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Pond Life

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Apr 29, 2016
Pond Life

The great weather over the past week has seen a great surge in people getting out into the garden to get projects. In CountryLife we have seen everyone coming in looking to  get their vegetable gardens started for the year or people buying bedding plants to get their hanging baskets and window boxes summer ready.

I've taken advantage of the good weather to get a big project done in my garden. I've added a new pond. Since a young age I have been a fan of ponds in gardens and I think if you have the space for one they do make a great addition.

To build your own pond is a labour of love but the results far out weigh any effort you put into it. But is a great project to devote a full day to and have an impressive reward at the end.

The success of a pond relies on the preparation. This is the part you want to dedicate most of your time to. If you rush it and cut corners you will easily run in to problems down the road. I have seen many people rush the preparation and then discover problems once they start to fill the pond with water or shortly afterwards. And it often end up costing more money then it would have if  they had just taken a bit more time at the start.

When selecting the location for your pond aim for a space that is as level as possible. Also look for a spot in the garden that you can see from your house. A pond is a great year round feature and it is brilliant to be able to enjoy its beauty or the wildlife it attracts from the comfort of your house as well as when you are out in the garden.

Once you have found your spot the next decision is the shape and size of your pond. You can buy hard shell ponds which you simply have to dig a hole for and drop it in. But if you are going down the pond liner route I like to unravel my garden hose and lay it down on the ground to work out the overall shape of my pond. You can play around with the hose until you are happy with the shape and size and then mark it out for digging.

Aquatic plants can add great interest to a gardenNext come the biggest task, digging out the pond. This is the crucial part where you need to take your time to make sure you do a good job. As you dig out the pond you want to remove any stones or sharp objects that you come across as these could burst your liner.

It is best to have a tiered pond with a number of different levels in it. This not only makes your pond wildlife friendly but is also useful for adding aquatic plants. For the shallow parts of your pond your are looking at a minimum depth 12 inches. The medium level should be at a minimum depth of 18 inches. While the deepest part of your pond should be no less than 24 inches deep. It is important to note these should be your depths after you have added a protective layer of soft sand or pond underlay.

Before you place your liner down get a large piece of wood and a spirit level to make sure your pond is level in all directions. When you are happy the edges of your pond are level you can place the liner in and fill it with water. I like to fill the pond with water first and then cut the liner and secure it in place once it has settled in naturally. Finally comes the enjoyable part of adding aquatic plants to the pond and landscaping around the edges. At the moment in CountryLife we have a number of great aquatic plants and plants suitable for around ponds and marshy areas. 

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

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