Do you have water gardens in your front or backyard? In addition to being attractive to you, they probably attract some other creatures as well. Here are some tips for sharing your water gardens with creatures.
If you have fish in your water garden, you may have to contend with birds who want a tasty meal. One of the ways you can save your fish is to make your pond deeper. Many types of birds like to stand in water to fish, but if the pond is deep, it will be difficult for the birds to stand. (Raccoons may also go into your water garden to get fish, but if the pond is deep, they will leave since they don’t like to swim. ) Koi castles are another way to keep birds away since the castles will provide koi with a place to hide in the pond. Pouring some fish-safe dye into the water will also help to hide the fish from their feathered predators.
On the other hand, you may have a water garden specifically setup to attract birds to your backyard. One way to make your water garden more attractive to birds is to provide shallow areas where birds can stand to drink water. Try adding bricks, rocks, and even garden artwork to create shallow sides or islands for feathered friends.
Many mammals—mice, rabbits, cats, and dogs—also like water gardens, so check to see that both the creatures and your water garden are safe. For example, make sure that rocks around the water feature won’t easily tumble in if a creature stands on them. If you want to keep creatures away from your water garden, consider installing a sprinkler that is motion activated and will spray animals with water whenever they get near the water garden. Or you can simply plant taller flowers and place larger rocks around the water’s edge.
You’ve probably seen ponds and water features with large nets over them to deter unwanted creatures and to keep pets safe. There is a way to use pond netting and keep your water feature looking as nice as possible. If you place the netting to where it can be tight and submerged just slightly below the water level, it might not look too bad to humans.
Bugs will be attracted to water gardens as well. You can use a strong hose to get rid of any pests. You can also visit your local gardening store to find organic herbal sprays that will rid your pond plants of pests. You could try using a solution of 1 teaspoon mild detergent in 1 quart of water, but you may have a bubble fountain for a while.
Sharing your water garden with creatures may cause a few challenges, but the rewards of having a water garden will probably be well worth your efforts.
By Stephanie Sommer