A Unique Approach To Pond Building: The Wildlife Pond

By Michael Wezsky

Pond building is a difficult but rewarding task that has found a place in the hearts of many home gardeners. There is a unique joy that can only be found when creating and cultivating a balanced ecosystem of plants and aquatic life in the comfort of your own backyard.

Most home pond builders build clinical ponds. They just have a ditch filled with water, add in some plants, fish and a pump for good measure. It's clean and safe, but if you think about it, it's nothing more than a fish-inhabited swimming pool. Although there are many water garden enthusiasts, few ever want to make more than a simple, manageable backyard pond.

But on rare occasions, you'll find a true pond building devotee who'll settle for nothing less than a wildlife pond.

The Life of a Wildlife Pond

What makes a pond a true wildlife pond? The keyword is life! It is like a natural living thing, an ecosystem capable of keeping itself alive for years. Even the water is full of life.Unlike the clean and clear filtered water of a clinical pond, the water of a wild life pond is "dirty" yet nutrient rich water. Shortly after you finish it, your wildlife pond will transform your backyard into your own personal bog.

A successful wildlife pond plays host to a surprisingly large array of life. And not just plants and fish, but also insects, lizards, frogs and birds. Better yet, they are all within your control. As long as you pay attention to the details you'll have a pond full of free living, yet carefully controlled "pets".

Sloped banks, natural rock edging and proper light-exposure; these are all important elements in bond building, but for a wildlife pond it just isn't enough! It's what you put into your pond that allows it to achieve ecological balance.

So what do you do? Go out and find a naturally occurring pond. Get some of the water and put it into your own home pond. Using that rich natural pond water is the key to making a successful wildlife pond.

The Wildlife in your Backyard

So what exactly grows in a wildlife pond? The first members of your pond community will usually be bugs. Drawn by the rich water, dragonflies and other insects will soon find their way into your pond.

Worried about the insects bothering your house and home?

There's no denying that insects will probably be bothersome for a while. You can add a few snails into the pond where they will keep the water clean of pests. It helps, but it's hardly a pest control solution.

By the time you start to be pestered by mosquitoes and flies, you'll start seeing a new type of life; amphibians. Newts, frogs and toads will start moving in, attracted by the buffet of bugs and pug eggs in your pond. They are nature's pest control team, keeping the insect population to a tolerable minimum. Birds are also likely to fly in for a quick bug snack. You might even see bigger birds, maybe a heron, preying on the fish and frogs.

Many water gardeners aren't at all interested in a wildlife pond. Compared to a common pond, the wildlife pond may seem like a lot of hassle. But still, give it some thought knowing that a wildlife pond is a rich and harmonious ecosystem that breathes new life into your backyard. - 29857

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