Making A Water Garden

Before you write a cheque or dig the first spadeful of soil you must plan carefully. It is essential to make sure that you have chosen the most satisfactory type of pond for your needs and situation. Thin, of course, should be obvious

— a lot of money, time and effort are involved and you can't simply alter things if you've made a mistake.

The problem is that there is no such thing as the 'right' type of pond for everyone — the perfect choice in one situation would be a disaster elsewhere. An added complication these days is that there are all sorts of shapes, styles and materials from which to make a choice — so where do you begin?

The first step is to study each of the guide paragraphs on these two pages. Then go backto the Size and Style sections to make your first basic decision D< | you have t he space for a pond which is at least 40 sq.ft? If not, your choice of style is quite limited, A small formal pond or minipond is the usual answer, or perhaps an informal wildlife pond. For a patio think about a raised pond, and with all small ponds you must keep your stocking plans simple.

The choice is much larger if you can devote more than 40 to the pond. With care you can have a balanced arrangement of clear water, aquatic plants and fish. There are still basic rules — the pond size and style must be in keeping with the size and style of the garden, and the site must be suitable.

You should now have a fairly clear idea of size, construction material and where the pond will go. The next thing is to mark out the outline with either rope or a hose pipe, and look at it from the house and other parts of the garden. Changes can be made at this stage, but not afterwards. The final planning stage has now been reached - it is time to thinkahout features. These additional features will probably call for electricity, and that means an electric cable will have to be laid. The most important additions {fountains and waterfalls) involve ways of making the water move. Finally there is lighting

— even a few simple lights can bring a pond to life at night.


Mini ponds such as hafl-barrets, deep sinks and small rigid liners can be used to house aquatic plants and a tew Goldfish, but lor a proper pond which can be expected to stay clear you should aim lor a water surface ol at least 40 sq.ft. The minimum depth ol water should be 1 ' j ft at some point. II the surface area is 50 sq.ft or more and if you plan to have various types of fish, then a depth ot 2 tt is better. For large ponds of several hundred sq.ft a depth of 2V4 ft is desirable. A shell ts necessary lor housing Marginal plants which need their crowns to be covered with water — this shelf may rurr around a part or the whole ol the pond. It should be at least 10 in.-1 It wide and will

Few of us are fortunate enough to have a Natural pond fed Irom a stream or underground spring. Do not interfere with its shape or depth — just carry out a programme of careful planting and judicious stocking with fish. There are two basic styles ol man-(or woman-) made pond. One is no better than the other — the correct choice depends on the situation. With the Formal pond the outline isclearly defined and the shape is either geometrical (square, oblong etc) or gently curved It is generally separated from other garden features and is often used as a centrepiece. Three types of plants (Floaters, Oxygenators and Water Lilies) are necessary for maintaining the correct balance, but Marginals are not essential The Formal pond is nearly always at ground level, but there is no reason why it cannot be a Raised pond — page 63 describes several advantages for this type of structure. Raised ponds are useful where space is limited as on a patio — there are several types of Minipond for such situations.

With the Informal pond the outline is not clearly defined — it merges into the adjoining feature or features which may be a rock garden, waterfall or Boggarden (see page 64). Theoutline is irregular, as the object is to make the pond look like a natural stretch of water Because of this Marginal plants are essential as they help to obscure the edges of the pond.

The recommended choice for a small garden or a large formal one is the Formal pond Provided the surface is at least 40 sq.ft. [here is no reason why this pond should not carry colourful fish and Water Lilies to make it a truly eye-catching leature for the compact garden ol today In formal surroundings a small Informal pond can look like a large puddle. The In lor mat pond needs both space and semi-natural surroundings, and in this environment it can be by lar the better choice. There is a Single exception — a small informal Wildlife pond can be accommodated in most gardens, as it is the natural population rather than the pond itself which is the main attraction

Water Needs Garden Vegetables ChartWater Needs Garden Vegetables ChartMake Water GardenWater Needs Garden Vegetables ChartPuddling Clay For Wildlife Pond

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