A pond is great for us organic gardeners, it’s a good way of attracting friendly creatures like birds, frogs and toads into your garden to eat up slugs and other pests that are such a headache for us. It’s like inviting a whole little army of helpers in to do some of the work for us, and of course ponds look wonderful too.
Find the right position for it:
For obvious reasons the ground has to be level without overhanging trees, they just clog up the pond during autumn and most plants like a bit of sun.
The size and shape:
Keep it in proportion to the size of the garden, and remember a large pond will generate a lot of soil that will have to be taken away, though it would be much better if it could be used in some way in the garden, land-fill always feels like a failure.
Here’s a nice little pond with a small deck overhanging it:
Measure it out:
Use a rope, drizzle of sand or similar, to mark out the shape, imagine what it will look like from inside the house , what will the view be like from upstairs? Think about it for a day or two and make any tweaks in the size or shape.
Making the pond:
Mark the edge with pegs and twine and off you go.
Make sure one side has a slope as an exit for little creatures, remember to make a shelf on the other sides for the marginal plants.
It’s a good idea to have the centre at least 90 cm deep so that for creatures to hibernate during winter. This depth also helps to keep the water cooler, warm water is more likely to grow algae and pond weed.
Remove stones from the dug-out surface and put a layer of sand over the soil to protect the liner.
Place a butyl liner over the sand and smooth it out, removing as many folds as possible.
Gradually fill it with water, then cut excess liner from the edge leaving about 20cm, this can be covered with soil and turf.
Fill it with a mix of submerges oxygenating plants to help keep the water clear, marginals at the edge and plants that cover the water like small water-lilies.
Two important points
- if you have small children, or ones that visit regularly, it’s best to make do for now with a bird-bath or shallow water feature.
- Fish and wildlife ponds don’t mix, it’s either one or the other.
Early autumn is the best time to make a pond, so you’ve got a few weeks to mull it over and work out the best place and size to suit your garden.
Here’s an earlier post on ponds and water features to inspire you.