Saturday 18 November 2017

How do we go about installing a garden pond?

Declan Feely declanf@onlinetradesmen.com

We are looking at the possibility of installing a garden pond in our back garden. Can you please tell us how to go about it?

A well-designed and maintained garden pond will add to the beauty of any garden landscape -- and given the latest weather there is no shortage of rain water to fill it!

The reality is that no one pond will be the same as each property owner can add their own personal touch, influencing its final shape, depth, the type of flora that the pond supports as well as the addition of any water features that are required.

Some people prefer to have their pond positioned in full view of the house, while others like it to be out of view so that they can 'escape' to the sound of running water and a different landscape. There are however a few set guidelines that we suggest that you follow in getting to your final goal.

From a positioning perspective it is important to address any environmental factors before you select a site for your pond. One such factor is the presence of overhanging or large trees.

There is always potential for the root system of young and nearby trees to distort or pierce the membrane of your pond. The amount of leaves that will be shed into your pond is also a factor.

It goes without saying that other man-made factors should also be taken into account; digging a pond in proximity to large load-bearing structures should be avoided where subsidence is a risk, and shallow seated electricity lines, drains, etc will also come into your planning.

We would also recommend that your final site provides necessary protection from the elements -- try to make sure that the pond is sheltered from any cold prevailing winds and that it receives good sunlight for half the day.

The most popular form of pond construction is created by digging an appropriately sized hole in the ground and lining it with a plastic liner or membrane. This allows even the novice landscaper to control the depth of the pond itself.

However, a word of caution -- often what looks good on paper or in your head can end up very different in practice! For this reason it may be a good idea to consult a professional landscaper at www.onlinetradesmen.ie to make sure that the design is consistent with the existing garden.

The most effective way for the novice to proceed is to pick a very simple design -- a square or rectangle normally work best -- and one that promotes the natural flow of water. Another option is to use a moulded glass fibre pond shell instead of the plastic membrane or liner. The shell provides a fixed shape and depth and all that is required is that the property owner digs the appropriate hole.

When considering the depth of your pond it is worth noting that deeper ponds provide a better balance to pond life. However, please apply your own environmental and safety factors to this -- if you have young children in the house a deep pond is not necessarily the best way to go. A general rule of thumb is that at least 40pc of your pond should be at the deepest required depth to avoid large temperature fluctuations in the water that can promote the algae blooms.

If you are looking to plant water lilies then consider their requirements. Other plants may require 'pond shelves' at different depths to be included into the pond -- so very often your final pond design will actually be dictated by what you want to put in it!

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