Ponds are wonderful! Why? - There's less lawn to mow - They are easy to create and maintain - They provide great focal points around the garden - They create their own mini-climate for plants growing around them - If deep enough, you can jump in to cool off on a hot day - excuse is to pull out masses of oxygen weed! - Start with a few goldfish and these will multiply for years to come
WATERLILIES No pond would be complete without waterlilies. Because all the ponds are lined with plastic, waterlilies need to be planted in large pots or other containers. Waterlilies are prolific feeders, so add dried cow manure to the soil when planting them, or you can buy waterlily fertiliser in the form of thimble-size 'lumps' that you can push into the soil. Cover the surface of the container with small rocks as otherwise the goldfish will tend to root up the soil. It also helps to put some heavy stones in the bottom of the container to weigh it down. Of course, over time the waterlilies overgrow their containers. This doesn't matter much because lots of plant matter will fall into the pond and eventually form a rich deposit on the bottom, and the waterlily roots quickly spread through this. Ponds need to be cleaned out every few years as the mud and roots build up and eventually constrict the movement of the goldfish. It also looks pretty ugly!
A few handy tips - Nearby tree roots will penetrate the toughest plastic - good for the trees in dry weather, but a nuisance to keep the water level topped up! - Goldfish are much harder to catch than you think - best way to catch them is to wade in the pond and they will swim around you - Goldfish will eat the mosquito larvae, so mosquitoes are not a problem - If the sound of croaking frogs drives you crazy when you are trying to sleep, place your pond far from bedroom windows - Water in ponds will stay clear if there is a good balance of plants, oxygen weed and goldfish (our water comes from a spring in the bush but there could be a problem if you have to fill your pond with treated water) - When digging out a pond, it need be only knee-deep. Make a ledge around the sides so that you can place rocks on this to hide the plastic when the pond is full. This gives a more natural effect. - Ponds can be made from old washing machine bowls, old tubs or sinks, half-round concrete culverts, unwanted sauna baths... use your imagination. - Lining ponds with plastic means they are temporary and may be emptied then filled in if you want to have a lawn again