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Backyard ponds

CHOOSING THE MATERIAL FOR THE BACKYARD POND


There are several materials available for small pond construction. These are reinforced concretepreformed liners and flexible liners. The flexible liner is the only truly viable alternative for over ninety percent of home applications. Concrete is much too expensive and work intensive given the available alternatives.  A pond five feet long, three feet wide and two feet deep will require twenty one cubic feet of concrete, which is difficult to mix.

Nevertheless, there are those who want something really durable and concrete is that. Plumbing and drain lines can be built into the concrete pool but this is work for a professional and not recommend for the average pond builder. To see how to build a backyard pond from concrete, click here. 

The preformed liners come in various sorts of plastic and in fiberglass. They are quite limiting as to depth, shape and size, however they are very easy to install. To build a pond from a preformed liner, click here.


PLACING THE BACKYARD POND

These indications are for siting any in-ground pool or pond.

If there is more than one area you can place your garden pond, several factors should be taken into consideration. These come under the two categories of  aesthetic, or design elements, and practical factors. We'll address the practical side first.

Avoid placing the pond under trees, as this will both diminish the kinds of water plants you can grow and will require more frequent cleaning of the pond, as well as demanding a more robust filtration syste. Avoid putting it where it will receive runoff, especially from surfaces which may carry toxins or chemicals which can alter the pH of the water. Cement, for example, can wash lime into the water, raising the pH. Fish can tolerate quite a range of acidity but they don't like fluctuations.

Don't place it where it will be in the way of normal activities. In your excitement to have a pond you may place it somewhere you would normally use differently, where children would play, or your only viable sitting area, or simply where it and the sound of it is always with you.  You may come to regret that decision later.

Once you've decided on a few viable locations that will work from a practical point of view, consider the aesthetics. What do you want your pond to do for you? Entryway pools can create a considerable impact, but you will probably only see them coming and going. Still. for those moments a pond so placed can give quite a lot of pleasure.

Many people enjoy putting the pond where it can be seen from the house. This has the advantage of being able to enjoy it even in inclement weather. A potential disadvantage to this is that we can quickly become too used to something we see all the time and kind of 'stop seeing it'.

How about as a destination point? This is a design element lacking in most gardens, yet can make the difference between a garden that is used and one that is not. If you have something, such as a pond, in some nice, removed portion of your property, it works like a magnet, drawing you out and into your garden, and gives you something satisfying to enjoy once out there.

A pond at the edge of a patio is in my view among the most enjoyable of placements, and if you can see it from the house, but not in an upclose and personal way, you get the best of all worlds. It is remote enough to be a draw, it can be enjoyed from the home while being removed enough to not become too familiar and it is right there for maximum enjoyment when you are outside, on your patio, dining, entertaining, sitting in the sun or what have you.

If you plan to have a waterfall, try to find a place where there is a high point sloping downward or where one can be made that does not look artificial. The water flow should seem to have a reason for being. You can leave the ground sloped or even enhance the slope where you intend to put the waterfall while easily leveling the pond area. The pool itself should be placed on a low, level area, where it would naturally occur.
 

Although not really within the subject of where to place the pond, it may be worth mentioning here that size is a more important question than is sometimes realized. For more information on this see.
Pond Size.

To learn how to build a garden pond from a flexible liner, click here.

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