The main thing you need to know about planning a water garden is that almost all the effort and expense is at the outset. After a water garden, large or small, is up and running, it's surprisingly easy to maintain. You have to ensure that the important needs of the plants and the fish are already met before you even acquire them, and you do that through careful planning. The following sections run you through some planning considerations.
Your pond's size, the elements you add, and other factors can affect cost and maintenance. Make sure your take a realistic look at your budget and the time you're willing to invest in your water garden. "Picking Out Your Water Garden Parts and Supplies" gives some details on cost. For information on upkeep, see "Maintaining Your Water Garden," later in this chapter. And if you need basic planning advice, including tips on defining what you want, gathering ideas, and putting the plan in action, flip to Chapter 2.
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