How to Create a Garden Pond

A pond is a great addition to any garden. It will increase biodiversity and attract and provide a home for local wildlife. A pond will not only benefit the creatures of your garden – it can also benefit you as a gardener, by attracting wildlife that will keep down some common garden pests. Of course, a pond can also look great and keep the whole family entertained as you wait for frogs and other amphibious visitors to arrive.

Here are some of the things you should think about when creating a garden pond:

Location:

The location of your pond is important. It is best to have the pond out in open and not beneath dense deciduous tree cover. Think about zoning in your garden and consider how you will interact with the pond – that, as well as other practical considerations, will help you decide where to put it.

Preparation:

When it comes to preparing your pond, you must remember that it is not simply a question of digging a large deep hole. A pond should have different depths and one side should be gently sloped to allow for easy access for amphibians and also to ensure that no other creatures can get trapped in the water. Try to keep the shape natural and organic. That way you will create a range of different ecosystems and get good biodiversity in your pond.

You should make sure that the pond is levelled so that the pond liner you use cannot degrade in sunlight. Take care not to puncture your lining – fill the hole with sand if necessary. For an ecologically sound alternative to a plastic liner, you could perhaps consider a natural wet clay lining for your pond.

Filling:

You might be tempted to simply affix a hose and use tap water to fill your pond. But unless you have water from a natural spring, the treated tap water will not be as good for filling your pond as rain water. If possible, use rainwater harvested from your roof to fill it. The addition of a bucket of water from a nearby watercourse or another garden pond in the area will give your pond a helping hand in establishing a viable ecosystem.

Planting:

The plants you should choose for your pond will largely depend on where in the UK you live and what the local conditions are like. The staff of a local garden centre or aquatic plant nursery will often be able to give you some pointers.

Wherever you live, however, there are four categories of water plant that you should place in your pond in order to create a perfectly harmonious and balanced environment. Those are: rooted floating plants, marginal plants, submerged (oxygenating) plants and floating plants. Consider all the layers of vegetation in your pond as you would consider the layers in the rest of your garden.

Establishing:

Once you have built a pond, usually you will be surprised by how quickly the local wildlife will move in. It will not take long at all for your pond to become fully established and support a whole range of life. Simply sit back and watch nature take its course.

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