Creating your own garden pond

The reflection of clouds rolling by, the lazy hovering of a dragonfly on gossamer wings, and the chorus of frogs create a unique ambiance in a pond-side garden. Here are a few reasons why you need one:

Creating your own garden pond

Creating beautiful garden landscapes near water

If you are lucky enough to have a pond, or have the ambition and budget to build one, you will marvel at the diversity of beautiful plants that thrive in its company, their colours and textures accentuated with remarkable clarity in close proximity to water.

  • When choosing plants for the area around a pond or other water feature, such as a creek, keep in mind that you are really creating two scenes.
  • One is a garden scene as seen from land that features containers and garden plants, and the other scene is a garden vignette in reverse, as seen reflected in the water.
  • The latter changes during the day as the sun moves across the sky, resulting in a revolving scene mirrored by the water.
  • Water features are irresistibly attractive to people and also to small wildlife, so if you are building your own, it's wise to situate it in a place where the feature can be viewed from many directions.
  • At the same time, a pond or stream will appear more natural, and will reflect more than one dramatic scene, if it has a back and a front.
  • Think tall when choosing plants for the back, or far side, of a water feature. Imagine these plantings as a backdrop for the water and shorter plantings.

Choosing pond-side plants

  • In a very sunny site, tall ornamental grasses and tall perennials like Joe Pye weed are good choices for background plants, especially if you are also planting shrubs.
  • During the first years, while the shrubs are growing, the ornamental grasses and perennials can help fill the vacant space.
  • Be careful when choosing trees to grow near a water feature. Leaves, twigs or fruits that fall into a pond must eventually be removed by hand, especially if fish live in the pond.
  • If tree litter is limited to autumn only, you can temporarily cover a small pond with bird netting to capture debris before it fouls the water.
  • Keep scale in mind when choosing pond-side trees. If you have a small pond, choose a tree with small stature, such as a flowering cherry like 'Okame', a Japanese maple or star magnolia.

It's that simple! Creating a beautiful pond near your garden is an amazing way to improve the landscape of your yard. The reflections are irresistible, and the wildlife it attracts is sure to please any nature-lover.

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