Whether you live by the principles of the Chinese concept of feng shui, or you just love the idea of having your own private water environment for a selection of aquatic life, a small backyard pond is a delightful addition to a garden.
If you want to save money and be entirely responsible for the creative design, then you will need to know how to make a pond yourself. You may never learn how to perform a service on your car nor bother painting your house but to know how to make a pond is something that may spur you on to other inventive home DIY projects.
Other than the fish with which you will stock your pond, a water feature will attract other wildlife such as frogs and birds. Your garden will be an inviting place, not just for you and your family but to the fauna of the neighborhood too. If you learn how to make a pond successfully, it should serve its purpose for decades and provide many hours of enjoyment and inspiration.
What Kind of Pond?
Scour landscaping magazines for ideas and compile a scrapbook of cuttings and notes. Check your local newspaper for hobby classes that may offer instructions not only on the construction, but on how to make a pond blend in with the natural environment, how to seal it so that it does not leak and how to best care for it as time goes by. You may also learn about those that require filters, pumps and linings.
Once you know how to make a pond, you need to decide where it will be best situated. Away from trees that lose a lot of foliage is a good idea so that it does not become clogged with leaves.
Also, part shade, part sunshine is recommended, as is proximity to the water source, whether natural or man made so that it can be topped up if necessary. A power source is necessary for some pumps.
Dig the hole
Using your specifications, mark out the border with your garden hose. Dig the hole, keeping in mind that there could be utilities situated beneath the surface. Always check property plans first. Remembering safety first is as important as knowing how to make a pond.
Dig a few inches deeper than you want the pond to be, to allow for padding with materials like carpet, sand or pond liner underlay. Irregularity of shape will lend a more natural look.
Lining for Waterproofing
If you do not know how to make a pond waterproof, there is no point building it. The most straightforward way to contain water without leakage is usually to lay a butyl or other flexible liner. To determine the size of liner needed for the pond you have in mind, use the following formula: length plus twice maximum depth multiplied by width plus twice maximum depth. Eliminate anything sharp like rocks or twigs.
Line with sand, earth or old carpet then lay the liner on top. Add a two-inch layer of subsoil, then trickle water into the pond slowly, over a plastic sheet to avoid disturbing the soil. The weight of the water will position the liner perfectly into place. Finally, bury the liner edges so that they are not visible.
Learning how to make a pond is comparatively simple to say, building a brick barbecue. The hard work is in digging the hole but at the end of the day, you can feel happy and satisfied that the fish swimming in it are there because of your efforts.
Photo by carole smith, Creative Commons Attribution License