Not everyone has space for a garden pond. But even on the balcony and terrace, the element of water can be staged.
The element of water should not be missing in any garden. Because water is just good for you: it calms the senses, cools the air and looks fresh and lively. No other means can bring nature home so directly and unadulterated. And also in terms of design, a water basin – whether planted close to nature or strictly formal – is a real asset to the garden.
But it is also one size smaller. There is space for a mini pond on every terrace – and the effort is also limited: a waterproof container made of wood or plastic, a pond rose and a little reed, that’s all you need at the beginning. And for everyone who wants to start very small: Nature can also be easily brought into the city with a small balcony pond, a stone water feature, the said mini pond or even with a bird bath.
Mini ponds in a barrel or bucket
Miniature ponds in a free-standing vessel are the simplest solution for balconies, smaller terraces or gardens. Almost anything you like is suitable as a container – the main thing is that the container is waterproof and not too small (from approx. 40 liters). Because the larger the water volume, the easier it is to keep the pond in ecological balance.
Halved wine barrels, which are available in garden shops, are popular and practical, but glazed clay pots and large plastic buckets or barrels are also suitable. Especially with the latter, exciting DIY ideas around the terrace pond can be realized, for example with a wooden housing or a simple bast mat, behind which the black plastic disappears. However, caution is advised with old zinc tanks: the zinc contained can dissolve in the water and prevent the plants from growing.
Create mini pond: Here’s how
Once the right container for the mini pond has been found, it’s time to create and plant it. What do you need? Gravel, bricks, plants – and of course water. First the gravel – wash beforehand, otherwise the water will become cloudy! – filled into the pond until the ground is covered a few centimeters. Larger plants are then immediately placed in the ground, and smaller swamp plants are placed in the planting basket on the stacked bricks. In this way, a low bank zone can be simulated, which makes the mini pond on the terrace even more ecologically diverse.
Small-sized aquatic and swamp plants, dwarf water lilies and grasses are particularly suitable for planting – it is best to get expert advice here at the garden center. Crucial here: the size and above all the depth of the pond. Water lilies, for example, only thrive from a water depth of approx. 40 cm, while smaller swamp plants from the riparian zone also feel comfortable in shallow pools. However, fish should always be avoided. Because a balcony pond is just too small for species-appropriate keeping; In addition, feed residues and excrement quickly bring the biological balance to a head. Therefore: rather concentrate entirely on beautiful plants.
Location and maintenance of the terrace pond
Sure: Aquatic plants also need sun. However, too much light quickly causes the algae to sprout and the water to tip over. A mini pond is therefore best in partial shade: four to six hours of sunshine a day are ideal, but the hot midday sun should not be expected of the pond, especially in midsummer.
Once the pond is set up, the effort involved in maintaining it is limited. A small pond pump or a mini fountain helps to avoid algae plagues, which ventilate the pond and at the same time make the element water really lively. Important to know: Water lilies don’t like the flow of water – only an chemical remedy can help against an algae plague.
Keyword plague: the wet element has a magical attraction not only on humans, but also on mosquitoes. Especially in summer it can hardly be avoided that the uninvited guests frolic in the sun over the mini pond. The most effective trick, on the other hand: large-leaved aquatic plants that keep the open water surface as small as possible.
High pond and terrace pond
You can bring even more real pond atmosphere to the terrace with a free-standing high pond. At first glance, high ponds resemble the classic raised bed for growing vegetables, but they are constructed differently: a plastic water container serves as the basis, which in turn is surrounded by a decorative border made of wood, stone or metal. In the garden specialty store or from specialized Internet providers, high ponds can now be found in different sizes and shapes: square, octagonal or round, from barrel size to a full-grown pond.
High ponds are a real alternative wherever it is not possible to create a full-grown garden pond, for example if the landlord does not play along. However, they are usually too large for the balcony – and also too heavy. Because the immense volume of water provides so much weight that the high pond should only be set up on a stable, stable surface.
Stone fountain and bird baths
The creation and maintenance of a small pond is too complex? No problem: the water element can just as well be brought to the balcony with small stone fountains, water gardens or sparkling stones. Although the special character of a planted mini biotope is missing here, you do not need any gardening care.
The big challenge: the design. Because most of what the garden center and hardware store offer in this area fits in the allotment garden rather than on a stylish city balcony. If you bring a bit of patience, you will find beautiful pieces, for example on the Internet. And even a shallow water bowl as a bird bath brings a naturally fresh accent to the balcony – try it out!
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