Then, a month ago, in a local paper, I read an article about "mini ponds". The writer suggested sinking a washing up bowl into your soil, but look! I already had a container! Got some help getting it to the desired spot, washed it out, and found some large pebbles and a couple of bricks and filled it with rainwater. In washing it out, I found it had it's own built in fossil - a fan shaped piece of coral, I think ... so as we are a mile inland from the Jurassic Coast, surely it's local stone?
- The jumble of bricks and pebbles create a little cave in case a toad arrives (hoping!)
- the stone in the middle of the water is not completely submerged so that bees can land (although the article did suggest wine corks, but all my wine has metal screw tops at the mo').
- The left hand side of the container is shallow enough so that should a hedgehog get in, he can get out again without drowning.
Next - you need to give shelter and protection from predators (a couple of cats use this garden as the end of their perambulations and also we do get sparrowhawks). On the left of the pic is the original border edge, so I dug out the turf between the old edging and the mini pond and planted things that will give some good cover and provided a little toad shelter - terracotta, so should keep coolish.
You can see my footprints, I was out there early for the pictures, and the dark marks are dew. So now I have some little areas at each end of the container to plant, and when established should look more natural and give Mr Toad, should he ever arrive, even more cover to mooch around in! (of course, if frogs come, they can use the covers also - or maybe I will even get newts!!)
I'll come back in a couple of months to show the area with completed planting and perhaps a wildlife report too..... "Come on Mr Toad!"