Three of the other allotment plots have small ponds. These are a magnet for my girls and each visit to the allotment they inspect each pond in turn. They have been especially interested in the one with the tadpoles. So much so that we decided it was time we ought to put our own pond in - just a little one. With any luck the frogs will help with slug control too.
Having decided to get a pond I went to a local garden centre, tracked down an assistant and said, "I'd like one of those, please." But it turns out that ponds are very popular at the moment, particularly the little one I was after so instead of getting a pond I got a sheet of paper to prove I was on the waiting list. The assistant asked me if I'd like to go on the waiting list for chickens as these are also hugely popular at the moment. Tempting but I declined - one thing at a time.
Two weeks later I received a phone call to inform me that ponds were now back in stock so the next day I went and bought one - 81 litre capacity for £14.99. Late Saturday afternoon my husband put on his boots and grabbed his spade and off we went to the allotment. An hour later we had a pond, complete with water and surrounded by a pile of attractive pebbles and stones collected from years of seaside holidays.
The next day we visited the garden centre again and this time we bought 3 marginal plants, a mini water lily, some oxygenating elodea and a bag of gravel. The rest of the day the weather flitted rapidly between sunshine and showers (sometimes at the same time!) and blew a gale. Early evening we dashed out and put the plants in, distributed the gravel around the outside and took a cupful of pond water out of one of the other ponds to introduce some wildlife to our pond. A fellow plot holder has promised us some tadpoles out of his garden pond so that should be fun!
So it was £14.99 for the pond, £3.99 for the gravel and £20 for the plants. Fairly expensive for imperfect slug control but a great source of entertainment and education for the girls and definitely worth it!