Pond Tips – Building Ponds
April’s pond tips are about the various types of material you can use to make a pond with. The commonest means of retaining water for a pond is a flexible liner. This has lots of advantages – it is relatively cheap and will take pretty much any shape that you want. The key thing is to get the best liner you can afford and to get an underlay to put behind it to protect the liner from stones or sharp objects. If you get a liner that has butyl in it then it will stay flexible at low temperatures and will be easy to install.
Another means of creating a pool is to buy a preformed one. This will definitely hold water but is not as easy to put in as you might think. It is not straightforward to backfill behind it once it is in the ground and once it is full it tends to settle so that one end sticks out of the water.
Another way of doing it is to pour concrete. This has lots of disadvantages. The main one is that over time it tends to crack and once this happens it is not easy to seal. Another is that a certain amount of lime will come out of the concrete and may affect the pH of the water. Lots of the concrete pools I have seen have been a result of the builder doing the extension having a ton or two of concrete left over and a digger on site to dig a hole!
Having said all that some of the best little ponds I have seen have been Belfast sinks dug into the ground with two or three resident frogs and lots of native plants. The main thing is to go ahead and put some water into your garden, and spring is a great time to do it.
The best liner is Firestone EPDM (shown in the photo) which we get from Gordon Low Products