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in Wildlife gardening
Here's outer school pond so far. It's a work in progress. Just added lots of oxygenators and planted a good few marginals.
So anyone have some advice for improvements? I was thinking of adding pebbles on the slope?
Pebbles provide a beach for insects, frogs, birds, hedgehogs etc to exit/enter, drink and is always a good idea. They also cover a multitude of sins and provide a pleasing look. Only one question, is it a new liner?
The liner has been there a year or two I think.
If it's been exposed all that time look carefully to see if it's degraded. Getting that covered with turf, paving, stones, pebbles or a mixture is a priority. Don't rely on pond plants doing that
Its only been exposed since winter when I had to pull out all of the dead overgrown irises.
I think I would fill it to the top and leave for 24 hrs to see if there is a leak. If it is replace the liner and redo the pond. If you do it right first time it will last a good few years. Once a liner has a leak the leaks multiply and you never get a good pond. It's pointless doing anything if the liner isn't doing it's job.
That's good. They're not cheap
Marginal water plants to cover the edge's. You seem to have a shelf around the side of the pond so use it to place the marginal plants. You can plant around the top edge of the pond with plants that will droop into the water, or use large stones to create a rock face. Insects will sun themselves on the rocks during summer.
This is my pond Justin - it is a very similar shape and size to yours and so will give you my ideas on what you can do with it!
I would suggest planting a couple of Astilbes around the edge where they won't over-shadow your pond too much. They are fast growing plants that love boggy soil.
Try and locate some large stones to edge the pond (a local disused quarry maybe?), and some smaller stones to make a pebble beach so that everything can get in and out of the pond.
Looks great! Where did you get the beach pebbles may I ask?
Sorry I've not got back to you Justin.
The beach pebbles actually came from my own front garden where they were lying under a weepy cotoneaster tree. They were originally put there to hide bare soil when the tree was a sapling (many years back). I digress .... I believe I will have bought the pebbles probably from B&Q but you can get them from any landscaping place. B&Q and the likes have the advantage of selling them in relatively small bags, since you won't need many. Oh, and of course you get 10% discount on 'Old Farts Day' (Wednesdays) if you happen to know anyone over 60!
A cheaper alternative would be to take your school kids somewhere local where you can source the pebbles for free - a beach maybe or a river bed?
Aaaargh! Strictly illegal to remove pebbles from the beach - big fines!!! Even just a few!!! You have to have a licence from DEFRA.
Sorry - I DID wonder and should have checked.
Maybe go to the beach in the dead of night ....... (only kidding, I'm a volunteer for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and of course wouldn't condone such behaviour).
I brought a small stone back from the Verdon Gorge last year for my pond, just as a fond memory. I can see the headlines now .........!
I've used bags of Scottish pebbles and large graded pea shingle for my pond - the GC also had some larger stones 3 for a tenner, so I had those too - I'd like one more big stone so shall keep visiting garden centres until I find the right one
Ok, here's the next stage, complete with pebbles! Few more to go! I've also just repaired the liner so excuse the brick that's weighting it. There's marsh marigolds, bogbean, pond lilies and water hawthorn growing in there steadily now.
Any thoughts? Comments?
It's coming along Justin - the beach looks good - I've just been sitting out in the garden watching wasps and bees on our 'beach' taking a drink
You need to get all the exposed pond liner covered up down to the water level as sunlight will hasten it's deterioration.
Don't know what funds you have - we were able to cover ours with turf, but you can get these http://www.pondkeeper.co.uk/velda-pond-liner-edge-overgrowing-mat/p1418 which you lay over the edge of the pond and into the water, and then you plant your marginals into the pockets - that gives you natural looking planting around the edge of the pond and the liner is covered and protected from sunlight
Sorry to put a spanner in the works Justin () but the problem seems to be that the pond hasn't been dug level at the start. You seem to have quite a bit of liner to play with so you could pull that back at the low edges of the pond, build them up to a similar level as the high side and replace the liner. Alternatively, pull back the liner from the high edge and dig it down to the same level as the lower edge. That way you solve the problem of any exposed liner deteriorating. It's possibly a bridge too far, but it might be worth it in the long run. I had a similar problem at my last house - it was rather a large pond though and we had to tackle it in a couple of ways, but I did exactly that along the high side.