The garden pond – a dream of many garden owners, which can actually become reality with any garden size. Creating a pond requires some thought and a lot of work, but it can be imagined for almost any garden. In addition, you can implement almost any desired design. Here’s how.
Table of Contents
Location and facility require good planning
If you don’t have a spacious park landscape in front of the front door, the garden pond will occupy quite a bit of your property. The edge zone is also not small and affects the surrounding areas with decreasing intensity.
Depending on how you want to fill and operate your pond, there must be a shore zone that is not directly exposed to view so that any filter systems or other supply technology can find their place there. So that the pond in your garden only pleases you and never disturbs you, it should be sensibly located within the main paths that lead through your garden. The visual effect also makes its demands: From where will you view your garden pond most often? Where should the shore zone with the gently swaying grasses be?
You also need to consider the position of the pond in relation to the trees on the property. On the one hand with regard to the desired shading and an undesired fall of leaves into the pond. And on the other hand the composition of the soil where digging is to take place. If this space is in the root area of old trees, it must be ensured that they do not die when their roots have to give space to the pond.
The ideal place may then have to be reached with an excavator. A perfectly planned pond is first planned on paper, with all the accessories and everything that goes with it.
Pond basin or liner pond?
Once the ideal location has been determined, it usually specifies the largest possible pond size. After this, the basic material for the pond construction is selected.
If you find that you only have very little space for a pond, it is advisable to bring in a pond basin. With the right pond basin, you can even equip your front yard with a pond. If you use a pond basin, you also have the advantage that the pond construction will not be very difficult and can be done quite quickly.
If you want your pond to grow to a certain size, you will need to use pond liner. The limit is about 5 square meters. From this size, you can only work with pond liner, because pond basins of this size are not available or manageable. The construction of such a garden pond is then already a real small construction project. Starting with the fact that you need an excavator to create the hole in the ground if you don’t want to dig for weeks.
The selection of the pond basin
The planned location not only influences the size of the garden pond, but also the shape of this pond in the case of a pond system with a pond basin. There are pond basins in many different shapes to buy. The first decision to be made is whether the pond should appear more natural or whether it should blend in with the formal architecture of a modern, linear building.
A so-called “formal pond” is always characterized by a clear geometric shape, but this does not mean that the pond basin for a formal pond has to be unimaginative. Ready-made pond basins for smaller garden ponds are offered in all sorts of “tidy” shapes. As squares and rondelle, but also as triangles or (short to very long and narrow) rectangles or as symmetrically curved leaf shapes.
If you want the pond to look as natural as possible, you have even more choice: You can find some pond basins in the nearest garden center, and you can also view and order various ones online.
If you can’t find the shape you have in mind, you could even make your own specially shaped pond basin. The basic form is laid over a glass fiber mat, which is then formed into a pond basin using liquid plastic. So the mathematician gets his pond in the form of the infinity sign and the doctor his “Aesculapian pond”.
The installation of a garden pond with pond basin
A suitable pit must now be dug for the pond basin. You can mark the size on the floor by laying the pelvis upside down and marking it and using sticks to mark this outline about 20 cm larger. You have to excavate these 20 cm more all around so that you can bring in a layer of sand that protects your pond from being damaged by stones etc.
Now we dig and measure. In the case of a pond with steps, after digging out the first layer, you can mark the deeper pond zones, also 20 cm larger, and dig them out piece by piece. For a pond with irregular zones, digging will take a lot of patience, all your spatial awareness, a number of partial markings, and frequent trial and error placement of the pond until the pit looks good enough for you to fill in sand everywhere. However, before pouring the first sand, you should remove as many roots and stones from the pit as possible.
When you then fill in the sand and insert the cymbal, you should constantly check the level so that you do not insert the cymbal at an angle. The pelvis is also initially only used as a test and then removed again. When the contours have been determined, the sand is first tapped down and always filled up accordingly. Before the pond basin is finally used, a final test is carried out with the spirit level. If it is not exactly horizontal, you can correct it by refilling or removing sand. Finally, the pond basin should sit level and all the way around in a layer of protective sand and protrude a few inches from the bottom so nothing can fall in from the edge.
Now you should fix this position with wooden pegs at the edges and fill in a little water so that the pool is stable when it is being sludged. The sand is filled in at the sides by mud-filling, i.e. always a little sand and a little water from the garden hose, so there are no holes. You should give yourself plenty of time when you’re going to sleep. The soil under the pond is of course compacted at the same time. So the sand should always be given time to settle.
