Cat shown for scale (cat is massive)
Last year this bed was where I grew my brussells sprouts. Since they’ve all been eaten (4 plants is a good amount for a family of 4 btw- you will run out of sprouts at about the same time you get really sick of them) I was able to get cracking on my plan for extending the pond/wildlife area.
I have built one and a half wildlife ponds before so I vaguely know what I’m doing. So, for your information here is how I did it. The Digger- cocking up gardening so you don’t have to.
Yes, that is solid clay.
Nope, never dries out.
These are the conditions I’m working with- heavy clay that never dries out. For years I’ve been trying to fix it but now that I have more space for veg up at the allotment, I can finally work with the conditions and put in another pond and a bog garden.
I found some sanity at the bottom of the hole. And a lot of bricks.
First things first, decide where you want your pond. If you want a natural wildlife pond it’s best to go for somewhere flat or at the bottom of a slope, and somewhere that gets some sun. This spot ticks the boxes and will get more sun that the other pond so hopefully the frogs will prefer it.
If you’re organised or picky then you can mark out the edge of your pond so that you can plan the shape beforehand. I was limited by the space available, so since I didn’t have much scope for choosing a size and shape I just dug.
It’s a good idea to have different depths in the pond. I needed a deep bit for a water lily that I impulse bought last summer and has been sitting in a bucket ever since, poor thing. But I also wanted a shallow bit for some native marginals.
An hour and a half later….
Make sure you check to see if your pond is level, otherwise you’ll end up with loads of liner showing on one side and it will haunt you forever.
Don’t worry, it’s meant to look like this.
You’ll need to put something between the pond liner and the ground to prevent it getting punctured by sharp rocks or some of the crap that the lazy arses that built your house left behind. Sand is OK for the flat parts but you’ll need fleecy stuff for the sides. I’ve used a mixture because I am cheap as hell and just used what I had lying around, but you can buy special stuff for the job.
Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.
Don’t cut the liner yet! Lay it over the hole and start filling with water. This will help the liner form the shape of the pond. There will be creases, so try and flatten them out as best you can while the pond is filling.
When it’s filled up, you can trim the edges of the liner- be cautious, you can always trim off more later on.
You can weigh down the edges of the liner with rocks or you can dig a little trench and bury the edges with soil. I opted for the latter, firstly because it’s cheap and secondly because I want plants growing all the way up to the edge.
Done! Not a massive pond, but a worthy addition to my little wildlife corner.
Right, the sun is shining so I’m going to go and finish my bog garden. Stay tuned for updates!