Create your own water garden

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DIY and how-to

Create your own Water Garden

Creating a water garden requires a little extra effort initially, but once your water garden is established it will require almost no maintenance and it will provide hours of viewing pleasure.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Choose a sunny, relatively flat area to use for your water garden. Ideally, it should be visible from your home, as then you will be able to appreciate the birds that are likely to visit it in search of water to drink and bath in.
  • Before you pick up any spades, first mark out your pond with pegs and string. Then view it from a distance from your main viewing site (usually your home) before you start digging.
  • If you’ll be digging out your pond by hand, then it’s best to opt for an informal shape. More formal shapes (like squares and rectangles) usually look best if they are built using concrete and bricks.
  • Dig out the soil to the required depth (at least 60cm deep if you intend on keeping fish in the pond, and at least 50cm deep if you want to grow water lilies) and then line the hole with a thick layer of butyl or PVC lining.
  • Cover the lining with rocks, pebbles, logs and a thin layer of loamy soil.
  • Next, add your water plants. Aim to cover at least 70% of the water surface with floating plants like water lilies, as they will help to shade the water, which halts the development of green algae.
  • Plant marginal water plants, like arum lilies, rushes, acorus, iris and cyperus around the edges of the pond.
  • Fertilise your water plants with bone meal or hoof and horn meal, and remove any faded or dead leaves as they develop.

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