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Journal Lockdown wildlife pond

dw1305

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Hi all,
making the wall with loads of caves and nooks and crannies below the water surface.
It definitely works, the other advantage is that the liner isn't exposed as the water level drops.
but yet could not source the material for it. All I can find in my region offering garden design materials are way to expensive for that.
I was lucky there, I just put the stone I'd dug out making the pond, back into the pond <"to create the rock terraces">.

pond_view_towards_house1-jpg.jpg


Having said that digging the pond would have been a lot easier if there hadn't been rock really near the surface. I would have gone deeper, but it was only a shallow "rubble" layer <"before I hit the bedrock">.

cheers Darrel
 

zozo

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It definitely works, the other advantage is that the liner isn't exposed as the water level drops.

That was my main idea of aesthetically pleasing, no liner in view. :)

I was lucky there, I just put the stone I'd dug out making the pond,

Fortunately, i mainly have to dig Loess soil and sand. :) Unfortunately, i have to source the rest from somewhere. And what dug up and readily available in my area is mainly Marl and river cobbles from the Maas River. Everything else such as Flagstones is an import and a top-dollar per m² at some garden design centre.
 

Kezzab

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Ok, take 2.

We're back to any empty pond. Pics below illustrate planned approach, will be moved prior to refill. Smaller flat stones will be 50% ish submerged. Large stones are on bank above water line. I may bank some soil at the back of the large rocks, off the liner..

Gap in large rocks will be a gravel beach extending a couple of feet down a slope, bounded by stones, beneath the water line. This is to give easier access to wildlife.

Large flat slabs are a viewing, dipping point.

Any issues with any of that?

Next question is should i add gravel to all, some or none of the pond as a substrate?

Thanks
20200507_195823.jpg
20200507_195817.jpg
 

mort

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I know people seem to like adding gravel to the base of ponds now but personally I think it's better to leave the bottom bare because you will get lots of leaves and debris settling there and if you have gravel it'll be a pain to get it all out. Gravel on beached areas is a good idea though.

One thing I don't often see but I personally like is to add some wood. I have a oak branch sticking out the water and the birds like standing on it to drink, plus there are always damselflies and the odd dragonfly on it in the summer.
 

martin-green

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I guess someone has to tell you, so................
Kezzab said:
Just got on with it. Patience is not a virtue of mine.

It still shows.

Kezzab said:
Thanks for the advice folks. All new to me.

We (collectively) are trying to help. I quite understand that you want to make a wildlife pond, and that you want it to look nice, but rushing it is not going to help.
Your idea is good

Kezzab said:
a gravel beach extending a couple of feet down a slope, bounded by stones, beneath the water line. This is to give easier access to wildlife.

But not only should it be built right, it should look right, building a wall from odd sized stones, is not easy, and is not a case of plonk them in a line and then plonk the next ones above the first and so on. You have to put the biggest one down first, and if it doesn't look right, turn it round till it does, if it still doesn't fit, don't use it there try another one, and so on.

The other thing to note (And a lot of people do this) name me one pond made by nature that has a ring of stones round it. You can't because that is not what nature does. Yes, a pebble beach, but a whole ring?

Incidentally, if you make a pebble beach, unless you have lots and lots of pebbles they will fall /slide into the pool, a thing to try, is to have something large at the bottom of the beach to stop the smaller pebbles sliding in, but if you use a big rock, it would be a good idea to put it on an off cut of liner first (So it can not puncture the main liner)

Others may want to give their opinion, so wait and see what they say. and keep up the good work, and keep taking pictures as you go, it really does help.



.
 

Kezzab

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Thanks all,

In terms of the aesthetics of the rock work around the pond it could be improved upon certainly but it doesnt bother me, but if you think it matters functionally thats different issue.

For sure you wont see a pond in nature that looks like this, but ive seen ponds done this way, or near enough, and they appear to host lots of wildlife.

The plan with the beach is to bound it with a ring of submerged stone to prevent slippage. Ive plenty of cut off liner so will double up, also along the edge as suggested.

Wood is something im not short of so that should be ok.

Thanks
 

mort

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I do get what Martin is saying, there is natural and then there is our interpretation of natural which is often very different.

For me when I've built wildlife ponds I haven't always worried too much about what it looks like to begin with because my mind is already several years down the road. I tend to plant really heavily, to heavily really, so I don't really see the hardscape. With an abundance of plants and habitat it won't really matter in the end even if it's not particularly natural looking.
I use wood around the edges because there is a lot of fallen oak round here but not much rock apart from flint. When you throw in a few grasses and other edging plants it won't look so out of place.
 

papa_c

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I built a pond a few years back and to keep the pebble beech in place i placed a 4 x 6 piece of timber across the width of the pond under the liner so the top was 2 inches under the final water level. This created a natural dam holding the pebbles in place from the main pond. Never had a pebble roll into the main pond

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I like the pond
Once all the plants are all put in place.
To make it more nature looking.
I think the end product will be looking very good.. love it so far. In a couple of years.
Once all the planting is mature it will look amazing. Water Lilly's in the pond. And iris
Around the edges. Plus other plants.
You have done a great job so far. Agree about not putting gravel or stuff in the bottom. Be harder to clean. With all your trees. Pond vac will sort that out.
Keep at it mate. And love the photos
Fred

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zozo

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Try to find some Marsh Fern <Thelypteris palustris> That's a very easy and tall fern that likes to grow wet. It also grows epiphytic on rock and will spread easily with a dense growing blanket of brown fibered rhizomes.

Then we also have Maidenhair spleenwort <Asplenium trichomanus> a much smaller beautiful fern a tad more difficult but once it catches up it also likes to grow damp as a Litophyte. :) (Hence our common name for this gem is Stone Breaking Fern)
Perfectly to feather rocky edges.

For the rest, there are quite some smaller trailing and creeping plants to use planted in the nooks and crannies in between the rock at the water's edge. To name a few Pennywort, Creeping Jenny, Mazus reptans, Bog pimpernel.
 

mort

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Looking really good. I'd be proud of that.

Just to add to Marcel's plant list above I'd suggest Osmunda regalis, the royal fern. I have had a couple growing in the margins of my ponds for years and they add a certain elegance. They would be fine planted outside the pond as well to soften the edges and can become quite impressive.

If you have space for a dominant plant around the edge or as a backdrop further back, then rodgersia or Darmera peltata (which even grows in the pond margins) are less dominating than gunnera which looks nice when young but becomes absolutely huge.
 

Tim Harrison

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chinwag

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This is looking really good - agree with everyone else, it'll start to soften once stuff starts growing, especially if you can encourage some growth on the stones as well.

You definitely made the right call to stop and rework the edges to cover the liner.
 
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