Garden Photo of the Day

Tom’s Pond

Attracting wildlife with a water feature

goldfish in a pond with lily pads

Tom Fisher is sharing his Buffalo, New York, garden with us today, including a feature in the garden that is popular with all sorts of visitors.

We have a very small prefab pond we bought a few years ago. The day we filled it a toad took up residence. Since then, we’ve added a couple of pondlets to create a small waterfall. Now every season the toads and frogs spawn at least twice a year, the birds bathe and drink from the waterfall, and three goldfish spend their summers in the pond then like snowbirds head south (to a basement tub) for the winter. It has truly been our best addition to the garden; it’s brought so much life and enjoyment to us and the creatures we didn’t even know were around us. I still don’t know where the frogs came from and how they found the pond. We run a 3-in-1 pond filter with the pond that we also take out with the fish in the fall, and the maintenance of the pond is almost nothing at all. I encourage you all to consider adding a pond. You might be surprised how even a little one can add so much.

frog amongst green plantsOne of the frog residents of the pond is nestled in the surrounding greenery.

tadpoles in a small pond amongst rocksLook closely at the trickle of water flowing through the pebbles and you’ll see countless tiny black tadpoles, a future generation of frogs or toads just getting started in the tiny garden pond.

goldfish in a pond with lily padsThe three goldfish that live in the pond during the summer come inside for the winter. In larger ponds they could overwinter outside, but a small pond in a cold climate can freeze solid, so these fish need a little winter vacation.

small garden pond with waterfalls surrounded by plantsThis view of the whole pond includes the series of pondlets above it that make a small series of waterfalls. Even the smallest garden has room for a little space like this.

garden pond lit up at nightHere’s the pond lit dramatically at night and surrounded by greenery and flowers.


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View Comments


  1. runfortheroses 07/19/2021

    Cool addition, Tom! Great way to support your local wildlife! Go Bills!

  2. mainer59 07/19/2021

    Love the frog and "real" wildlife. Goldfish are illegal in some northern states. They are a terrible invasive if they get into natural bodies of water.

  3. Rebeccazone7 07/19/2021

    Love the great pictures and looking at them does make me a little jealous, but I have a serious fear of raccoons and one time visiting my sister outside of Seattle, I looked out the window in the night and the raccoons at her pond were the size of "OH MY".

  4. gardendevas 07/19/2021

    How delightful!

  5. btucker9675 07/19/2021

    Everything about your pond is so lovely and how wonderful to see all of the tadpoles! The lighthouse is perfect.

  6. sheila_schultz 07/19/2021

    Your pond and the surrounding plants and stones are a lovely addition to your yard, Tom. I can't imagine the pleasure it gives you watching all the critters frolicking in the flowing water! It's wonderful.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 07/19/2021

    Wow! You did an excellent job of making the plastic pond liner look natural! I know how hard that is, because I tried it myself years ago in a shade garden and I just gave up LOL!

    I really LOVE what you created here, it's just rich with plants and life and such a great garden feature....and I can tell you are respectful and caring of the the creatures in it.

    Your garden post has been refreshingly different from so many others, with the focus on how a water feature supports wildlife!
    And very well done- and a beautiful design!

  8. user-5117752 07/19/2021

    Oh how charming and delightful!!! I ditto everything that SimpleSue said! And, thank you for taking the time to photo and share this gem with us!

  9. Cenepk10 07/19/2021

    Truly gorgeous. I have an antique baby bathtub on a stand. Have the same things. No filter. Just a solar fountain thingy I received as a gift. The frogs, bees, birds hang out. It really is encouraging to take the next step.

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