Water gardening like several other gardening practices came out of Egypt around 4800 years ago. If you are thinking of adding some beauty to your backyard, consider a pond. Depending on the size and complexity you have the option of hiring a contractor or buying a kit and doing it yourself.
As is the case with all types of gardens, adding a pond for your own water garden will require the following plan. The plan includes the following segments.
- Choosing the right pond
- Siting the pond
- Determining the Size of the pond
- Constructing the pond
- Stocking the pond
- Maintaining the pond
Constructing a pond takes a fair amount of work. Obviously, once the work is done; undoing it will be time-consuming and costly. Choose a pond that fits in with the existing motif in the area where you want to put the pond. Is the area casual, formal, etc? Consider the amount of maintenance required and don’t forget the safety factor. Any area of standing water can be dangerous and lead to an accident and possibly to something much more serious such as drowning.
Pond To Be Enjoyed By All People
Place the pond in an area where it can be enjoyed by the family. The ideal place for a pond is at the end of the garden where it is secluded. Here, there won’t be a lot of foot traffic and the pond is likely to attract more wildlife.
Sun or shade? This is the next decision to be made. A thriving pond is a balance of plants and wildlife. Oxygen creates a healthy environment for everything that lives in the pond. Oxygenating plants provide the oxygen for a fresh and clean pond. Oxygenating plants require sunlight.
Don’t place your pond close to trees and shrubs. Leaves will fall into the pond, rot and foul the water. Tree roots can grow into the pond and puncture the pond liner.
The size of the pond depends on the size of the yard. The pond must be proportionate to the yard. The larger the yard the larger the pond. The depth of the pond should be at least 2 feet deep if you intend to put fish in it. Shallow water is more likely to evaporate in hot weather and freeze in cold weather. Marginal plants grow along the edge of the pond will require shelves to stand on. You may want to consider building a fountain in the pond. Fountains add beauty to the pond and are very relaxing.
To construct the pond, dig the hole and line it with a waterproof liner. There are several ways to do this. A pond liner made of polythene or butyl rubber can be used. The pond can be lined with concrete or clay. And, a pre-formed plastic pond liner can be used. Incorporate the pumps, skimmers, and waterfalls required to keep the water clean and aerated and flowing at the quality level required to support the plants and aquatic life in the pond.
When stocking the pond, it is best to have a mixture of submerged plants, emergent plants, and floating plants. Submerged plants live completely under water. These are the oxygenating plants. Marginal plants live around the edges of the pond in containers standing in the water. Deepwater plants have their roots underneath the water up to a foot and one half, approximately 18 inches of water. Then there are the free-floating plants which float on top of the water and their roots dangle in the water. These plants shade the water and help control the temperature of the water. They act as breeding places for wildlife.
Pond management is best done from the middle of fall into the first three weeks of winter. Pond management includes removing excess plants, taking out a small percentage of the wildlife (up to one third), topping off the water and maintaining a hole in the ice in the winter.
When planning to build your pond you will need to look at several things. These things will determine the size, placing, building, stocking, and management of your water garden. All of these tasks are relatively easy. When you perform these several tasks in a quality fashion you will be rewarded with a beautiful water garden which will bring you many hours of satisfaction and joy.
The Proper Cleaning and Maintenance of Interior Water Features
As you might expect, your main concern in the cleaning and maintenance of interior water features will be the moss and algae which are bound to show up on the fountain bowls, bases and the pumps feeding water to them. This proliferation of green slime is more pronounced for exterior fountain décor than for interior ones because bright sunlight promotes the growth of algae.
Another thing you will have to remove is the mineral precipitates from water, which accumulate both on the bowl and in the pump due to their prolonged immersion in water. Depending on whether your fountain is under direct sunlight or in the shade, cleaning and maintenance of interior water features may have to be done between once every month and once every three months.
Do The Draining
The first step to take in the cleaning and maintenance of interior water features will be draining the fountain dish. This shouldn’t be difficult if your fountain has a drain. In case it doesn’t, you might find a way to adjust the flow of water from the pump so that it doesn’t cycle back but goes through and out. Siphoning is another option for draining the dish, only if the dish is higher than ground level. For ponds, leasing an electric pump will do the job.
A good scrubbing will always make a better job of the cleaning and maintenance of interior water features than chemicals which kill algae. First, you need to scrape off any thick layers of slime before starting to brush the dish and base with an abrasive material. Metal fountain dishes could be scratched by brushing, so use coarse acrylic pads to scrub them instead. Apply hot water and washing detergent to wash off the debris from the bowl and base.
Remove Dirt From Your Pump
Equally as important is removing the algae and mineral deposits from your water pump, since these deposits can clog up and damage your pump. Most pumps come with instructions on how to dismantle them. If your pump doesn’t, ask a friend who may know or pay a technician to do it. After the parts have been isolated, immerse them in a vinegar solution to soften the water deposits. Then use a toothbrush with durable bristles, some hot water, and washing detergent to brush the parts of the pump.
Obviously, if you live in a hard water area, you might have to clean your pump as often as once a month. In this regard, it is important for you to be observant of the performance of your water pump. Should you see that it isn’t pumping water as fast as usual, that means it’s time to clean it.
You should also be on the lookout for the water level in your pump. Don’t ever allow the level to recede so as to cause your pump to burn up. Some pumps come with a water level gauge, but if yours doesn’t, check the water every day.
For cleaning and maintenance of interior water features in winter, you should store your fountain and pump inside the house. Because some fountains cannot be detached, you will need to dry the dish thoroughly, fill it thoroughly with water absorbent cloth and cover everything with a thick waterproof material.