Pond Ponderings – Tiny Pond-scape
Tiny PondWatch by Jen @TinyPondWatch
Hello! My name is Jen and I run @TinyPondWatch, where I share the creatures great and small that visit my tiny garden ponds on Instagram.
How it came to be
I am a passionate gardener, and created a wildlife-friendly garden when we bought our new build home in Shropshire five years ago. It was a completely empty plot with no insects or birds at all, but over time creatures have moved in and made it their home too.
What inspired you to create it
In lockdown I was inspired by a viewer submission on Gardeners’ World who dedicated his garden to wildlife, and he emphasised that having water in your garden will increase biodiversity beyond pollinator-friendly flowers and bug hotels.
I don’t have a big garden but I had one of my Nan’s old washing bowls in a cupboard. I dug a hole in my south-facing front garden, popped the bowl in, filled it with pebbles, topped up with rain water and planted a few flowers. Immediately birds started visiting for bathing and drinking, which made me extremely happy.
I wanted to record my tiny pond visitors so I was given a wildlife camera for Christmas. Some friends wanted to see, and so TinyPondWatch was born!
Since then I’ve created two more tiny ponds in my north-facing back garden. One is a washing up bowl in a boggy shady area which also has a camera, and the other is a barrel container. These are planted up with oxygenating pond plants, flowering bog plants, and ferns.
What you find using your pond
Dragonflies and a hedgehog are the latest visitors to my tiny ponds, but I often see bees, butterflies, hoverflies, moths, beetles, slugs, snails, worms, foxes, bats, and many many birds. My absolute favourite visitor was a hummingbird moth. A few local cats are also TinyPondWatch celebrities. I did find a newt and a slow worm once, and I don’t have any resident frogs or toads yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Sharing my love of wildlife and preserving their vital habitats in my local area has become even more of a hobby for me than gardening. If I’m not in the garden then I’m usually reading about what I can do next. Dave Goulson and Kate Bradbury have inspiring books about the role we all play in protecting wildlife.
It doesn’t matter how big your garden is, or even if you don’t have a garden at all. Make a pond, get a bird bath, plant native flowers and avoid harmful chemicals. It doesn’t take much to make a big, or tiny, difference in this world.