In Which Part Of The Garden Should I Build My Pond or Water Garden?
Q. Where Do I Build My Pond?
Where must my pond go? I’ve got a rectangular-shaped garden with a tree in the top left-hand corner (horse chestnut) and a group of various deciduous trees in the bottom right-hand corner. The garden is 35 feet long x 23 feet wide, and the trees cover roughly 8 feet X 8 feet in each corner. The rest of the garden is grass, with some flower beds around the edges. Where would the best place be to site a Koi pond? Do I have to be concerned about the trees dropping leaves in the pond? Or should I consider cutting down the trees?
In many parts of the country, you need planning permission to down trees. Near us, any tree with a diameter trunk of more than 1 1/2 in (4cm) at chest height is automatically preserved. If you are up-wind of the prevailing wind in your area or all the trees have large leaves that a protective net can keep the leaves out, then there is little problem.
Trees that can present a problem are Oak, Laburnum, Yew, Elder, and Willow.
These will have toxic to poisonous foliage. If the pool is going to be fully planted, it needs to be in full sun. If you are going to run the water through a complete and efficient biological or other filtration system, you will want part shade or light shade for the whole of the day. It needs to be in a sheltered area and not in too boggy or wet part of the garden.
- Beware of the costs of installing electricity from the house to the pool and you will need access to top-up facilities.
- If it is a fairly formal feature, it really needs to be close to the house. It sounds as though it needs to be close to the house anyway. As an informal shape, it can link the patio and the informal reminder of the garden.
- If it is flush with ground level ensure there is a good wide edging that has a fall away from the pool, so that grass, cuttings, and debris from the lawn don’t blow in.
- I would favor a partly raised feature, with a wide enough wall to sit on. A backdrop of tall evergreens against the garden fence is a good visual ploy, but you may want to get all the way around. so the edging will double as a footpath and a divide from the border around the back of the pond.
Here are a few more things to consider:
1. Tree Considerations:
- When assessing the trees in your garden, keep in mind their seasonal behavior. Deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall, which can be a significant concern for a pond as leaves can quickly accumulate and degrade water quality.
- If you are particularly fond of the existing trees and wish to keep them, consider installing protective measures such as mesh netting during the autumn to prevent leaves from falling into the pond.
- Another option is to strategically place your pond in an area where the trees’ foliage won’t pose a direct threat. This could mean locating it away from the major leaf-dropping trees.
2. Sunlight and Shade:
- If you’re enthusiastic about aquatic plants and want a lush, natural look for your pond, full sun is essential. Sunlight is a key factor for plant photosynthesis, which promotes oxygen production and helps maintain water quality.
- Conversely, if you plan to rely on mechanical filtration systems, you might consider a partially shaded location to avoid excessive algae growth. Shade can help regulate water temperature and reduce the risk of water overheating during hot summer days.
3. Shelter and Drainage:
- Assess the surrounding landscape for any potential sources of runoff water. Positioning your pond in a low-lying area with poor drainage can lead to waterlogging, which is detrimental to both pond health and the surrounding garden.
- To address drainage issues, you may need to implement drainage systems or raise the pond slightly to ensure proper water flow.
4. Accessibility and Utilities:
- When planning your pond’s location, think about how you’ll access it for maintenance and enjoyment. A convenient location will make it easier to care for your Koi and enjoy your water garden.
- Installing electricity to power pumps, filters, and lighting can be costly, so factor this into your budget and ensure it’s done safely by a qualified electrician.
- Consider the placement of water and electrical outlets for easy access to top-up facilities and maintenance equipment.
5. Proximity to the House:
- The distance of your pond from the house can influence your daily interaction with it. A pond located closer to the house can be an extension of your living space, allowing you to appreciate its beauty and serenity without having to trek to the far reaches of your garden.
- Additionally, a nearby pond makes it more accessible during all seasons, including winter, when you may need to provide care to your Koi.
6. Pond Elevation:
- If you decide on a raised pond, consider incorporating features like cascading waterfalls, steps, or seating areas along the edge. This not only adds aesthetic appeal but also enhances the overall experience of your water garden.
- Ensure that the raised edge is sturdy and well-constructed to prevent accidents and maintain the safety of your Koi and any guests.
7. Landscaping and Visual Appeal:
- Think about how your pond will fit into the overall landscape design of your garden. Consider incorporating elements like rocks, aquatic plants, and decorative features to create an inviting and harmonious space.
- While tall evergreens against a fence can provide an excellent backdrop, you may also want to consider other options, such as decorative trellises or artistic installations, to add a unique touch to your water garden.
Creating a water garden or Koi pond in your garden is a rewarding endeavor that requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. By addressing tree concerns, sunlight, shelter, accessibility, and the visual appeal of your pond, you can ensure that your water garden becomes a cherished and beautiful addition to your outdoor living space. Don’t rush the decision-making process; take your time to find the perfect spot that suits both your aesthetic preferences and the needs of your koi and aquatic plants.