January 23, 2019

Caroline’s Garden Diaries : Pond Workshop 6.2.13

I didn’t think I’d be learning about making ponds in Sydney but when a workshop was advertised, close to where we’re living, and I was free, (and so was it), I booked a place.

In fact, I do have plans to make a pond at home in the spring, its shape being already marked out in the lawn by he who mows.

So off I went this morning to “Creating Habitat with Your Garden Pond”, a course run by the local City Council who are very “green”. They have a native (that word again) plant nursery, a permaculture garden and a food forest (watch this space, I’ll be visiting), so the emphasis of today’s workshop was on attracting wildlife to your pond. Fortunately, this meant frogs, not crocodiles.

The importance of frogs, apart from their being appealing little creatures, is that they act as monitors of the health of the environment because they are sensitive to toxicity in water – the miner’s canaries of the garden.

More reasons for having a pond in one’s garden included attracting other wildlife, keeping the air cool (not really a problem in England), feeding the soul, and feeding the body; I didn’t know there were so many food plants that will grow in a pond: as well as watercress, there’s water spinach, Chinese water chestnuts. Not sure if these would grow in a Yorkshire pond but I’m inspired to think about what might be edible.
The other thing I learned that I want to try is that the tiniest of ponds will improve the garden as a habitat; an old flower-pot, for example, can contain a pond if you stop up its drainage holes, and then you can put it between plants in a bed, or you could have a little pond on your patio using larger decorative pots.


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