I am thrilled to have won a Silver Merit medal for my ‘Wildlife Oasis’ garden at the Gardeners’ World Live in June 2022. Being so close to a gold medal on my first show garden and hearing such incredible feedback and lovely messages from so many fabulous people that I have met – what a great start to an exciting journey.
This project is a collaboration between myself and my friend and allotment neighbour, Nadine Mitschunas, Pollinator Ecologist and winner of the Gardeners World Garden of the Year 2021 (for her allotment!!).
The aim of the garden is to raise awareness of the importance of creating natural habitats and show how a wildlife friendly pond can blend beautifully and naturally within a garden border.
Many people felt intimidated about building a pond in their garden. In my blog are instructions on how we built our show garden pond step-by-step.
Most of the plants are selected to attract wildlife and are draught-tolerant, reducing the need for watering. Plants can be divided, cuttings made, or seeds sown to extend the border. There is also no hard landscaping and materials will all be recycled to and from existing gardens, showing that this garden can be created and maintained with little cost and is sustainable.
Ponds should be included in all gardens as they provide a habitat for many animals and are always full of life. Ponds attract not just frogs, toads and newts but also numerous other small creatures such as dragonflies, damselflies, water beetles, pond snails, water fleas, water boatmen and pond skaters. The pond is also an important source of water for many mammals such as hedgehogs, as well as for many birds, which all like to come for a drink.
Ponds can be a lifeline in a very dry summer when all other available water sources have dried out. Birds also like to bath in the shallow water at the edge of the pond. The surrounding pollinator-friendly plants attract many different insects such as bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, beetles, and wasps.
The close-by pond will also give these insects a source of water which they will frequently visit, especially on hot summer days. Some hoverflies are also particularly attracted to water and can often be found basking on stones or leaves close to the pond edge.
Visit my blog to see step-by-step instructions on how to build a naturalistic pond.
- Achillea ‘Moon Dust’
- Achillea ‘Moonshine’
- Achillea ‘Walther Funcke’
- Allium sphaerocephalon
- Anthemis tinctoria ‘E C Buxton’
- Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’
- Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’
- Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’
- Erigeron glaucus ‘Wayne Roderick’
- Euphorbia oblongata
- Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’
- Gaura Lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’
- Geranium ‘Brookside’
- Geranium sanguineum ‘Striatum’
- Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’
- Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora
- Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’
- Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’
- Salvia greigii ‘Mirage Cream’
- Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’
- Scabiosa ‘Kudo’
- Stachys byzantina
- Stipa capillata ‘Bridal Veil’
- Stipa tenuissima
- Thalictrum aquilegiifolium
- Zizia aurea
Pond and Marginal Plants:
- Carex elata ‘Aurea’
- Ceratophyllum demersum
- Dichromena colorata
- Iris Louisiana ‘Black Gamecock’
- Iris Louisiana ‘Dancing Vogue’
- Lythrum salicaria
- Mentha Cervina
- Nymphaea ‘Inner Light’
- Primula Vulgaris
- Ranunculus aquatilis
- Ranunculus flammula
- Scirpus cernuus
- Houttuynia cordata ‘Plena’