How to Plan a Pond in Your Water Garden

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When a stream intersects the garden, this requires more work. You should use general treatment in expanding the water area considerably. One of the ways in which you can do this is to create a lily pond in that part of the garden beyond the brook, having an inlet and an outlet, thus securing water circulation.

Bays should be formed on the near side. Communication across the stream may be by means of a simple bridge, or stepping stones if the water is shallow. You should resist the temptation to give a "rustic" character to his bridge and think carefully about adding patio statuary, large fountains, or indoor wall fountains that are best left indoors. It should be a plain affair, well and firmly built, as befits its purpose, and with a hand-rail on either side.

There is a type of water garden which is frankly artificial and depends for its water supply on the kitchen tap or the pump. This last condition means that you should have some knowledge of the economy of water and that can best be done by devising what is called a circulating system.

The first consideration will be the planning of the ponds (for such they are) and in that you must be guided by the levels in your garden and your desires in the matter of water area. If there is a distinct slope in the garden surface, so much the better. It will help you come up with a simple arrangement for running off the water, as must be done from time to time to keep ponds clean and their tenants in healthy condition.

You must provide for the waste or overflow from the pond or series of ponds for when the garden slopes toward the house. The most convenient way is to carry it into a gully in connection with the house drainage system. When the slope is in a contrary direction the best expedient is to make a "soak-away" drain. This is merely a pit sunk in the soil and filled with rubble, into which the overflow pipe is conducted. Consider hiding the rubble with a large fountain such as a wall fountain or other type of patio water feature.

The ponds must be constructed with an impervious bottom by using cement or concrete. This means forming the bottom and building up the sides of the pond. If you use rock or rubble sides, they must be built in cement. You also have to be careful to make the joints watertight. You can make the floor with six or eight inches of concrete, faced with cement. The surface should not be finished to a dead level, but should have a slight fall toward the outlet, to facilitate running off the water.

If the pond sides are built of cement, you should make the edges battered with the edges showing. You can do this by first building a frame of wood. Fresh cement of good quality should be used, tempered with a third part of sharp sand. Pipes for inlets and outlets should be inserted when the sides of the pond are being made. If a single pond is installed it will only be necessary to carry a waste-pipe from its bottom to the drain.

This should be done in a straight line, if possible, to facilitate unstopping in case of obstruction. The most suitable piping is iron gas pipe of not less internal diameter than one and a half inches. A plug must be provided to close the inlet, which may be a simple cone of wood fitted to the bore of the pipe. Again, the piping can be hidden with the inclusion of large waterfalls, patio statuary, or garden fountains. When you want to make two or more ponds, they should be connected by piping into a single system, with the waste-pipe connecting the one nearest the drain to it.

If all ponds stand at the same level, the connecting pipes may enter and leave at the bottom, but if the levels are stepped, as would be the case on sloping ground, the overflow from each pond to the next lower one of the series must be placed at the water line, otherwise the water would all flow to the lowest pond. You can conveniently fill up the pond and drain it with the garden hose.

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Author:
Allison Ryan is a freelance marketing writer specializing in landscape architecture and do-it-yourself installation of large fountains and patio statuary. For the ideal wall fountain or outdoor water feature for your backyard, stop by www.garden-fountains.com/

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