Archive for April, 2016

With basic problem solving in building a pond system in your garden, just take a look at photo’s online after establishing your goal/s. My own goals are three to four things, namely:

  1. Wildlife promotion
  2. Pest Control
  3. Microclimate
  4. Additional Edible Plants

With these points in mind and with Wildlife Promotion and Pest Control being the main two objectives, the pond will have to be habitat friendly and provide food source / forage opportunity and shelter.

Previously I posted an article (Click Here) titled ‘Wildlife and Frog Friendly Ponds’ where at the very end, I posted one picture and challenged my viewers to ”spot the mistakes”, below in the same image, I have circled the problems which wildlife (mainly frogs and newts) would experience in that particular design …

perma ponds - wrong doings complete

here’s the list of issues that would need fixing to bring this pond to be very beneficial for wildlife:

  1. Do not create a ring of stones without gaps between, these stones will heat up during the day and may become too hot for organisms to access the ”emergence zone”. I would completely remove smaller stones creating a gully and I would plant soft ground cover such as Mind Your Own Business ‘Soleirolia soleirolii‘ which will grow between the rocks and give the pond a rustic feel eventually
  2. This clump of plant is too large and should be reduced soon, the best is to have different species of plants with different functions rather than only one
  3. There is a lack of plant diversity Especially that I cannot see an oxygenating plant (this pond size is ideal for at least 5-7 plant types including at least two oxygenators) This will provide much needed in-habitat shelter and cover from predation as well as housing for the future generations of tadpoles etc.
  4. Looks like there is no gradual slope making it easy for frogs and newts to exit easily, this includes that there is not enough cover planted outside the pond which would provide much needed shelter for emerging / entering wildlife (there are a few but not ideal)

If you remember above I mentioned four goals I have for my pond requirements, the remaining two were Microclimate and Edible Plants, with microclimate I have placed my small pond at the base of my squash / pumpkin trellis, the pond will reflect sunlight underneath the leaves of the sprawling / climbing plants and assist in the microclimate by storing heat and slowly releasing it at night.

In terms of edible plants, since my pond is quite small I am only going to have water mint at this time as my regular mint (in a pot) is not doing so well, so at this early stage I’m going to only experiment and see how it goes, water mint is also very beneficial to bees and pollinators so it definitely ticks a box in terms of Permaculture.

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Allotments in Europe can best be described to those in other parts of the world as similar to community gardens, with the emphasis on that each individual gets a designated plot (if available) to grow primarily, healthy food for themselves and family.
This is not restricted to food growing, at least not in the UK that I am aware of, I have seen plots dedicated almost 100% to growing certain tree / shrubs which are good for weaving and others where the owner (tenant) just wants a small shed with some kind of cooking devices, seed storage, sitting area and a kettle to make tea or coffee with a garden mostly covered in ornamental flowers and plants.

Within the UK, interest in allotments surges during economic recessions etc. often causing dismay when people find out there is a 10 year waiting list for one in their area!


Allotment numbers in Europe are as follows (Source: allotmentphotogallery.com):

Germany 1.4 million allotments
United Kingdom 330,000
The Netherlands 240,000
Denmark 62,120
Sweden 51,000
Belgium 42,000
Austria 38,000
Switzerland  27,000
France 26,000
Finland  5,000
Norway  2,000
Malta 50

In countries like Denmark and England, allotment gardening can be traced back as far as the 1730’s, whilst the rest of Europe started joining in around the 1800’s onwards till today with Malta starting 50 allotments in April 2011. In Germany, the largest provider and user of Council / Municipal supplied allotments, the land used for the 1.4 million allotments accounts to 470 square Kilometers !

Click HERE for Quick Tour of Britain’s Best Allotment Winners Plot 2015 (Video)

Click HERE for a previous post of an Allotment site in Bristol which is managed by Mike Feingold, an old school Permaculturist (Video Tour / educational)