Perfect partners: warm weather and water in the garden. Why have a pond?
When the suns shining we are all drawn naturally to water. Most people cant resist dipping fingers into a cool pond and the sound of trickling and sprinkling attract people like a magnet. Theres a practical side to adding a pond to a garden too. Water, particularly if its moving, cools the air around it. Tempted to add a pond to your garden? DO IT!
Ponds have many different benefits
and cooling the air for us is just one positive aspect. The next is wildlife they need water too. Birds drink from ponds; insects lay their eggs
; and frogs and newts
soon colonise a natural pond. Plants move in too, but you can choose the best varieties
to ensure that they dont consume too much area. A pond can transform the atmosphere. It creates reflections, adds interest, movement and bounces the light around. Whats not to love about water in a garden
A garden pond makes you feel relaxed. It provides a feature and even cools the air around it.
Safety comes first
So, how do you do it? Ponds can be as simple as you please. The main consideration is safety and its important to remember that small children and even vulnerable adults can drown in just a tiny amount of water
. If your garden is likely to be accessed by people in these categories it should always be carefully supervised. There are also plenty of grill or cover options that work well too.
All small children should be carefully supervised around water in the garden.
What you choose
will depend on your space and style. Formal ponds
look great in a garden that matches and these would generally be square, rectangular or circular.
Public parks are great places for ponds and can be highly attractive, particularly if they have fountains and moving water features.
Informal gardens would probably benefit from an irregularly-shaped pond. Naturalistic gardens might make a great setting for a bog-garden
that culminates in a shallow pond, offering the very best conditions for wildlife.
Shallow water is great for widlife.
If you want fish in your pond,
youll need to provide some shade. Even water lily pads
floating on the surface will suffice, provided theres enough of them. Ideally you will cover two thirds of the surface. But they dont like moving water so any trickling or splashing water feature will have to be positioned away from the lily pads. Beware of over-feeding your fish
because decomposition of food in warmer weather will increase ammonia levels.
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Pond construction and positioning
There are rigid liners and flexible pond liners
which need to be sunk down into the ground, also free-standing water features,
which could be just a simple bowl.
Free standing water features can be a simple addition to a garden.
All these have varying degrees of attraction. If simplicity is the aim, a container filled with water will suffice. Make sure theres an easy escape route for wildlife. This can be provided by rocks, plants or a sloping side with enough grip to make it non-slip.
Something simple can be highly effective. This rock has a little bubbling fountain.
Things to avoid? Artificial rock formations which rarely look authentic; gushing water features that sound at best like a sewer and at worst, like a urinating horse; intricately balanced urns trickling into each other, with a cable leading to the mains; ponds flanked by an ugly box containing a filter and pump; any sign of cables and pumps, in fact!
Where will it go?
Firstly, decide why you want a pond or water feature and what you want to use it for. This will affect the positioning of your pond, and the design. You might want to sit on the edge with a glass of wine or to have it close to an eating area so that your guests can hear the trickling water.
Think about how you are likely to use your pond and this can help you decide where to position it.
If its for wildlife, you will probably want it to be discreet and it can be tucked away where disturbance will be minimal.
Wildlife needs somewhere private and quiet. If you want to attract amphibians, insects and small mammals, position a pond away from noise.
Whatever you choose, make sure it blends with the style of the garden.
For example, try to avoid the creation of a country stream within your modern, city garden. Youll probably want to create a restful scene that fits in with the surroundings but beware of adding something that appears it fell randomly from the sky. Avoid overhanging deciduous trees which will give you a lot of maintenance during the autumn and choose a site where there is some sun.
Ponds can give you energy and the sound of moving water is both soothing and uplifting.
Lighting. You can use lighting in a creative way in order to make an impact in and around your pond. Submerged LEDs are effective in a formal pond, and gentle lighting of planting around the pond can also looks amazing.
Let there be light! But make it subtle. Lighting is helpful in the evening but you don't want to light up the whole sky.
Within a moving water feature
you would be wise to use larger pipes rather than small diameter, where possible. This will save you a lot of maintenance as smaller pipes tend to get clogged up.
Incorporate a drain into your pond so that you can clean it periodically.
Test a fountain for sound as well as appearance before you buy - you dont want to upset the neighbours!
A trickle or a gush? Loud water features could be annoying for the neighbours.
Do a bit of research before buying a water pump. Go for an energy-efficient pump, maybe with a timer or motion sensor. Consider solar pumps too. But remember, these will need an ugly solar panel in order to catch the rays.
Most importantly, make sure your pond is pleasing to your eye. Youll want to spend as much time around it as possible! Enjoy.
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