Create a gorgeous garden pond in 4 easy steps

Water adds an extra dimension to any garden, and a pond is easy to install with the right materials. From digging to plant selection, this guide will help you make your garden even lovelier.

Create a gorgeous garden pond in 4 easy steps

What you'll need before you start

  • Hosepipe
  • Sand
  • Spade
  • Plank
  • Level
  • Protective underlay
  • Butyl liner
  • Large scissors
  • Paving
  • Edging stones.

Get the right amount of lining

Measure the width, length and depth of the pond. Then double that depth and add it to the length and width measurements. For example, a pool 2 metres (6.5 feet) wide, 4 metres (13 feet) long and half a metre (1.5 feet) deep needs a lining sheet 3 metres wide by 5 metres long. Then add an extra 30 to 50 centimetres (12 to 20 inches) all around for overlap.

Set up your pond

  1. Lay out the shape with the hosepipe, then trickle sand around the edge and remove the hose. Dig out, sloping the sides at a 20 degree angle. Remove a strip of turf all round for edging stones. If you're not used to digging, take frequent breaks to protect your back.
  2. Make a 25-centimetre-wide (10-inch-wide) ledge for marginal plants about 25 centimetres (10 inches) down from the top. Use a level on a plank to check that your sides are level all around, and build them back up as necessary.
  3. Line the hole with damp sand, then underlay. This will protect the liner from sharp stones and root growth. Put the lining in place, hold down edges with stones or bricks, and fill with water, easing the liner into the corners of the ledges.
  4. Trim the liner to within 10 centimetres (4 inches) of the water's edge. Cover with soil and lay paving stones or other decorative edging stones around the perimeter.

Add your plants

Add plants to the pond in containers to prevent muddying the water and to allow you to move them around until you're happy with their position. Line and cover the tops of pots with stones or heavy pebbles.

  • Underwater plants: Choose Canadian pondweed and water milfoil, which are excellent at aerating the water and keeping down algae.
  • Marginal plants: Colourful choices include marsh marigolds, irises, and water mint. Set them on a ledge near the pond rim. Rushes are also suitable.
  • Surface plants: Water lilies are ideal and come in a wide variety of colours and shapes. If a water lily is too short to reach the water surface, cut off the leaves before immersing it; new ones will grow to the correct level. Nuphar lilies and water hawthorn are other good choices.

A pond is a unique opportunity to add an aquatic flair to your garden. It opens up new plant possibilities and is a beautiful addition to any garden setup. Follow these tips and you'll be well on your way to the perfect pond.

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