Hints and Tips
A garden pond can transform the atmosphere of a
garden, bringing differing colours, light and movement. By adding
a pump then you can enjoy the wonderful sound of moving water also.
In a small garden an area of open water can actually increase the
sense of space. On of our customers in Kingston boasts three ponds,
one small and two large, each of them differing greatly. The largest
has many fish of differing types with wonderful fountains containing
seven mallards swooping toward the water, whilst ‘dirty duck’
is quieter and has a stream running gently into it. The small pond
separates the filter system from the main pond and delivers water
to the largest of the ponds via a small stream.
There are several different styles of garden pond;
which you choose and how you stock the pond will depend on the style
of your garden and the space you have available. Square, circular
and rectangular ponds are ideal for formal gardens, while irregular-shaped
ponds, suit less formal settings.
It is essential that a pond is sited correctly
from the start; it is very difficult to put things right later on.
If you get it wrong it will require a lot more looking after in
order to keep it looking as you would like to see it. Choose an
open, sunny site that is not exposed to the wind and avoid areas
that are in deep shade or near overhanging deciduous trees. If the
pond is to be sunk into the ground, you must check for underground
pipe work, cables and tree roots as these may cause problems now
and in the future. Very quickly, the pond will integrate into the
garden so always try and leave space to plant a border along at
least one side of the pond as this will help to provide a natural
transition into the rest of the garden. Also consider what the reflection
in the surface of the water will be like particularly in the summer
In general, the larger the pond the easier it will
be to look after provided it has been sited in the right place.
If you want a traditional feature, filled with aquatic plants and
fish, a pond with a surface area of around 5m² (that's about
7x8ft in old money) will be large enough to be self-sustaining.
The deepest area should be about 60cm (2ft), with 15-cm (6-in) deep
shelves running along the edges where shallow-water marginal plants
can be grown. It is important to have deep-water areas in a pond
to prevent rapid fluctuations in water temperature that can put
fish under stress.
If you want something smaller, then be prepared to maintain your
pond regularly or forget about stocking it with fish. Plant-only
pools can look very attractive and still be home to a wealth of
wildlife. Indeed, if you want a wildlife pond, it is important not
to add fish to the water because they will eat many of the creatures
you are trying to encourage.
Calculating the size of liner If you have decided to use a flexible
liner for your pond you will need to work out which size of liner
to buy. The easiest way to do this is to use the following formula:
2 x maximum depth of pond + maximum length of pond = length of liner
2 x maximum depth of pond + maximum width of pond = width of liner
So, for a pond that is 4x3m with a maximum depth of 50cm you would
require a liner that is at least 5m by 4m.
Edging Your Pond
A pond needs a neat and practical edging to make
it an attractive feature. You can edge a pond in a range of different
materials; which one you choose will depend on the style of pond
you are trying to create.
These require a formal edging. This is easiest
to achieve using paving slabs bedded on mortar, trapping the edge
of the liner underneath. For best effect, make sure the paving overhangs
the edge of the pond by about 5cm (2in) to help hide the liner from
Irregularly shaped pools look best using paving
of different sizes or bricks that can be laid on edge to follow
the sweep of the curve. You can use pebbles and or cobbles which
run down into the water and can be left loose. If you use paving
slabs or bricks you will have to bed the edging material on mortar,
trapping the liner underneath. If you want a more natural look,
the pond can be edged as described in the wildlife ponds section.
A wildlife pond needs a natural-looking edge
that allows easy access for the resident and visiting wild creatures.
We have customers who have asked for a beach effect and pebbles
are the best for this. Turf can also be laid up to the edge of the
pond but it must not be treated with any chemicals and that grass
cuttings will fall into the water which will need to be removed!
It is worth including a safe place along one edge to view the wildlife
– timber decking is a good choice because it blends in well,
but assorted paving or bricks can also look effective.