The newest addition to my garden is a cute little washing up pond. I don't have room for a big pond, but any amount of water is good for attracting wildlife and bringing balance to the garden.
I was inspired by the RSPB, who recommend making mini ponds as part of it's 'homes for nature' scheme, and you can find their instructions here, but this is what I did to make my very own washing up bowl pond,
You will need,
a washing up bowl
terracotta plant pots
and tools, a spade and a spirit level
Your little pond needs to be in a spot where it's light but not in full on sunshine all day. The first step is to just dig a hole that your washing up bowl will fit into.
Next, use a spirit level to check the bowl is level and adjust the hole accordingly if necessary.
Pop the washing up bowl in the hole and fill in any big gaps round the sides with soil. Then you get to do the fun bit - making a nice little habitat for your underwater friends. I added gravel to the base and a little terracotta pot for critters to hide in. It's a really good idea to have a pile of stones and a stick to act as a ramp in and out of the pond so no-one gets stuck in there if they fall in (hedgehogs, I'm looking at you!).
Fill your mini pond with rainwater and add some pond weed. My mum has a pond, so she kindly gave me some water, weed and frogspawn to start my pond off, but this isn't essential - the wildlife will find your pond all on it's own! If you have some big stones and gravel then add them round the edges of the washing up bowl pond to make it look pretty, and to provide an extra habitat too. The broken plant pot is there to hopefully tempt a frog or two to hang out by the pond!
For a final flourish I planted some mind your own business (also dug up from around mums pond!) round the edge of the pond to hide the top of the washing up bowl a little bit.
And that's it. Because I added water from an established pond I already have lots of wildlife in my mini pond. I've spotted freshwater shrimp, water fleas, water snails and tadpoles. It's well exciting.
My next plan? Washing up bowl ponds all over the garden, and a bin lid bog area!