No matter how small the space, you can still have water in your garden. Medway Master Gardeners learned about the value even a tiny pond can bring to a growing space at their latest In-Service Training day.
Maureen Rainey of Kent Wildlife Trust led the day’s workshop, set at the trust’s lovely headquarters at Tyland Barn, near Maidstone.
We started with a quiz on biodiversity in urban gardens, and were staggered to learn there could be thousands of species of insect present in a relatively small space. Some 40 species of bird alone also visit urban gardens.
Adding a pond is a great way to increase the numbers of “good” visitors to the growing space, with frogs and dragonflies soon colonising, and birds coming to drink and wash.
Ponds can be in plastic trugs, very familiar to gardeners!
All you need to do is introduce a “beach” or area for small mammals to climb out, fill with rainwater and add oxygenating weed.
The treat is to go out at night with a torch. If you shine it into your pond you should be able to see into it more clearly than in day time. Even an upturned dustbin lid filled with water with a rock in the middle will help wildlife in the garden.
Then it was outside to Tyland Barn’s wildlife haven grounds to examine all the different varieties from the huge pond near the entrance where newts and dragonfly lavae live to the tiniest trug ponds in the grounds of the farmhouse. We also looked at pond contruction and maintenance, including sticking to native oxygenators like hornwort.
Master Gardeners can use their knowledge of micro-ponds in the setting they are supporting in Medway. The volunteers mentor groups of people starting to grow some of their own food.
These include: Schools and Children’s Centres
Residential homes for the elderly
Workplaces, where colleagues want to work together to grow food.
If you are a group and think you could benefit from the support of a Master Gardener volunteer, please contact co-ordinator Liza by clicking here.
Master Gardeners are all enthusiastic volunteers, trained and supported by Garden Organic. If you live in Medway, have at least two years’ food growing experience and a couple of hours a week free to help others to start growing, contact Liza.
More about our training days, exclusive to Master Gardener volunteers, here