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Here's photo of the pond. 

Out of shot but running up to the slabs, that's a woodland bed and the slabs will be replaced by the beach which will come up and cover to that line. 

In the far top right corner is the bog garden (now dug out but yet to be lined) and the path on the left has yet to be gravelled and will match the path on the right of the pond which has (yes, you guessed it) still to be gravelled. The pollinator bed is directly to the left of the path and is well on its way now it's had a full season. The monardas and astrantias  have been fantastic along with the geraniums, especially Rozanne.

i'll post more photos when I get out there - tis very cold and the log burner is too tempting...

😀

Here are the promised pictures of the making of our pond.  The second picture shows the marginal end nearest the camera which was treated separately.  The last picture was taken only 3-4 weeks after we began, thanks to an excellent take of the grass seed.

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D C says:

Hi Redwing,

when did you introduce the native oxygenators please? With my new pond I am also planning on not planting anything until spring for the same reason, but if you had success with your oxygenators, I might give that a shot...

See original post

Hi DC, we put the oxygenators in in early/mid September.  I think now might be too late as growth has stopped as it's winter ....but I am not an expert.  I bought my oxygenators from Devon Pond Plants as I didn't know of a local source; didn't want to buy from the local GC as all their pond plants were covered in blanket weed!.  Devon Pond Plants seem good.  I am pretty sure if you emailed them they would advise you whether or not now is too late.  

http://www.devonpondplants.co.uk/

glasgowdan

Very interested in all this as I'm doing a pond myself. And £85 for liner and underlay sounds much better than £250+ for epdm or butyl. Especially if it's quite flexible and easy to install.

Going to plant ours in spring. But I'll be building a wee bridge over it this winter first 

Dovefromabove

Oxygenators will be in growth from late spring ... That's when they'll be available from good suppliers and they'll establish quickly at that time of year. Make sure you choose native species ... There are some introduced varieties now causing real problems to wildlife. 

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Dovefromabove says:

Oxygenators will be in growth from late spring ... That's when they'll be available from good suppliers and they'll establish quickly at that time of year. Make sure you choose native species ... There are some introduced varieties now causing real problems to wildlife. 

See original post

 That last sentence is true And causing real problless for the Environment Agency in the wider habitat. We used only the native Hornwort and Milfoil. The RSPB and Wildlife Trusts sites pond pages, as mentioned earlier, are excellent for naming native plants.

Redwing, that looks like a fabulous pond and the setting is gorgeous! You must so hate having that to look at it all!

😉😀

Daisydot says:

Redwing, that looks like a fabulous pond and the setting is gorgeous! You must so hate having that to look at it all!

😉😀

See original post

Well, it had been a bit of an eyesore.  Previously the area was a farm slurry pit.  We had tried to make a natural clay pond from it but it didn't work.  I think there were tree roots and rabbit tunnels which caused it to leak.  Also the sides were too steep and it was too deep as well.  Really looking forward to planting it up next spring.  A friend cleared out her pond and gave me some flag iris, bogbean and a lily which are in but I will buy more natives next spring.

So, how deep did you end up making the pond, Redwing? It doesn't look very deep but it might be deceptive? 

We can get seriously cold winters with prolonged spells of minus temperatures, so we dug down quite a way at its deepest - almost a metre, I think. But the rest is shelved at different  levels and the gentle slope at the other end houses the beach. We were given some flag irises from a friend too, but while most things will be planted in a layer of subsoil, the flags will stay in baskets to hold them from taking over.

 The schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 has a list of invasive non-natives to avoid, if anyone is interested in not having their fledgling pond being taken over in short order. I only found this by accident and I have to dispose of newly planted rosa rugosa and cotoneaster horizontalis as we live within a national park and I can't guarantee their containment. Got to say though, am gutted about the roses - the smell is divine! 

On the rhs website there is clear information about the contoneaster's schedule 9 status but nowhere mentions rugosa. I wonder why? 🤔

Daisydot says:

So, how deep did you end up making the pond, Redwing? It doesn't look very deep but it might be deceptive? 

See original post

The maximum depth is about .75m towards the middle back.  There is a shelf running from the far end and about half way along both sides of the pond which is about 20-25cm deep.  In between it slopes towards the deepest part.  In the foreground of the pond it gradually slopes to nothing.  We hope this gives all possible depths to encourage the maximum number of species.  The log pile on the right is for hibernating amphibians; we actually found two toads while we were making the pond. We thought .75m would be deep enough to stop it freezing in southern England.  It sounds like you live in a colder place so probably right to make yours deeper.  We also have a rainwater recapture system which we built in (this project has been a long time planning!) and an overflow outlet towards the bottom right.  On the other side of the hedge is a ditch which it drains into.  Hopefully this will keep it well oxygenated.  It's all so exciting.  This is our second pond.  The previous one was in another garden and was much smaller and less a wildlife pond than this one. 

Good luck with yours.

 

Daisydot - you could try the Rugosa 'Roseraie de la Haie', it is double flowered and smells the best of them all but mine has never set any hips in 30+ years.

