Water gardening like several other gardening practices came out of Egypt around 4800 years ago. If you are thinking of adding some beauty to your backyard, consider a pond. Depending on the size and complexity, you have the option of hiring a contractor or buying a kit and doing it yourself.
As is the case with all types of gardens, adding a pond for your own water garden will require following plan.
The plan includes the following segments.
a) Choosing the right place
b) Siting the pond
c) Determining the Size of the pond
d) Constructing the pond
e) Stocking the pond
f) Maintaining the pond
Constructing a pond takes a fair amount of work. Choose a pond that fits in with the existing motif in the area where you want to put the pond. Is the area casual, formal, etc? Consider the amount of maintenance required and don’t forget the safety factor. Any area of standing water can be dangerous and lead to an accident and possibly to something much more serious such as drowning.
Place the pond in an area where it can be enjoyed by the family. The ideal place for a pond is at the end of the garden where it is secluded. Here, there won’t be a lot of foot traffic and the pond is likely to attract more wildlife.
Do you want your pond in the sun or shade? This is the next decision to be made. A thriving pond is a balance of plants and wildlife. Oxygen creates a healthy environment for everything that lives in the pond. Oxygenating plants provide the oxygen for a fresh and clean pond and oxygenating plants require sunlight.
Don’t place your pond close to trees and shrubs. Leaves will fall into the pond, rot and foul the water. Tree roots can grow into the pond and puncture the pond liner.
The size of the pond depends on the size of the yard. The pond must be proportionate to the yard. The depth of the pond should be at least 2 feet deep if you intend to put fish in it. Shallow water is more likely to evaporate in hot weather and freeze in cold weather. Marginal plants grown along the edge of the pond will require shelves to stand on. You may want to consider building a fountain in the pond. Fountains add beauty to the pond and are very relaxing.
To construct the pond, dig the hole and line it with a water proof liner. There are several ways to do this. A pond liner made of polythene or butyl rubber can be used. The pond can be lined with concrete or clay. And, a pre-formed plastic pond liner can be used. Incorporate the pumps, skimmers and waterfalls required to keep the water clean and aerated and flowing at the quality level required to support the plants and aquatic life in the pond.
When stocking the pond, it is best to have a mixture of submerged plants, emergent plants and floating plants. Submerged plants live completely under water. These are the oxygenating plants. Marginal plants live around the edges of the pond in containers standing in the water. Deep water plants have their roots underneath the water up to a foot and a half, approximately 18 inches of water. Then there are the free floating plants which float on top of the water and dangling their roots in the water. These plants shade the water and help control the temperature of the water. They also act as breeding places for wildlife.
Pond management is best done from the middle of fall into the first three weeks of winter. Pond management includes removing excess plants, taking out a small percentage of the wildlife (up to one third), topping off the water and maintaining a hole in the ice in the winter.
When planning to build your pond you will need to look at several things. These things will determine the size, placing, building, stocking and management of your water garden. All of these tasks are relatively easy. When you perform these several tasks in a quality fashion you will be rewarded with a beautiful water garden which will bring you many hours of satisfaction and joy.
Many projects seem a little daunting in the beginning. The construction of a pond and water garden may strike you the same way. Start! As you get into the project, you will find that is not as intimidating as you thought. In fact you may end up enjoying it.
Copyright © Larry Gildea, All Rights Reserved.
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