03/19/16

The Perfect Pond for You and the Environment

Garden’s say a lot about their owners. You can see a reflection of the owner’s personality in how their garden is presented. If you see a garden that is frequently maintained and full of life and colour it’s more likely that the owner is a keen gardener, or maybe just has the time to dedicate towards the garden’s maintenance. If you see a garden that is lost and overgrown, then a sense of organisation may spring to mind. The overall look of a garden can also determine the way people look at a house as a whole. The garden is a key element in the overall image and it’s vital to make sure your garden gives viewers the message you wish them to receive. There are so many ways in which you can make your garden stand out amongst the rest, and a perfect way is to add features that are different and exciting. Ponds are a traditional feature that have been around for years. Many people look at ponds and instantly say no to the idea simply because they think that they are more trouble than they’re worth. What people don’t realise is that ponds are actually very useful for pest management, wildlife sanctuaries and also just look great in your garden. They’re easy to maintain and cost efficient, too. There are many different types of ponds you can choose from to ensure you get the perfect pond for your garden.

garden pond lush green and beautiful

When deciding on the type of pond you wish to go for, think about whether you want your pond to be in ground, above ground or partly in ground. Your decision should depend entirely on your garden and what will suit it best. If you have children you may also wish to consider an above ground pond, as this eliminates the risk of anybody falling in or going for a quick swim with the fish. Having an above ground pond also enables you to create your own display, you can use coloured tiles to surround the pond bed and grow plants around the area. Alternatively, if you wanted to go for an in ground or partly in ground pond you can consider the way in which you wish to display this, consider how you wish to contain, surround and line the pond. You can always make the decision that suits your garden type. There is no specific choice when it comes to the details of your pond design, which is another reason why they are so great.

Once you’ve decided on the type of pond you wish to go for, how you will line and contain it, and determined the size of the area, this will determine the wildlife that appears. Ponds are vital when it comes to wildlife, and you can guarantee that your pond will become the centre of attention for beautiful creatures like dragonflies, house martens, ducklings, frogs and more. You could have a range of beautiful fish living in your pond, to add a little excitement but also to encourage other wildlife to visit. Ensuring you feed them and maintain the water, keeping fish is a perfect way to make the most out of your pond, plus they’re like extra pets that you can keep checking on and watch, as they grow in your own garden.

When it comes to the maintenance of the pond there is little you need to do. You must ensure you keep on top of the weeds and algae; you will find most animals living in the pond will use these for hiding so be extra careful when weeding or cleaning these plants. You can use a net to remove excessive, such as leaves, dirt and dead flies. Removing the dead flies will however be done for you by certain animals living in or around the pond. For example, dragonflies and house martens will spend their time swooping down and removing the flies from the ponds surface, along with frogs and toads that will clear the water surface of any tasty little flies they can get hold of.

By Nikolaj Potanin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nikolaj Potanin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, you can consider the overall presentation of your pond. The design of a pond is important for both appearance as well as wildlife. Designing your pond to suit your home is key. You can surround your pond with shrubbery and plants to create your own little sanctuary. Growing plants around the pond may also encourage animals to create a new habitat in the plants or water surrounding. Lighting is another great feature to consider, whether you opt for in-water lighting or lights to surround the pond, they will be a huge benefit to both your gardens aesthetic as well as the nature surrounding the pond. When fitting the lights, remember to use a weatherproof junction box to ensure that you have safe fittings and the lights are protected from any weather. Lighting will add a glamorous effect and highlight your new garden feature, making it stand out and look great. Why not add other little items such as gnomes, fairy figures or magical fantasy items. These are a little bit of fun but also add character and excitement to the pond and its surroundings.

Guest blog by Jasmine Smith.

 

Additional posts from Frogs Are Green on Ponds:

https://frogsaregreen.org/keeping-your-pond-alive/

https://frogsaregreen.org/attracting-newts-to-your-pond/

https://frogsaregreen.org/pond-maintenance-tips-for-keeping-wildlife-at-your-pond/

 

 

04/6/15

The Benefits of Frogs in Your Garden

Frogs and toads, just like so many other animal species, are suffering a decline in numbers. This is due to environmental problems, climate change and human factors and show that the changes we are seeing in the environment are signs that something is wrong.

What many people should realize is that frogs need to be viewed as an important part of the ecosystem.

