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Creating a Pond Garden.

Gina

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I'm starting with an empty area about 10 x 4 metres between sun lounge and observatory in front of living room window and facing roughly south.  I have killed off most of the weeds and grass by covering with an old tarpaulin for a year or so.  This has also stopped the ground from drying out and making it easier to dig.   In addition to providing a path to the observatory, this will provide flowers and shrubs to see from the living room window.  Plus a small pond and fountain.  The latter is something I have been working on in 3D printing and plan to have something unique.  Apart from the pond there will be planting areas and slabs and ornamental stepping stones.

I have removed most of the tarpaulin and started digging a hole for the pond.  The latter is a pre-formed pond I bought from Amazon :-
Bermuda Sand Pre Formed Pond 128 x 84 cm.

Here are some photos of pond hole digging and the general area.

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I'm debating with myself whether to buy a whole heap of lightweight concrete blocks from Wickes - 90 @ £180 each plus £30 carriage.  I can probably still do concrete work so I'll get some cement, aggregate and sand too.  OTOH I guess there's no need to spend a huge amount in the first year (not that a few hundred pounds is much compared with astro stuff).  Also I think I've decided I don't want too much concrete and stone though and I can have some lawn.  Trouble with me is that I get an idea for a project and want to go full steam ahead on it.  This is not really the idea of a garden - I must learn to pace myself and not try to do everything immediately.

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Gina

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Thalestris24 said:

That looks like hard labour, Gina!

Louise

I think you're right, Louise!  I'll see how things go.  I'm thinking along the lines of an area of grass interspersed with stepping stones.  I do like the irregular slate ones and I think I shall get some more of those.  Problem ATM is that the ground has dried out now and is hard to dig or level.  I can put lumps of turf into the hollows and let the higher areas self seed - it won't take long if we get some rain. 

I have half a dozen concrete slabs about 4ft x 18" x 1½"  (1300x500x40mm).  I'm thinking they might make a path from the garden area to the observatory.  I need to loosen the soil before laying though - or get some sand.  So far I've moved one from the back of the house to the front with my sack barrow.

Edited by Gina

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I built my one about 25 years ago. Of course I was fitter and stronger then, lol. Even so, I cheated a bit as I made use of two existing low walls on one side of a paved area. So I just had to add two more walls. I think they were only about 18" high and I used a sheet-type pond liner. I loved it when it was done and I really miss having a house and garden ?.

Mind you don't do yourself an injury, Gina!

Louise

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Cripes Gina, I would think twice  before just lifting up oner end of a slab that size!

Please take care we don't want you to be buried under one of those!

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Gina

Posted (edited)

Thank you both :D  I'll be careful.

Edited by Gina
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Probably the easiest thing to do with four of those slabs is a pond with a liner to hold the water.  Not so far to trundle them ?  I'm thinking gravel would be better for a path to the observatory and easier to do.

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Gina

Posted (edited)

Found something that I think would be better for an ornamental pond and more ambitious water feature.  The idea would be a raised pond cased in timber (probably).  Being raised with vertical sides, things like hedgehogs would not be able to get in it - they can use the ornamental pond. 
Faithfull BATH Plasterers Bath 4ft x 2ft x 1ft

Edited by Gina

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I've got one of those to quarantine my fish in if they need treating.

Here's our pond dig many years ago, we dug a trench and made a concrete collar then excavated the inside and fitted a liner.

Dave

img006.thumb.png.46b8f910968b6aacea92a22795bf0764.png

 

My daughter and dog filling it and getting the creases out of the liner

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Me in the shallow end 

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WOW!  That is some pond ?  I don't envisage digging anything like that!!

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Gina

Posted (edited)

At present I'm concentrating on the small garden area.  I've moved the big tarpaulin to the next area as far as the observatory and up the slope a bit (northwards) covering grass and nettles 3-4ft high.  It can defoliate that area :)  I don't think I shall be moving any more large concrete slabs.  They're not very pretty anyway.

Edited by Gina

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I have a fair sized heap of timber of various sizes  and should be able to find something to enclose the bath as a raised pond.  It's only 1ft deep so won't need very much timber.  I have Ronseal Total Wood Preserver (green) from coating my observatory that I can use to preserve the wood.

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Been out to the big shed and found a number of pieces of timber that I could use for a 4ft x 2ft pond a foot deep.  All sorts of sizes.  I might also make some raised beds for planting.  That timber has been in there for 10 or 15 years - maybe more.  We used to buy job lots of timber for making sheds from local sales.  These were mostly roof timbers from large barns.  I still have some 8" x 3" like I used as the foundations for my observatory and there are even bigger ones.  Only problem is... I can't lift them!  There's plenty of smaller stuff though such a 2" x 8" and 2" x 6" as well as what might be used as cladding.  My bench mitre saw can take up to 12" x 3" so I don't need to saw by hand.

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Bath arrived today and looks the business :)  The internal dimensions are a bit less than quoted but the flange is around 3" greater.  Internal depth is a good 12".  It tapers towards the bottom where the dimensions are about 40" x 15" but that is fine for my purpose.  I plan to box it in with timber sides and something like 4" wide pieces round the top.

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Gina

Posted (edited)

Went out this afternoon and had a good look at the area to determine where to put the new "pond" and fountain/water-feature.  There's a wide view through the picture window in the living room so decided to put it away from the other pond and bird feeder between the new micro observatory and main one.  Started a bit of planting round the naturalistic pond too.

Some photos from indoors as it's raining.

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Edited by Gina
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Done some more planting round the pond - some more of the plant with red leaves and stalks and tiny pink flowers transplanted from another place, plus some turf.  It was too dark for photos when I'd finished.  I'll be doing more tomorrow and take photos then.  I may learn the names of plants but for now I'll just pick what I like and see how it goes.

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Been out to local farm shop for groceries and they had plants for sale - I got a dozen assorted for just £3 - now that is what I call value ?  Now to plant them...

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Gina

Posted (edited)

Started putting the new plants round the pond but then my brain got into gear and I thought "how do I mow the grass and not the flowers?".  Oooops.  Maybe I was a bit premature buying plants.  I may build some raised beds for planting but that will be a fair bit of work and won't get done very quickly.  Goodness me, I'm green at gardening and not in a good way!! ?

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Edited by Gina
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Now watering the area having filled up the pond - it had gone down a couple of inches.  AND I now have wildlife in my pond ?  Just one lone pondskater, but it's a start. :)

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Soaked the turf and some of the soil round the pond so whether we get rain or not the plants and turf should take.

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Decided I can't be bothered to wait for the tarp to kill the grass where the second pond is going so I've started removing it by slicing underneath with a sharp spade.  Fortunately, no nettles in that area.  Found an iron bar that I'd long lost ?  Tracked back to one end and was able to prise it out.  About 4ft long and 1½" diameter.  Now cleared about half the area of the bottom of the tub (bath, pond or whatever...).  Not digging down any more as I want the pond raised anyway.  Ornamental, not wildlife, so I don't want hedgehogs getting in it.

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1 hour ago, Gina said:

I don't want hedgehogs getting in it

I've seen a hedgehog with a cyst so large it only had the use of three legs climb up the front of a bookcase...

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