How to Create a Garden Pond
A garden pond, with the right planning and stocked with the right kind of aquatic
plants and fish, will be a marvellous asset to your garden, attracting a great many
wild animals and eventually becoming a miniature nature reserve. It is possible
to have a pond which is self sustaining, requiring only the occasional
maintenance to keep it in good condition.
The Size of the Pond
A very large pond is often difficult to access and you have to keep in mind where
you would put all the water if, for any reason, it had to be emptied and, how
would you do it? On the other hand, a very small pond may require constant
attention as it may not be large enough to sustain itself.
A garden pond does not have to be too deep and should preferably have a shelf
about 12 “below the top of the side, to site aquatic plants. If you are digging the
pond to your own design and intend to have no fish, or only goldfish, or orfe, it
needs to be no more and no less than 2’ 6” at its greatest depth. However, if you
are keeping Koi, you will need a pool depth of 4ft, but remember deep ponds can
be difficult and dangerous to clean out.
Where to site the Pond
Try to site your pond in a position away from trees, as autumn leaves that fall on
the pond will rot and foul the water. Where this is not possible, you may have to
net the pond when the leaves are falling.
Bear in mind that rotting grass clippings in a pond are as dangerous as leaves,
so you need to consider how near the lawn the pond is going to be, or how
effective your lawn mower is in picking up the grass.
Ideally, a pond should have some shade rather than being in full sun all day.
If you are going to run a pump, you will also need a source of electricity.
Constructing the Pond
There are many ways to build a pond, the most common being pre-formed
purchased form a garden centre, the size of which may be determined by the
kind of transport available to get it home. Whilst a pre-formed pond is a ready
made pond, a great deal of accuracy is required in digging the hole, getting the
pond level and back filling with the soil you have taken out. Get it wrong and the
pond will leak water at one end and mice and other vermin may find a home in
the spaces between the soil and the pond sides.
An alternative method is to construct a pond to your own design, using a flexible
liner made of Butyl, or a strong plastic. You must however, make sure there are
no stones protruding from the pond sides that could puncture the liner, indeed it’s
a good idea to place a layer of damp sharp sand against the sides, before you
place the liner ready for filling.