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Creating the perfect garden pond

When first consider installing a pond in your garden you need to decide what sort of pond you want. Whether you want it just for plants and wildlife or if you are going to add fish as well. You also need to decide what features you want such as a waterfall or, for the more ambitious, maybe a small fountain. Whatever you decide, it is better to go bigger with your pond then if you want to add things later you will have enough space.

Location is important for the pond. The closer to the house the better, because then you can enjoy it more and also observe any wildlife that may come visiting. But keep it away from any rain overflows or drainpipes because any surplus water going into the pond may be contaminated. Locate it where it gets the maximum amount of sun for the plants and keep it away from trees so that it doesn’t keep filling up with dead leaves.

When you have decided on the location then you can start digging. Remember go as big as you can. When the hole is ready, line it with at least ½ inch of soft sand and pat it down firmly. You then need to line the pond with a pond liner which you can get from most garden centres. To get the size of the pond liner simply measure the length and width, add twice the depth and add a couple of feet to allow for some overlap.

Lay the liner in the pond and fit it so that it follows the contours of your dugout. It’s best to take off your shoes to avoid damaging the liner. The last thing you need is a leak as soon as you start to fill it with water. Once the liner is fitted and is as flush with the contours as you can get it, then it’s time to add the water.

Now you can put in your waterfall. You can buy a waterfall mould or make one yourself. You are basically making a slope for the water to cascade down. You can use stones or earth for this and once you have your desired height again cover it with soft sand and then position the waterfall mould or cover it with the liner. Knowing you were adding a waterfall you would need to make allowances for this when measuring the liner.

The next stage is the external water tank and pump. Again you can buy a pump from a garden centre or pond specialist and it can take the form of an electrical or solar pump. This will be in the bottom of the pond and will recirculate the water from the pond, up to the tank and down the waterfall. The feed pipe from the pump to the tank can be covered or buried so that it doesn’t look unsightly.

Around the pond, to hold the liner in place and also to add a decorative touch you must lay some coping stones. Add some oxygenated plants and maybe some water lilies, whatever takes your fancy, and if you have shelves in the pond you can lay some more coping stones there.

Then connect your pump to the electric supply and switch it on. Initially the water level will go down so you will need to add more. You should then see the waterfall in action and your pond is ready for you to enjoy whether you wish to add fish or just to watch and listen to the gurgling water on a summer evening.



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