Excavation and preparation of the liner pond
In principle, the excavation for the foil pond works in the same way. However, digging a naturally formed liner pond is much less complicated: you dig a pit of the desired size, with a gentle slope downwards, remove stones etc. until the walls are as smooth as possible and fill in a thick layer of sand.
However, the foil is much more flexible and therefore more sensitive than a pond basin made of thicker (glass fiber) plastic. A liner pond therefore gets an additional layer: the root protection fleece. This pond fleece is sold in different qualities. You should make sure that you purchase a root protection fleece made of non-rotting material (e.g. polypropylene) that can protect your pond liner for a long time. ThePond fleece should not only prevent roots from breaking through, it should also protect the pond liner from stones etc. The pond fleece should weigh from 900 grams per square meter, thinner is cheaper, but the costs and effort of repairing leaking pond liner should not be underestimated. With innovative system solutions, the manufacturer coordinates the pond liner and root protection fleece and sells them as a package.
The root protection fleece is laid under the pond liner, over the protective layer of sand. Be generous, especially towards the edge, where most of the roots will grow. Each length of pond fleece should overlap the previous one by at least 20 cm. If you have incorporated ledges or steps into the shape of the pond, you should simply lay the root protection fleece on top of each other and cross them over so that there is a buffer everywhere. You can easily trim it with scissors. Sometimes it can make sense to lay another layer of root protection fleece over the pond liner. This is particularly recommended if something could fall into the pond from above and puncture the pond liner.
The material of the pond liner
A little caution is recommended when buying the pond liner. Foils made of many different materials are available. Not all are good choices from an environmental point of view:
- Very inexpensive pond liners that are offered as leftover stocks over the Internet are often problematic
- Foils were sometimes recycled from leftovers, the pollutant balance cannot be traced and whether the foil retains its pollutants
- Pond liner offers on Internet trading platforms where no material information is available are problematic
- conventional pond liner is often still made of PVC
- a catastrophe for the environment, especially if it is later disposed of
- good is foil welded in the sandwich process, which does not suffer from the material weaknesses of the single-layer foils
- A correct compromise between UV stability and frost resistance is also important
- The next alternative is pond liner made of PE (polyethylene), an inexpensive material that is much more environmentally friendly to dispose of
- The disadvantage is that a hole always means the end of this pond liner
- There are adhesives for PE, but the glued areas are not really resilient
- Rubber pond liner is environmentally friendly and recommended
- is not real rubber, but imitation plastic rubber
- unfortunately also somewhat more expensive
- don’t buy cheap butyl rubber, it’s no better than PVC
- Geotextiles are new and good for the environment, e.g. B. Xavan pond liner, a tear-resistant and lightweight polypropylene mesh
Fill in the pond liner, garden pond soil and water
There are wonderful helpers on the internet to calculate how many square meters of pond liner you need. calculate.php e.g. B. Programs for online calculation.
But there is also an easier way, and probably also more accurate, if you only calculate the need when the garden pond is finished digging. Because there will probably only be a few cases in which the previously determined dimensions do not change a little during the excavation. When the pond is finished digging, you can easily measure the amount of liner you need: To do this, lay two cords through the middle of the pond, lengthwise and crosswise so that they lie on the ground. Now add one meter as an edge to the length of the cords determined with a tape measure, then you have the dimensions of your foil.
Once the pond liner has been laid, the pond is allowed to settle for a while. Then you can fill up the individual pond zones with a suitable soil substrate for bank and water plants. A pond pump that may be required is also installed before the water is filled in, and then the time has come: pond water march!
Shape the edge of the pond and plant the pond
When the water is in the pond, you can plant the plants in the water and on the edge of the pond.
The aquatic plants are selected depending on the depth of the pond. In a pond basin, different plant levels are usually poured in for the aquatic plants, and a liner pond can also contain different levels in which different plants find suitable conditions. These zones try to imitate the ecological balance that prevails in the natural pond. In nature, the shore rises gently, in every water depth other plants find their habitat.
Usually three planting zones are distinguished: the swamp zone, the shallow water zone and the deep water zone. It is now important to select the right plants for each of these.
In the case of a liner pond, a riparian zone must first be created at the edge of the pond, with earth, mats or a special riparian profile. This bank is the part of the water surface whose design probably influences the rest of the garden and the effect the most. There are many different options for planting at the edge of the pond: a riparian zone that is dominated by restrained and clear shapes goes well with a formal pond. A natural pond can be incorporated into the garden like a self-forming body of water with native plants for wetlands, or made very romantic with gently swaying grasses.