plants. gardens. friends.

digthedirt is about gardening, outdoor living and loving our planet!

learn more »

Water Gardening

by Paula Sealey (Paula )

Frog in Barrel Pond
« 1 of 3 »

The importance of water in the garden.

There are so many things I love about my garden here in the South East of England.  It is tiny, what we Brits lovingly refer to as 'postage stamped sized', but, I've managed to pack in a huge amount of plants and features.

I always knew I wanted wildlife to play a big part in the garden, so I started by adding a half barrel pond, as water is fantastic for attracting a myriad of creatures.  Within a year, the barrel had become home to several frogs, a newt and water snails.  It also attracted dragonflies, butterflies and some stag beetles, which I was thrilled about, as they are now rare in Britain due to their loss of habitat.




Excited by the success of this pond, I decided on adding more water to the garden.  Funds were too limited to afford another barrel, so I took 3 medium sized plastic plant pots, arranged them together and sunk them into the ground.  Simply lined with plastic sheeting and filled with water and plants, they too have become home to more frogs and water insects.  As they are shallower than the larger pond, they are also used as a watering hole by our resident foxes and birds.

I would encourage all gardeners to make water a large feature of their space.  As I've proved with my plastic plant pot ponds, it need not cost a lot of money and there is huge joy to be had in sitting back and watching all the wonderful wildlife that comes to visit!



wildlife, water, ponds, frog, newt, tadpoles, stag beetles


Great post. It's simply and effective.
Cassels commented on 01/07/18
dragonladi commented on 05/11/12
I love adding my water pots and buckets into my regular garden. It is a touch of surprise for most visitors.
atokadawn commented on 02/15/12
Very cool that you could do so much with limited space! Gr8 pictures! <br/>Sandra :)
sanandreyas70 commented on 05/24/11
Great post. I love the frog on the lily pad photo!
Backyardgetaway commented on 05/14/10
great post. beautiful pictures! I love south/east England! I wish I had a 2nd home there.
Spirit Horse Herbals commented on 04/12/10
I love this idea! Water is such an important feature in any garden, and - believe it or not - I&#x27;ve even put a pond on a green roof! I can&#x27;t wait to see what finds its way up there! Thanks for this post!
pbcouchman commented on 03/12/10
Paula, what a wonderful post! Lovely photos and info...these ideas are wonderful for even the tiniest budget, which appeals to me. Additionally, if a large pond just seems too much of an endeavor, you&#x27;ve provided fantastic alternatives. You&#x27;ve inspired me!
Lily commented on 03/11/10
I would love to have frogs jumping around- love the sound of them at night. Again- really good economical idea.
Seedling commented on 03/10/10
I agree with butterfly- very good idea for the dryer climates, as when we get water we get A LOT of it, but it would be great to capture some of that for the poor creatures running around. And if we have to fill them up once in a while in the summer that seems like a fine thing to do.
nematode commented on 03/10/10
I know I am not saying anything new- but this is an excellent idea, especially in my climate where it is so dry it is a great place to collect water when it does rain. Do you have to clean these pots out during the year so they don&#x27;t get too mucky?
butterfly commented on 03/10/10
They tend to get the same problems as any pond would, so maybe some bindweed that needs clearing out now and then, but, I generally leave these ponds alone so as not to disturb the wildlife. The water does evaporate during summer months so you will need to top it up now and then. The frogs love a light shower though:)!
Paula replied: on 03/11/10
This is such a brilliant idea. Very simple and easy to do weekend project- maybe I&#x27;ll try this one.
earthworm commented on 03/10/10
That really is such a great idea to sink the pots... we had a pond in our last house and had fish, but they all got eaten by a raccoon- very sad day :( I think it is a great idea though to let the wildlife come to you. Thank you!
FigTree commented on 03/10/10
I know that feeling, I have a separate fish pond which is now netted to protect them from the heron - he had a whole pondful of them a few years back!
Paula replied: on 03/11/10
I love the idea of sinking pots in the ground for a low-cost water garden! Your pictures are fantastic... thanks for sharing. I have a relatively small pond that attracts local insect residents. It features a big chunk of petrified wood that I drilled a hole in to drip water on it and grow moss. So peaceful after a busy day. Look forward to more photos and stories from your garden!
chief cultivator commented on 03/10/10