For all of you who live in the Northern Hemisphere, it is still winter. Your thoughts are on warm winter-woollies rather than the garden. But planning is at least 50% of the work, and a lot of fun. So no, you don’t have stand out there in a snow-storm with your shovel yet, we wait until the soil is nice and soft for digging. We don’t have a huge garden (although weeding the thing takes up plenty of time) but my dreams are Big. Monet-like landscapes come to my fertile mind, complete with ponds and waterlilies. Unfortunately we don’t have Claude Monet-like money, nor do we live on an estate in France. But the pond stayed in my mind.
So, first I looked out of the ranch slider. Where did I want the pond, because if I dug a whole, only to have to fill it up with dirt again because I couldn’t see it from my favorite spot in the house, it was going to be all for nothing. So take a place where you can actually see it, all year round. Then I used the garden hose to make a shape. I choose an L-shape, but of course you can have a round one, kidney shaped or any other shape. Make sure that it is in harmony with the rest of the garden. Don’t make a small pond in a corner while you have a large garden. Think “water-feature”. You’ll want people to admire your pond, and it must be placed in a prominent place.
So, after fiddling with the garden hose to get the shape right, get out the spade, and start digging, if you want a sloping edge. This takes up more space, but is easier in the end. If you want sharp edges, and a square,it is easier to make a wooden shape first, and dig “into” this shape. This shape should be made by an advanced handyman, or else you’ll end up with a funny shape. Lower this structure into the hole.
Buy black pond-liner or black PVC from a building-supply store. There is a price-difference; the pond-liner is UV resistant and the PVC not. PVC will somewhat disintegrate after a year, and will need replacing. Make sure the plastic is ample to cover the whole of the bottom of the pond as well as the sides. Cover the whole bottom. On the sloping pond you’ll need something to cover the PVC sides, like rocks or pebbles. The square pond will need stapling with a builders stapler.
This needs to be done neatly, because you will see the sides.
All you’ll need to do now is fill it up with water and buy water plants and the job is nearly done. You can buy water filters and pumps if you want to do a real good job. I have not put these in and I need to refill my pond now and then. Unless you live in a sub-tropical climate I wouldn’t put goldfish in; they won’t survive the frost. But what do you do when you have a garden or balcony the size of a postage-stamp? You can still have a water feature. Buy a large ceramic pot, close the bottom off so it’s waterproof. Fill up with water and arrange water plants!