Expert Pond & Landscaping, Pictures, Designs & Ideas
Every family garden should include a fish or water lily pond. Every single garden pond should be a joy to behold, full of life and never-ending wonder & surprise. Ideas, designs and real pond pictures to inspire you
This website was created to encourage all those people thinking of installing a water garden to to go ahead and DO it. If you need further inspiration do not fail to read these articles about Rosemary Verey and Doug Knight ... they don't come any more famous when it comes to landscape gardening.
A water garden will enrich your life and the value of your home and property.
Take a look at the many pond and waterfall sketches, ideas and finished projects on this website but before you do that ....
Click this image to see full sized page from Peter's book ... this will provide you with good idea as to how my book is constructed .... it is designed to help you in the most simple of ways, Clear instructions, clear practical drawings
You're bound to get some good ideas for a DIY project.
If you want a quote for advice, a sketch or a landscaping project Peter will gladly assist ... see the form at the bottom of the page. His charges are very reasonable and his work fully guaranteed ... but let his work speak for itself ...explore the many images and garden landscaping sketches here.
Peter lives in Somerset UK but consults worldwide
Have you ever contemplated building your own pond or water garden?
The key challenge is to create a successful well landscaped pleasing water garden design is to provide a place in your garden in which all the flora and fauna are interdependent. and it is easier than you think when you know how of course .... read Peter's fun (but deadly serious) article on how to meet and resolve water gardening landscaping challenges by clicking the link
As the seasons pass by, things flourish and die. Plants may get out of hand; there may be epidemics of algae or parasites or even huge populations of toads or frog tadpoles. However if your pond is constructed employing the correct basic principles and put together with the right ingredients and care, these events will not be problems, rather just the seesaw effect of natures natural balance adjusting itself with time.
If you prefer to do the water garden landscaping job yourself do then yourself a big favour and consider buying my book .. read more here . It will repay you the $13 handsomely and quickly
Northern hemisphere weather considerations are addresses here in creating pond landscaping solutions so make the necessary changes if you live in warm and beautiful places like South Africa and Australia in the Southern Hemisphere.
The first thoughts that you must seriously consider for the benefit of the water garden and yourself are in regards to sitting the pond itself.
Check these points.
The pond should be in full sun. Nearly all aquatic plants associated with water gardens need some direct sunlight to flower especially water lilies. Your dream of those beautiful water lily plants will come to nothing if you starve them of sun
Ensure your pond or water garden feature (it could be a simple fountain or stream or waterfall disappearing below ground) is away from trees (especially deciduous trees that lose their leaves in Autumn) or prevailing winds that may carry poisonous leaves into the pond.
Smaller garden ponds can be netted against the worst of the autumn fall and a few leaves dont harm a healthy pond. However particularly avoid Willow, Elder, Poplars, Laburnum, Yew and Oak.
Make sure your water garden pond is not over-exposed to the North or prevailing winds.
Avoid any boggy waterlogged areas since this could result in your garden pond lifting
Consider accessibility to a water supply. The water garden or pond will want regular top-ups in the summer.
If there are to be waterfalls, streamed or fountains in the garden landscape, consider the distance to plumb in electricity, since this can be a major expense.
Consider SAFETY and children. Where there is water and children, at some point the children end up in it. Generally head first.
Partly for the reason above, but also because we spend so much of the year looking at our gardens from inside our houses, it is advisable to have a view of the water garden, the pond or other water feature or at least part of it from the house.
Check for bedrock, pipe-work, electricity or septic tanks where you have chosen to have your water garden.
Planning the water garden, pond, fountain or water feature
Plan every single sod of earth you dig and cost every trowel of cement you mix. Go through the job from start to finish in your mind working out quantities and costs of materials that will be used to complete the landscaped water feature.
Having chosen the site, choose the shape that most befits it.
Ponds closer to the house tend to be more formal, further away the water garden pond can be more natural looking.
