How to create your perfect pond
A pond is an exciting addition to your garden. Full of creatures and plants, it pulsates with life and energy. Building a pond is an excellent way to invite all sorts of interesting wildlife to your outdoor space, but it’s also about creating a focal point, an extra dimension of intrigue along with the land-based plants, flowers and trees you’ve so carefully chosen over the years. This year, why not make creating a pond your new garden project? Here are our five steps to doing exactly that.
- Location, location, location
Your first consideration when setting out to build a pond is where to locate it in your garden. Choose a spot that gets plenty of sun, away from the shade of trees, walls or fences. That way, it will become a hive of activity for passing wildlife. If you think you may like to include lights or a water filter in your pond, you’ll need to situate it close to a power supply too.
- The design
Your next step is to choose the type of pond most suitable to your garden. The two basic types are pre-formed or flexible. Simply put, a pre-formed pond is created using a shell with a size and shape that’s decided for you. A flexible pond liner, meanwhile, lets you decide the specific size and shape of the pond yourself. Some people think a flexible liner provides a more natural feel. On the other hand, a pre-formed shell liner will let you more easily predict the overall look once the pond is dug and filled.
- The build
When you come around to actually digging your pond, there are a few points to remember, particularly if you’ve chosen the flexible route. In order to give your pond the best chance of attracting little water-dwelling creatures, make sure at last one edge is gently sloped for their ease of access. Another tip is to ensure that the centre of your pond is a minimum 60cm deep to protect hibernating animals by preventing the pond from ever freezing over completely. Fill your pond not with tap water, but with rain.
- Introducing plants
When you’re choosing which plants to introduce, it’s a good idea to talk to your local pond-owning friends and neighbours about which plants thrive in their ponds. Above all, the plants you choose should oxygenate your pond, floating on its surface and making it a healthy, vibrant home for animals. Bulrushes, water lilies, irises and creeping jenny are just a few of the most popular choices.
- Populating your pond
It’s best not to populate your pond with tiny animals yourself. Instead, once your pond is in place, filled with water and boasts a good selection of plants, simply leave it to attract its own inhabitants. You’ll soon spot the first dragonflies arriving, along with a diverse range of insect friends. These will attract amphibians and birds and, soon, the environment will host an entire ecosystem.
A pond is wonderful addition for any garden big enough to house one and this is a great time of year to start planning yours. With a little research, some elbow grease and tender care, you’ll soon be enjoying the pleasure of a pond.