by Pamela Neeley
Note from Suna: Pamela Neeley from the El Camino Real chapter has been working with water features on her property for the past few months (years), creating not only areas of beauty (sight and sound), but places for aquatic plants to flourish, and wildlife to sustain themselves on. I toured her property a couple of weeks ago and encouraged her to share some of her ideas and techniques with fellow Master Naturalists. Maybe you can borrow of her creative thoughts some in your own gardens and wild areas!
The rock is for butterflies and others to perch on A leaky hose fills the container thirsty bees This water feature is made from a hose repair that leaks. The container spills out on one edge, and the bees and wasps congregate. So far, the stones haven’t attracted many customers; bees like the edge.
See the fish? Stunning skink Lots of vegetation to hide in Here’s a simple water feature using a dripping hose connection. It feeds this container that’s used by my dogs and cats. There’s also a goldfish, goldfish housing (clay pot shards), and something green: a length of crow’s foot. A new visitor was This toothy skink, with beautiful turquoise tail stripes.
Here’s another example of a dripping faucet connection caught into a container. Cats and dogs like this one, too.
This large, formal water feature has an electric pump, a ceramic fountain, goldfish, and terra-cotta shards. I didn’t think the wildlife cared for it until I saw the toad contemplating the water music.
This one is movable. I was very proud of my engineering and water movement. The birds were curious, but didn’t descend on it, so I’m not very bird clever. The fountain developed from a need to either water trees or the cement slab of the house. So, I added hope for bird visits. I do like the flexibility of being able to move this around.
This is Ruby Ruby likes the water. This one’s a simple water feature with dwarf papyrus. The roots have created an underwater jungle. The two goldfish have a strawberry pot and a terra-cotta pot with side pockets to swim in and around.
I’ve seen wasps and bees here, along with an occasional dog or cat. The water is very clean. It’s a straightforward container with a solar fountain that works, terra-cotta shards housing, a goldfish (previously two goldfish), a juncus, twisted arrow, and a fairy god duck. There are enough nutrients in this water to experiment with growing lettuce or other edible in a Styrofoam float.
A few of my water features have rubber duckies. Here are Count Duckula and Ghost duck. Some color fading has occurred.