Spruce up your garden with a water feature!

Building a water feature in your garden is more than just a talking point, it can also add a significant amount of value to your house. Water features such as ponds and fountains can add character to gardens and breathe new life into the same old green lawns, making your home more attractive to guests and any potential buyers, as well as brightening up the garden as a place of leisure on pleasant sunny days.A pond doesn’t need to be high maintenance – there are many gadgets designed today to take the strain away from their maintenance. However, if you’re serious about your garden, it’s worth remembering that a neglected pond can quickly become an eyesore – proper pond maintenance is as important as building the pond in the first place.

To build your water feature

Let's say you opt for a pond; the old fashioned method, and by far and away the cheapest, is to dig the pond yourself. Aside from the obvious advantage of cutting costs, you can dig to the exact shape and size you want, while getting some good exercise in the meantime!Any good garden centre should have the floppy felt covering necessary to line your pond with a water-tight covering that’ll keep the water inside without damaging your garden’s looks. Pre-made moulds can be bought at extra cost.A simple way to mask the top lip of the pond’s covering on your lawn is to cover it with any flat-topped rock like a kitchen or a bathroom tile. Fill your pond with water from the garden hose, or, if you’ve got time to kill, from the kitchen tap. This is the easy part!

If you’re feeling lazy…

Of course, it’s relatively easy to pay someone to do the first step for you. Any firm which specialises in garden labour will be happy to dig your pond for you, and sort out any materials, but this will of course come at a cost.It’s best to find a firm that you know – preferably one that a friend will recommend to you, but the internet will always have plenty of firms ready to work. Remember:
  • Get a quote before you let the company start work.
  • Make sure you have plans ready (even if they’re just pencil drawings on the back of a notepad) to show them.
  • Always keep an eye on what’s going on and don’t be afraid to get involved– remember, it’s your garden and you either have to live with it, or go back to square one.

Stocking your pond

Once the pond itself is completed, you’ll need to stock it – probably with plants and animals, and for these to thrive, you’ll need a few pieces of kit from your local garden centre / aquatic store.Most garden centres will sell you pond life, from seaweed to lilllipads. You will also need a number of herbicides and pesticides to keep your pond fresh, most of which can be bought in tablet from, from your local garden centre.The water should always be aerated, for plants but especially for any aquatic life such as fish. If in doubt, err on the side of caution. Always look at your pond first – it’s only water, after all, and ask yourself – what does the water look like?You can take a sample of the water and see for yourself (if it’s seriously murky, fish can’t breathe and plants won’t thrive) or if you’re unsure, bring it in to your local garden centre – the people there will be happy to help.