow Flag Iris can grow in the wild in anoxic water, ie water which is greatly depleted of dissolved oxygen.
Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) is another popular pond plant which is greatly loved by butterflies and bees. After your Hemp Agrimony flowers have stopped being in blossom, you might like to leave the seed heads where they are because those seed heads will be greatly appreciated by other garden wildlife.
For more information about the work of Felixstowe’s Community Nature Reserve, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FelixstoweCommunityNatureReserve
Image supplied by Dr Adrian Cooper