Planting the area around the pond was the part I looked forward to the most, after all that arduous and rather tedious digging. I had plenty of plants already in the garden that seemed to suit my main aim - of providing cover for the frogs. The pond I'd made previously had attracted them to the garden and now they were resident I felt some responsibility to provide the right conditions for them.

I used plenty of ivy around the pond's perimeter, as this, being evergreen, would provide some wildlife cover all year. It also usefully trails over the edges to disguise the (seemingly inevitable) bits of liner that are visible until the plants get established. I also included carex and Francoa ramosa, both of which at least keep some leaf through the winter. Ferns and Corydalis flexuosa were included for spring.

In the pond itself I could only use the suitable plants I had available - Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Crowborough' (Arum Lily) and a rather handsome grassy leaved plant - Acorus gramineus "Variegatus". The Acorus remained evergreen through the winter and provided some useful - if sparse - cover for the frogs that emerged in the early spring.

As the pond was created in the autumn, it was difficult to include marginal and deep water plants when the pond was first created. The arrival of spring meant plants were available from the garden centre, so I was able to add oxygenating plants, marginals like iris and Lobelia cardinalis, as well as a fine specimen of water hyacinth for the deeper part in the centre of the pond. I hope that together these will help to create the right balance for the resident frogs and their tadpoles as they grow.

The pond in May 2003

Above: wildlife pond, May 2003 (the first spring after construction)