Want to make your garden more interesting and add a focal point as well as attracting some wildlife? One great option is to build a garden pond. The great news is that doing so isn’t as hard as you thought and it’s a great challenge if you like spending time in your garden (which I’m guessing you do)

superpond
(Flikr, via wonderlane)

It may seem a bit cold right now, but this is the time to be planning your pond so that you can get cracking and have it ready for spring when plants and wildlife can take residence and get your pond established.

Where To Put It!

The first step is to think about positioning. This may seem pretty simple, but putting it in the wrong place can spoil the final product. The best position will depend on other things, such as whether you plan to install a pump or lights and how they will be powered.

In any case, best practice is to pick somewhere reasonably flat and not directly under trees, since falling leaves will make a mess of it each fall. Somewhere which gets a little sunlight but not too much is ideal.

If you can, using solar powered lighting and pumps will make the installation process simpler, but you should consider whether solar power can provide enough electricity.

Positioning Your Pond

Of course, it is also worth thinking about where you can get the most enjoyment out of your pond. Having it in the most ideal corner of your garden might be a waste if it means that you never get to enjoy it.

One option is to put it within view of your patio seating or so that you can see it from the kitchen window. You could even consider installing a small bridge over the pond so that you can make it a more central part of the garden.

Sizing And Shapes

The great thing about building your own pond is that you can make it whatever shape you want. A simple circle is the easiest option, but to make it fit in with the natural look of the garden you can go for an L-shape or a kidney bean shape.

Go for round corners and add plenty of different depths to give more variety. A shallow area will allow hedgehogs to drink, but deeper areas will allow for fish and various pond plants.

Lining Options – Flexible

Flexible lining is the cheaper option and also allows you to create whatever shape of pond you prefer. The downside of course is that the installation is slightly harder. Here is the basic process though:

Dig the hole according to your plans and carefully remove all of the stones and debris from the soil. Then fill a shallow layer of building sand to cover any smaller bits; this will prevent punctures in the liner.

Position the liner in the hole and carefully push it into the corners. Don’t stretch the liner and neaten up the edges, cut around the top leaving 6 – 12 inches excess. Use heavy stones to hold the liner in place while you fill the pond and check that the corners are settling in nicely.

Lining Options – Rigid

A rigid lining is an easier option and reduces the chances of punctures, but it is a more expensive option and you will have to have your pond in whatever shape the lining is made.

If you take the rigid lining option, the first step is to decide what shape (approximately) you would like the pond to be and then start shopping for the right lining. Once you have bought the lining you can start digging an appropriate hole.

Again, it is a good idea to remove any stones and use sand to smooth the surface, but you don’t need to be a thorough.

Your Pond’s Eco-System

To keep a healthy pond you will need to think about what life you would like it to contain and consider aeration and filtration. The most important thing is ensuring your pond contains enough oxygen to support the right pond and plant life.

Think about the water capacity of your pond and choose a pump accordingly. If your pond doesn’t have enough oxygen the water will become cloudy and could stagnate, creating a less than ideal environment for wildlife.

Once your pond is finished and full of water, it is a good idea to wait for a couple of weeks for the water to settle before adding plants, and potentially another 2 or 3 weeks before adding any fish (if you plan to).


 

About The Author
This post was written by Ricky Peterson from Swallow Aquatics (link to website) who specialise in aquatics and gardening supplies. Ricky loves his garden & the great outdoors even during the winter months.


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