As summer approaches, and the hot weather commences, it’s probably about time to consider your garden area and what you can add to make it into an attractive ‘living’ area.
Maybe a pond might be a great idea for your garden.
It needn’t be an expensive proposition.
A friend of mine had a few old sleepers spare, bought some black plastic laid them down in a square shape about two high, placed the plastic over the whole thing, had some spare rocks placed these around the edges, bought a few plants in pots, for the pond and sides and presto a garden pond with little work.
Today this column is about spending some money and making it into a feature in your garden.
Choose a spot that has light but is not full sun, maybe with a little bit of protection from the elements, like a large shady tree nearby.
Clear the area of weeds and stones so that you have a smooth base where a pool liner can be laid without tearing.
Now there several ways of water containment, digging a hole for the cover, mounding the edges to get some height at ground level or placing some sort of barrier like sleepers around the edges.
The height is a consideration as digging deeper than 300mm is hard work and best left for a machine to do.
Make it easy for yourself, don’t go any deeper than about 200mm, as this allows an amount of pond area that’s easy to maintain and as large as you want it to be.
Mind you at this stage, you could place one of those ready-made garden ponds, available in all shapes and sizes in the hole you’ve just dug.
This would save on the pool lining cost, but then you’re up to the mercy of a standard size and you might want something different.
So, let’s assume you have the hole dug and the lining in, now what.
You could fill it with water now to see if you have any leaks and leave for a few days before adding plants.
Should you find a leak, it’s a lot easier to fix than pulling all the plants out again and fixing it then.
Place some sandstone rocks around the edges and maybe a couple of large ones in the pond as feature rocks, together with some gravel in the bottom. Then add your plants.
If you place enough oxygen-loving plants in the water, you don’t need to have a pump, just add a few small fish, not too many, as the food you feed them from time to time may contaminate your water quality.
There are some frogs that just love ponds and within a few weeks you may hear some croaking going on.
Sometimes it may be too much to bear, so don’t place a pond near a bedroom and be aware that snakes like water too. So be alert.
The quality of the water is easily seen, so keep an eye out for any cloudiness, work out why, and fix the problem.
Building a pond can be as easy or complicated.
NOTE: Children can be drawn to water, so place a strong steel mesh over the top if you are concerned.