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17/09/2013 at 22:59

We are ready to go with our pond at last - a cash flow problem set our plans back  cos I couldn't afford the liner!  I don't know though if now would be a stupid time to finish it though - would aerating plants have enough time to establish before winter?  It would be lovely to have everything in place and having achieved some kind of ecological balance so that spring activity might be possible; but if the plants all die off in the interim and I'm left with a stagnant pond it will obviously be defeating the object ... what do the pond people out there think?

17/09/2013 at 23:06

Go ahead Sara, algae growth won't be much of a problem in the winter if you don't get te oxygenating plants in. If the pond is dug, lined, filled and  edged it won't take long to plant up in spring.

17/09/2013 at 23:32

I knew you'd know, Nut - so do you think it will be better not to even try putting the plants in pre-winter? I'm in mid Devon and it's mild in comparison to many places so should I put some in and be prepared to replace them if we get a big freeze?

17/09/2013 at 23:57

Finish the pond building now but plant up in spring I think.  Plants won't be doing anything over winter and it's a cold unpleasant chore doing it then anyway.  Wait until spring and plant up on a nice sunny warm day.  Enjoy this part of finishing off your pool in comfortable weather.  Use the winter to plan what plants  you want there and to position them to look their best together....just as you would in your garden.  

18/09/2013 at 07:58

I'd agree with Verd, Sara although I'd look at what you want for round the pond edges and the surrounding area and get a few things in there if you can - especially the early flowering ones like Caltha. They'll get going before the winter and give things a lift in the late winter/early spring . It gives you time over winter to browse pond plant catalogues and buy far more than you'll need as well... 

18/09/2013 at 08:48

sara do you have any photos yet?

18/09/2013 at 13:00

I've been planning the planting forever and a day, and as fairygirl says I will need to spend about ten thousand pounds to get all the ones I want!  I suffer from plant kleptomania, I think ...

I agree with everybody, I'll leave the marginal planting 'til the spring in the main (unless I can't resist) but I think I'll put some oxygenators in and hope for the best - it will be quite a large pond to try and sort out if it gets stagnant!

Clueless, you asked for it - I shall post a before and after of the front garden so far in a minute, although at the moment the pond is still a largeish hole in the ground.

18/09/2013 at 13:33

Whatever you decide to do Sara it'll be great. A pond of any size or type is such an asset. The blanket weed thing is always a bit of an issue but as long as you have some oxygenators, some floating plants (water lilies etc)  and prevent as much debris as possible from getting into it the balance will come. Straw is a good help in a big pond. If you intend having fish- overfeeding creates a lot of gunk for algae to feed on- so my one bit of advice if you want them would be- less is more! Pix of your progress would be lovely.

PS: only ten grand Sara? 

18/09/2013 at 13:39

 The previous owners had about eight cars and a mobile home, and were quite keen on concrete.  We have dug it all up and got to this, so far

 And before you all say so, yes I know some of the trees are a bit close by .... but if I'd listened to all the problems and pitfalls which might occur I would have given up before I started.

The pond is about 6m x 6.5 in a sort of lopsided figure of 8 shape so will hopefully be very pretty and attractive to wildlife (no filters or anything).  Or a massive stagnant blot on the landscape, which I hope to avoid!

All ideas always welcomed ...

18/09/2013 at 14:33

Sara-don't worry about the trees. At my last house we had a huge pond which had a conifer hedge running along one edge and quite a few trees along another. They provided a bit of shade from sun at the hottest part of the day. They provide lots of cover for animals and birds too. You'll have loads of scope there for a beautiful feature. 

18/09/2013 at 14:38

That IS reassuring FG, thank you -my  rationale for saying dig and be damned was that real wildlife ponds don't occur in lunar landscapes anyway, and I can't see that a few leaves in a biggish pond are going to cause a problem.  I hope not, because I'm not the type to spend my life neurotically fishing them out!  I was more concerned that we would damage the trees by digging, but I think they're so well established that they have escaped injury.  Too late now, anyway. 

18/09/2013 at 14:48

If you can get a net in place to catch leaves it'll help but frankly - in a big pond it's not feasible anyway.  As you say- a bit of debris isn't the end of the world. We removed a fair bit of waste that had built up as the previous owners overfed the fish but it would have been impossible to clear it  and keep it that way. There was a huge amount of resident wildlife in the pond and we improved it a good bit by making a beached edge etc and renovating the banks. It was very rewarding. In the smaller pond it fed into,  we used watercress for the blanket weed which cleared it beautifully. It's hard work creating a pond Sara but I'm sure you won't be disappointed when it's completed. 

18/09/2013 at 14:49

FG - I've just looked at the price of a starter pack of oxygenators for a pond this size!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ten grand isn't going to come close!

18/09/2013 at 16:18

Cadge some from other pond owners.  They spread rapidly.

18/09/2013 at 16:36

Sara if you want to stop it becoming stagnant dig a bog garden out for excess rainwater to run in to.

I did this on mine and it worked brilliantly. I had no filters, pumps or anything. I just dug a shallow basin like hole about 3/4 ft in diameter put pond liner in the bottom with a few holes, planted it with marginal plants and topped it with gravel. I made sure my pond dipped slightly in that direction and did a sort of pebbly beech effect. Made steps there into the pond to put some big stones on and plants could sit on the ledges too. Worked out great for frogs etc. as the could easily get in and out and they also used that area to spawn as the fish didn't like to go into the shallows around there.

Hope that makes sense 

18/09/2013 at 17:56

Addict, I have something like that in mind - you can't see it properly because of how the light is, but in the corner of the hole in the last picture, there is a flat area which is partly separated from the main pond.  There is a similar area on the other side of the pond which isn't in the pictures.  These are the projected bog gardens, and as the garden isn't level the pond will naturally run into them.  The sticky out bit of higher ground and the ex path behind them will all be gravelled as a beach.  I'd love to see some photos of your pond (and everybody elses too).

18/09/2013 at 19:06

Oh ok  I'll shut up then lol. Would love to show you pics but they are all on hard drive that son took to uni. He has promised me he will put on cd for me but still waiting!!!!  My camera broke this year so til I get new one can't take any either 

18/09/2013 at 20:03

Oh please don't shut up, I need all the help I can get - in fact the planning stage took so long and I researched so much that I think I've ended up overcomplicating things in my head, so straightforward advice is just what I need.  Naughty son, can't he email them to you?  (Those younger than us 27 year olds know how to do things like that)

18/09/2013 at 20:21

The reason they were put on an external hard drive is because my old but faithful computer could'nt handle them all! Its not just my garden on there its all the gardens i work in and have ever worked in....not sure how many days it would take to email them all and computer would probably explode lol.

You sound as if you you have planned it quite well which is more than I did I just made it up as I went along! 

18/09/2013 at 21:22

I wish I had just dug a hole and got on with it.  I got so neurotic about not letting any nutrients seep into it and not having it on the skew, getting bog gardens and beaches and every water compatible plant I'd ever seen crammed into it that I now have no idea what I'm doing at all!

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