How-to-guide: Creating your garden Pond.

Building a pond in your garden can be aesthetic, attract together wildlife such as cats, pigeons, foxes, and cranes to name a few. Most wildlife are attracted to ponds as a food source and watering hole so think before you locate your pond.

Ponds are easy to build or install if using a kit and size and shape are probably the most important aspects to consider.

Larger ones will need a descent size real estate as they will require filtration systems incorporated as well.

Getting a good quality pond liner is a must as it’s very important that it does not puncture due to wear and tear and withstand the extreme weather conditions.

Safety is also a big consideration and well designed pond can be not only a good water feature but will be safe. Consider design build a raised pond. Maybe pond for Koi then will need to be fairly big.

When building my pond The following aspects needed detail consideration:

Foundations:

To cater for the pond weight my foundations were built using square paving slabs layed on top of a layer of sharp sand which itself was layed on top of a layer of hard core. I chose four square concrete slabs layed together to guide me in keeping the pond square and also rotated the slabs 45 degrees to give diamond effect . Aside from using a prefabricated plastic shell and placing it into the ground a good way to make your pond is to use a flexible pond liner placed in a created pond cavity.

The Walls:

If you are going to do the project yourself you need to make sure you do a good job creating the boundary walls of the pond cavity. The level of knowledge and skill needed to build a wall is important to build a clean smart looking walls that are going to immediately grab the attention of any viewer looking at the pond. So if you are not confident at building the wall get a builder in to do it for you. My pond walls consisted of 5 course brickwork layed on top of concrete foundation slabs. For the walls I used the same style bricks as my house which made the feature blend in with boththe house and the adjoining conservatory. The walls for the pond were kept single rather then double because it would facilitate a bigger pond cavity.

Adding Water fountain Pump

Pumps keep the water in your pond healthy by evenly distributing nutrients in the water to fish, plants and other aquatic life. Running water also prevents stagnation, cuts down on algae and mosquitoes, and ensures that oxygen levels are distributed throughout the pond. For my pond it served as dual purpose water feature with fountain and also for keeping goldfish. 



The Precautions

Its vital during design, location and build you think of child safety. Generally my pond was quite small, raised from the ground and 200mm water depth. The added safety feature I installed was netting which also served to keep the goldfish safe from the Cranes, small birds and cats.

The Maintenance

Once built properly your pond should remain maintenance free throughout the year, but there are situations which could require your attention at some point. The pond location when in the vicinity of large trees for instance could be problematic. During Autumn, the fallen leaves will require pond clearing and cleaning. Clear decaying vegetation, including old Lilly leaves, which can increase nitrogen levels, turning water green while building up a layer of sediment at the bottom, which can make the pond smell. Remove dead or dying foliage frequently.

Regular pond maintenance is good for the aquatic life. You can enjoy a wonderful ecosystem by just taking proper care of your structure and its aquatics. If you are raising koi or goldfish and growing aquatic plants, you can be sure to enjoy beautiful fish and stunning plants with proper care and maintenance of your water feature.

As with any part of the garden, a pond will need regular maintenance to keep plants in check, especially as pond plants can be vigorous growers.

Without a pump and filtration system, you will need the correct balance of plants to keep your water clean and clear. All ponds green up a little when the water warms up but don’t panic – if the balance is right it will quickly clear again. The removal of seedhead will also help reduce weeding and thinning in future. 
Avoid conducting maintenance in spring, when you may inadvertently remove tadpoles and other aquatic larvae and eggs from the pond. It’s also worth leaving any vegetation you’ve removed next to the pond for a few hours, so any invertebrates hidden among it can make their way back to the water. Do check leaves for eggs, and return any you find to the pond.