Our wildlife pond

wildlife pond(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
The final result!

Because we were concerned about the goldfish in our original, more conventional pond eating dragonfly, frog, and toad eggs, we decided to build another pond—this one suited especially for wildlife. This pond is shallow and has lots of room for marginal plants.

We sited it in one dimension between the house and the sitting area next to the original pond; along the other dimension, between the garage door and the porch path. This was about the only convenient space left for a pond.

One interesting aspect of this placement is that the ponds are in alignment, making it seem like the sitting area is on a bridge between the two ponds. And since this pond abuts the house, you might think the house is floating on water. (John has already proclaimed that he's not about to build another pond along the front of the house to complete the illusion, however!)

Since most information on designing and creating ponds pertains to merely ornamental ponds, we had a lot less guidance designing this one. It's been an ongoing experiment, and we've been designing as we go along. By the way, there seems to be much more interest in this kind of thing in England, even with special clubs just for dragonfly ponds enthusiasts.

Here's more about how we created this pond.


Mosquito dunks ©Janet AllenOur original package of mosquito dunks—fortunately no longer needed

Because we don't have moving water in this pond, we expected mosquitos. We originally planned to use mosquito dunks—Bt pellets that kill mosquito larva—probably forever. Each pellet covers up to 100 sq. ft. of surface area and lasts one month, so it's pretty easy and affordable.

We weren't thrilled about this since unfortunately Bt also kills larvae of the fly family and who knows what else. But because we're in a urban/suburban area, we felt we needed to take this precaution. (And we also want to enjoy our yard without getting bit by mosquitos.)

The first few weeks, this pond did indeed produce mosquito larva as expected. The mosquito dunks worked perfectly, killing the mosquito larva before they turned into adults.

Amazingly, though, after the pond was established, so many creatures that eat mosquitoes and their larvae (birds, frogs, toads, and dragonflies, etc.) lived in the pond that we haven't had a mosquito problem since. In fact, we seem to have fewer mosquitoes than in our pre-habitat garden days.

Of course, we still keep an eye out for mosquitos, and we've kept the remaining dunks just in case. But we're thrilled to find we haven't needed them.