On the level Deciding between aboveground and inground gardens

If you know where you want your water garden, you can begin to explore the physical form that your garden will take. Water gardens generally are either above ground in a container of some sort or set into the ground as a pond. Read on for some points to consider when deciding which type to go with.

AboVeground Water gardens

Consider where you've decided to locate your pond. Aboveground water gardens are a commanding presence in a landscape. For this reason, gardeners generally site them where people can enjoy them up close, such as on a patio or deck, or next to one, or against a wall or fence where blocking things from view or obstructing foot traffic isn't an issue. Figure 17-1 shows a typical container, or aboveground, water garden.

Aboveground displays involve an important practical concern, too. They're substantial and heavy. You want to make sure that you can find a container, tub, or liner that can support the weight of the water without buckling or bursting. One way around this is to erect a support around it, insulated if you like. Use stones, bricks, or timber.

Last but not least, a broad lip or edge allows you to sit beside the display, to admire and care for the fish and plants within. Aboveground tubs and water gardens, therefore, are a good choice for anyone who can't or prefers not to do a lot of bending and stooping.

Figure 17-1:

A containerized water garden, ideal for porches, patios, and balconies.

Figure 17-1:

A containerized water garden, ideal for porches, patios, and balconies.

Insulated Tubs Fish

Figure 17-2:

A garden plan featuring a garden "backdrop" for an in-ground pond.

In-ground Water gardens

In-ground water gardens, of course, look more natural and thus are the best choice when you want to integrate a water garden into a lawn or garden. After the liner of your choice is in the ground, you can attractively edge it in stone or brick and some landscaping (picture some lush hostas or irises, or even simply some drooping ferns). The end result becomes an enchanting garden focal point or destination, and it can look like it's always been there! See Figure 17-2 for a nice plan for an in-ground water garden.

In addition to accommodating the site issues I describe previously in "Looking at Location," you also have to deal with the issue of potential runoff or seepage of water and dirt (or mud!). An in-ground pond should never be flush with the surrounding terrain. Here are two ways to handle this issue:

1 Allow for a raised lip. Seat the lip an inch or more above the ground. Don't worry about its looking unnatural; edging materials and pondside landscaping can hide the edge from view.

1 Grade away from the pond's edges. This grade encourages runoff to travel away rather than into your display. If your site has a slight slope to it, a berm or retaining wall may be necessary, and a drainage trench on the uphill side is wise. Creating planting ledges within your pond, as shown in Figure 17-3, can also help.

Figure 17-2:

A garden plan featuring a garden "backdrop" for an in-ground pond.

Landscaping Hide Above Ground Pool

Figure 17-3:

A cross-section of a pond plan showing ground pool critical depths and planting ledges.

Figure 17-3:

A cross-section of a pond plan showing ground pool critical depths and planting ledges.

Pond With Liner Cross Sections

Wet Soil

Water Inlet

Marginal Plants

Brick Spacer

Pond Liner

Oxygenator Plastic

Storage Box Spacer

Felt or Sand Underlay

Wet Soil

Water Inlet

Marginal Plants

Brick Spacer

Pond Liner

Oxygenator Plastic

Storage Box Spacer

Felt or Sand Underlay

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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