Aquatic Habitats bring a whole host of new species to the garden, including amphibians, aquatic insects, aquatic plants, and provide a water source for birds, bees, mammals and others during the summer.
We installed this 12' x 24' pond in 2020 during the first summer of covid. It was dug partly with a pickaxe and partly with a tractor over about 2 days by my husband Matt. It is lined with heavy duty EPDM pond liner - 14 mm purchased from Lowe's hardware store. It was significantly more expensive that what is available online, however the shipping from online stores ended up making it far more expensive.
The picture on the left is the pond in early summer of 2021. After only two seasons, we had two very well-established hardy water lilies, and many margin species such as cat tails, star grasses, Louisiana Iris, Japanese Iris, yerba mansa, aquatic mint, and more. You see a large amount of algae in the pond, and that is intentional. Algae does have drawbacks, so it has to be dealt with, however we do leave some algae in for habitat for larval dragonflies and damselflies, and tadpoles, among other species that we want to encourage. We will talk more about algae later on.
We also have several native and a few non native water loving species on the outside margin of the pond such as foxgloves, summersweet, swamp milkweed, swamp mallow, anise hyssop, bergamot, siberian iris, and more. I'll provide complete species lists with photos and growing tips eventually.
The wildlife explosion we have seen since the installation of the pond has been truly inspiring. We have brought in multiple species of dragonflies, and have seen the process and evidence of the aquatic larvae hatching out into their terrestrial adult stage. We have many species of frogs, and lots and lots of tadpoles, and this year we have eastern newts! There is a resident midland water snake (completely harmless to humans) which we have had countless hours of enjoyment watching hunt. Interestingly the pond has also become a watering hole for wild and domestic bees which frequent it all day during the summer.