Drinking insects and birds, the evolution of garden fountains

kesz3There are amazing water fountains in Juno Heights Garden. They are made of copper and previously worked mostly as aesthetical items in the garden. Each contains about 200 liters of water. These fountains, if left alone untreated, provide far too perfect habitats for mosquitoes to propagate, which causes a lot of headache and itching for humans, spending time in the area.

One of the solutions for the mosquito problem is to put insecticides to the water. It is easy, cheap, requires low maintenance. But there is a huge problem with this: insects and birds are happy to find fresh water in the dry, hot months. They come to this wonderful garden, happy to find the water, they drink, and the insects die.

At Juno Heights Garden, we don’t want insects to die, for sure.

Our aim is to support Nature to create as big biodiversity as possible.

We want to attract beneficial insects that help with pollination and contribute to the healthy balances among all forms of life in the garden.

We want to produce organic food for ourselves and for that we don’t want to use any kind of chemicals. In natural ecosystems all life forms are connected to each other, so-called “pests” are controlled by so-called “beneficial” beings. For example, blackfly is perfectly controlled by ladybirds, if they are allowed to live in the given ecosystem. But if we put insecticide into the fresh water sources in the garden, we kill not only the mosquito larvae but also the other insects, and we don’t want that.

In fact, if we look at these beautiful structures, we can see them as new habitat elements that can act as amazing resources from the biodiversity aspect.

So, we decided to transform these fountains into insect and bird heavens. The fountains were cleaned and fresh water was placed in them. Around the fountains herbs were planted that serve many roles:

  • When they flower, they attract the insects to the garden.
  • They serve as insect feeding stuff.
  • Since they are close to the fountains, water, changed in the fountains regularly to avoid mosquitos laying their larvae, can be used effectively, for irrigating the plant.
  • They also provide humans with fresh, chemical free food and spices.

beeWe must admit, that we are very happy with this transformation. Now, these fountains, these beautiful human-made structures are not causing any damage to Nature and its creatures, but in fact, they provide great service and increase the habitat diversity of the garden. In the picture here there is a bee, who came to drink right after we finished the work with the fountains. Saving bees, or in fact not killing bees is a very serious global issue, about what you can read more here and here. And now, we not only support our own garden, but also contribute to the global movement of not killing bees (and other insects).

We are also thinking about putting some little fish into the fountains, and let them eat the mosquito larvae if they appear. Moreover, fish manure in the water increases the nutrients in it, which would help the plants as well. It all serves as a little aquaponic-like system.

In the following picture gallery, you can see how it is being done. Click on the picture below to start. By each photo, there is a short description under the picture information link (i).

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