I'm in a National park too, but anything that dares show its head the wrong side of the fence gets eaten by sheep! Sometimes that happens to things inside the fence too

Last edited: 06 December 2017 17:35:56

Redwing says:
We thought .75m would be deep enough to stop it freezing in southern England.  It sounds like you live in a colder place so probably right to make yours deeper.See original post

Where do people get this idea from that ponds need to be several feet deep to stop them freezing solid. Ice 3" thick is supposed to be strong enough to walk on - I don't remember ever having had anything like that depth of ice here in the English midlands. Most years we barely get 0.5". Even in the relatively cold winters we had a few years ago we didn't get all that much ice.

Dartmoor is obviously going to be colder because of the altitude, but even so Devon is one of the mildest parts of the country so I still doubt the ice would get very thick at all.

The worst thing is when this kind of advice gets applied to much smaller garden ponds, so instead of a sensible depth profile you just get a deep hole and maybe a 30cm planting shelf, but no room for truly shallow marginal areas.

Thank you Buttercupdays! I shall look into the Roseraie although I'm keen to keep single flowers in the pollinator bed and the rest of the back garden, generally. But then, there's always the front garden 😉 which is actually more sheltered!

 I know what you mean about chomping critters  - we've even had cows and ponies wandering around, trampling everything in sight! But since we put in the indeginous mixed hedge and mended the fence (even though it's not ours), we've been able to keep them on the right side. We did keep a couple of fox sized holes for use in ermergencies though and they've been used in times of dire need, too! Always ready to help our wildlife 😊

I'm not being aggressive, but it's a complete myth that English ponds are in danger of freezing to anything like that kind of depth. The fundamental trouble with the Wildlife Trusts' advice is that while it might be reasonable for larger, field-scale ponds, it's completely inappropriate for small garden ponds where broad & shallow is a much better option than small & deep. Again and again I see small ponds where the whole design is distorted by the idea that deeper is better, with the result than ponds end up with limited marginal areas, and with steeping sloping sides where plants are unable to grow.

It also fails to take into account that 'natural' unlined ponds tend to drop considerably in level through the summer through leakage, whereas ponds made with liner drop far less (inches rather than feet).

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My (tiny, 2sqm) pond has shelves at about 15cm, 30cm and 70cm, and near the sides it is steep, not gently sloping. It is an issue with wildlife - I have put rocks and stone in to make exits, but need to improve it further. So the pond is not broad and shallow. My previous pond was more like that (in its tiny way). However, in Cambridgeshire where I live the summers are are often dry and warm (well, everything is changing now), and in drier periods the water receded so much that it became a complete eyesore. Ponds are a compromise between competing design criteria, and there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. A benefit of this (steeper) design is that the water temperature fluctuates less and there is a larger body of water, meaning that nutrient fluctuation is also less. As for plants, it's early days, but I don't see why steepish sides should be an issue as longs as there are marginal shelves.

This have nothing to do with freezing, I wanted to point out some other considerations. Another issue for me was soil run-off, so I have raised the pond slightly above the surrounding soil using a concrete collar (slate on top of the collar and liner). It is not a natural look (neither slate nor the raise are - the collar is hidden by some soil and planting), but it works for me.

I think there are a lot things to consider when making a wildlife pond and generally, having researched for a long time about size, siting, planting, maintenance, etc I was, to be honest, fairly confused. There are lots of conflicting advice about depth!

 I understand Onopordum's assertions, generally and if living in a goldilocks location, then a shallow and broad pond might suit much better, if that's what is desired. Equally, all the photos on this thread illustrate how beautiful all wildlife ponds are.

However, in terms of the environment, when our local weather says it's been a beautiful, dry day with temps around 15, we can be sat under a blanket of snow ❄️ which never gets a mention. Likewise, when the rest of the country does have snow but it goes in a few days, we can still be snowed in after 10 days! The army has been known to close the roads to the village before now 🙄 So, there are situations where a wildlife pond being deeper offers a stable environment for all those inhabitants who need to have consistency. The wind chill alone can take your skin off up here, believe me and there's no shelter apart from the lee of the drystone walls we put in the garden.

Micearguers, I hadn't thought of the stability of the pond in terms of nutrients, etc - very interesting. We had to build up the one end of our pond (seen in above photo) because of a slope down the garden and the camber across. Consequently, we have that area multi-shelved and will place a log and other easily accessed escapes, as it sounds like you are doing. The bog garden at that end is hopefilly going to be a nice compliment to the woodland bed at the other end and the planting all the way around it, too.

We have decided to position a couple of massive granite boulders, taken out of the soil, to act like silent guardians over the garden. We have so many! But the garden is too small for ma of the evergreen shrubs I love (viburnum Titus being one) because they get so big. So, the boulders will quickly be colonised by mosses and lychens and look beautiful standing alone in winter or when the planting engulfs them!

Now, the weather says snow ❄️ is on the way so I'd better get the Factor 50 out!

😂

I meant TiNus, obviously. My roman emperor fixation keeps getting the better of my typing! 😊

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