My pond is small and at times full of algae, with the water looking rather murky. Apart from fishing out excess algae, and occasional tending to the pond plants, my pond is left alone to do its thing. Sometimes the water clears, sometimes it's rather hard to see down past the first couple of inches. Whether it's looking clean or rather green, the frogs seem to like it. The pond has been used by frogs since it was first created, and is now home to large adult frogs, juvenile year-old frogs, froglets, and frogspawn and tadpoles in the springtime.

Making the pond

The pond was constructed in autumn 2002, to provide a better home for the frogs that had taken up residence in a nearby "mini-pond". The only way I could make space for this new and slightly larger affair was to dig up an old woody clematis, whose girth had been spreading for several years. Removing it meant I could create a new pond of a slightly larger size, in a position that was viewable from Millennium Shed, and partly visible from the house, and not directly under trees (though as this is a small garden with trees in it, I don't have a lot of choice).

This time I used proper PVC liner, and put far more thought into the pond's construction. Digging out the earth was difficult enough, getting the ledges within it and the levels around it right even harder. Much trial and error was in order, as I tried to visualise what the hole with liner in it might look like once full of water. I can generally picture what planting combinations might look like, but with water, I'm rubbish. But I got there in the end.

After I'd filled it, and left it to dechlorinate, I carefully removed the old mini-pond. I'd left it intact alongside as I knew the frogs were living in and around it, and I didn't want to turf them out of their hiding places until something else was in place.

Dismantling the old pond

I moved everything gently in case frogs were sheltering under the rocks around the old pond, as, I discovered, many of them were. As I disturbed them, they jumped into the water. I then had to lift them out with a plastic bucket and direct them towards the adjacent new pond. (This reminded me one of those councils who in past decades bulldozed old Victorian houses and put people into high-rise new flats. I hoped my new pond wouldn't seem like as much of a mistake as many of those buildings have since appeared to be.)

Safely transferring the fourth frog out of the part-dismantled old pond took a while, as by this point the water had been muddied so much it was difficult to see where the frog had gone. It was eventually located in the gooey muddy mess, and safely relocated. Some of the mud from the bottom of the first pond was tipped into the bottom of the new one, for the sake of that frog or any others that wanted to spend the winter down there.

Riveting wildlife

That evening I sat by the pond at dusk and watched frogs appear from their hiding places around the new pond. One evening I heard two of them croaking from opposite sides of the pond. I had no idea what they were communicating to one another, but I hope they weren't saying "I preferred the old place, didn't you?"

Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Crowborough'

Above: Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Crowborough', a handsome pond plant
(A larger photo, showing the flowers - Photos: Zantedeschia)

Below: Wildlife pond in 2003

The pond in the garden, May 2003