We humans are drawn to the waterside be it a lake, a river, a waterfall or the ocean. The sight, sound and feel of water soothes and relaxes us to the extent that we often seek it out in moments of stress and emotional turmoil. What better way of clearing your head than walking along a windswept cliff watching and listening to the sea below? Or sitting on the side of a Scottish lock watching the red deer graze and listening to the trickling of water in the burns?
Whilst most of us will probably never get the chance to live by the waterside, we can create ponds or water features in our gardens that enable us to enjoy many of the benefits of ‘being by the waterside’.
So how do you go about this?
Set a budget, will this be a DIY project or a bespoke design?
Decide what you like and get some ideas, browse the internet and home and garden magazines, visit gardens and home and garden shows.
Initial design is crucial, it is important that the pond or water feature ‘fits’ your garden. Is the garden formal? Wild? Does it have curved or straight edges? Big or small?
Choose the best location, where will it ‘look’ best, do you want a more private area for relaxation? or do you want to be able to enjoy the view from the house? Is it accessible for maintenance? Consider the proximity noise, sunlight, trees and bushes etc'.
If your garden is well established, carefully consider your plan for the work so as not to damage existing features.
To really create the right effect you need the sound of running water. How will you do this? Streams can be used with waterfalls to link ponds at different levels, and fountains are another good way of achieving the effect.
Innovative lighting can really make a feature of your pond at night, consider both underwater and external options.
Fish bring your pond to life but do your homework, there are many types of fish and they may have different requirements in terms of ideal conditions.
Both water and land-based plants can be used to enhance both the look of a water feature and the way it fits into the landscape. Plants provide colour, shape and interest and they also provide a habitat for fish and other pond creatures. Getting the right balance of plants has a huge impact in the management of your pond and can help to reduce algae.
Keeping your pond clean is important. The water pump and filtration system you choose will have a dramatic effect on the quality of the water in your pond and the health of its fish and plants.
To avoid ‘green water’ and the blanket weed that causes it, consider installing an electronic blanket weed controller. These works by reducing the calcium ions within a pond, which subsequently interferes with the algae’s metabolism.
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