The Benefits of Frogs in Your Garden

Frogs and toads are not only very beautiful and diverse (Frogs per Wikipedia – approximately 4,800 species); they can also prove to be very beneficial for your garden.

  • Every ecosystem is comprised of multiple species that create a chain. It is what keeps the balance in nature and what maintains life as we know it. As such, frogs and toads have their place under the sun and should be protected. This is the reason why you will do very well to ensure that frogs can find shelter in your garden. If you provide the right conditions and features for these amphibian creatures, they should appear.
  • Frogs are good bioindicators. There is a lot that you can learn from the frogs in your garden. Frogs can show you that something is wrong in the area, or if they are happily breeding and living in the area, then everything should be okay. If you are dedicated and want to have a perfect garden, you can use the indications from frogs to know if the conditions in your garden are good, or if the frogs that used to dwell there suddenly go missing, you will know there is a disturbance.
  • Pest control – frogs are amazing at cleaning the garden from harmful insects. If you are having such problems, you can easily eliminate them by introducing frogs among your plants. A single frog can eat over 100 insects, such as caterpillars, sow bugs and cutworms and more. These can destroy your entire garden if left unchecked. With frogs around, you won’t need to use harmful pesticides, either.

Toads and frogs can be one of the best solutions for your garden. Not only will you have a garden safe of bugs and insects, but you will also have very pleasant amphibians hopping around.

Tree Frog and Bug from EarthRangers.com

Tree Frog and Bug from EarthRangers.com

Guest post by Ella Andrews granted on behalf of: an excellent cleaning in Ruislip.

12/4/14

Frogs Are Good For Your Garden

Frogs and toads are some of nicest critters you can attract in your garden as they can improve it great deal. They have true and undeniable value but are threatened by the constant increase of urbanization. Their habitats are shrinking at an alarming rate and thus reducing their chance of survival.

frogs and toads in your garden

So why not take steps in inviting them in your garden today? For one thing, they are amazing pest control predators. They feed on insects, such as cutworms, caterpillars, sow bugs and many more that can do harm to your garden. There have been reports of entire gardens destroyed by these bugs for a single night, and anything that can help prevent that from happening is to be loved and preferred over other animals. A single frog can eat over a hundred harmful insects a day, which is really a lot and enough in most cases to help you control this threat.

In order to ensure that frogs can perform their duty, you will need to create a suitable habitat for them. During the day, they like to sit under shady and cool areas, such as under trees and other high plants. There are many solutions that can be implemented in your garden which will offer not only proper shelter for frogs, but will also give your garden an innovative look. These animals also require water, so a pond of some sort is needed. Many professional and reliable gardeners share the opinion that there is nothing quite like having a garden pond in your backyard. It needs to have shallow edges to allow the amphibians to enter and leave as they please.

Toads and frogs can be a garden’s best friend and save you the need to spray with pesticides and other chemicals to protect from insects. If you like the calming and sometimes gentle sound of frogs, then smile the next time you see one in your garden.

Guest blog by Ella Andrews

08/10/14

Gecko In Turks & Caicos

The island of Providenciales in Turks & Caicos is one of my favorite vacation spots and I have been there many times. The sand is pinkish white and as soft as talcum powder. The sea is the perfect color of turquoise and crystal clear. When you enter the water all you see are little fish and if lucky, while swimming, the local dolphin that comes over to greet visitors.

Turks & Caicos beach plants and sea beyond. Photo by Susan Newman

Turks & Caicos beach plants and sea beyond. Photo by Susan Newman

On one of my trips as I was unpacking my things, I noticed a little gecko in my room and just left him to wander around. At the time, I didn’t know that much about them, but he/she was so cute, I didn’t bother it. Over the next few days, my friends were complaining about the mosquitoes and kept asking me, how come you aren’t bitten up like we are? I didn’t really know.

This went on for days until I told them about the little gecko in my room, who like to come inside where the temperature is to their liking and are safe from predators. OH! They said, it’s eating the mosquitoes in your room, that’s why you aren’t having the problem we are.

Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) by  Thomas Brown

Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) by Thomas Brown

Well, it is many years later and I know more about geckos, salamanders and frogs. I wanted to share this little story because most people wonder how the decline of frogs and amphibians directly effects them. As you can see, just one gecko in my room on vacation, made all the difference for me having a more comfortable trip than my friends. Just imagine how insects will bother us if there are no frogs or geckos around to eat them?