However the pond can mark the boundary between formal hard landscaping and a more informal area, for instance when a pond adjoins a patio or decking.
Lay a rope or hose on the ground to get the best idea of how a pond shape will look.
Try to draw a plan of the water garden idea or design in relation to the rest of the garden.
Ideally do a sketch of the water garden as to how you would see it from the position you are most often going to view the pond or water feature from.
Or take a photograph of the site and draw the garden pond in position on some tracing paper laid over it.
Water garden ponds ... sizes and shapes, designs and ideas that work
Make the pond as large as your pocket or your energy will allow. The larger ponds are, the steadier is the balance the ponds maintain. The absolute minimum is 32sqft or 3sqmetres.
Unless you plan to keep Koi carp, a depth of more than 30ins (76cm) is unnecessary. 18-24 inches (45-60cms) is adequate for most garden ponds.
If you are using a flexible pond liner, keep the pond shape as simple as possible, as dramatic shapes use excess liner and create unsightly folds. Water from the pond pump circulates through the pond much more easily too.
Beware of making the stream disproportionately large in relation to the pond. Remember, the stream needs an addition of at least an inch (12mm) of water added to its surface to get it flowing. On top of this there is a backlog of water hidden within the waterfall system and combined together this can mean a considerable loss of water from the pond once the stream is in full flood. The marginal plants in particular cannot cope with the radical rise and fall of the water.
Get your materials (liners, pond pumps, biofilters, aquatic plants etc) from a reliable retailer close to hand. Look into what is available and you will find the competitiveness of the industry has created a range of materials whose price is related to performance and durability i.e. you get what you pay for. It would be recommended for the larger projects in particular to opt for the better quality materials, even if it means having to cut back on the size of the water garden or pond.
Many of the techniques of pond construction using flexible waterproof liners and preformed plastic and fibreglass ponds are covered on this site. Using clay and doing genuine puddling is beyond the resources of most amateurs and concrete ponds require a certain amount of builders skills mixed with time, patience and a great depth of pocket!
To further help with the choice of materials, you wll find a list of facts and tips related to individual items or features
Pond Bio Filters, Lights and Electrics
If you are including a biological filtration unit or pond lights and UV lights (essential for algae control in many fish ponds), make allowances for them at the initial planning stage. Both will need an electrical supply. A biological filter will need a submersible pond pump that will capable of pumping half the volume of the pond through the filter every hour. The bio filter will also be designed to cope with the capacity. Some people have the filtration unit dispensing the outlet of water into the head of the stream or waterfall. Considering the filter has to be going 24/7 to be effective and you don't necessarily want a stream running constantly, I always feel it best to have it as a separate entity. Check with your local aquatic stores for the latest bio filtration technology; there are new products being constantly developed.
Also the development and standards for safe electrical installation out of
doors are always being updated. The essential thing is that there must be a
highly sensitive circuit breaker (RCCB, RCD) of the correct standard (at the
moment 30ma) between any exterior electrical items and the domestic power
supply. If you have any doubts about your safety, consult an electrician. At
least get one to check your installation.
All connections to the power supply outdoors must be made with the most modern connectors fitted with the utmost care.
Who is Peter J May, contributor to almost all of the content of this website? Here's what he has to say. ... Hello, I am Peter May. I am an author, horticultural journalist and garden photographer. My specialist field is water gardening, about which I have written five books, two of them were called The Perfect Pond Detective. Not only that though, for 17 years I owned a landscaping company that specialised in the construction of water gardens and we built hundreds and maintained many of them for years. Now, I write regular monthly features for two specialist water garden magazines and have covered aspects of water gardening for most of the garden magazines on the British newsagent racks. I also answer any queries of a water garden and horticultural nature for a specialist Koi carp magazine. I have built award-winning gardens at The Chelsea Flower Show, I have created water gardens for Time Life Horticultural Library as well as instruction videos for Television. Landscaping ponds, fountains and water features has quite simply been my life.
Visit Peter's water gardening pond and waterfall landscaping article website