Building a Water Garden
Water gardens are a joy. Not only do they provide endless hours of soothing water trickling, they will open up dimensions of beauty one has never thought of before.
Water gardens have become a weekend project, two at the most. With great improvements of PVC liners, pre-formed fiberglass, and the ease of obtaining rocks, plants, and fish, almost anyone can build a water garden.
Having a water garden will create moods of enchantment and tranquility.
Shop around. There are all sorts of systems now available.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- In choosing a location, keep in mind morning sun is best. However, the more sun there is, the more algae will grow.
- Locate away from large deciduous trees. Falling leaves tend to be messy.
- Try to design around existing plants.
- Be sure you have checked for all underground cables, telephone lines, and electrical lines.
- Plan for the possibility of running electricity to power the pump.
- After a rough cut for the liner or pre-form, line underneath with sand.
- Fill the pond only half full - let things settle in.
- Leave a rim to prevent ground water running in.
- When finished, fill and wait a week before plants and fish are added.
- Add oxygenating plants. They have the job of keeping the pool very clean.
- Koi and plants do not mix. Goldfish and plants are a good idea.
- Lilies and lotus are best planted in containers. Keep one plant per pot. This allows for flexibility in position and depth and all in all for easier care.
- Use a good mixture of garden loam and stick with aquatic fertilizers.
- Stay away from swamp muck, compost, peat moss, or manure as additives and planting material.
- Encourage all the toads and frogs. They will eat insects and help to control algae.
- When planting tropical water lilies it is best to plant them upright. With hardy water lilies, plant them to the side of the pot at an angle.
- It's tempting, but do not over feed the fish. Ten minutes after feeding get rid of the excess food.
- If evaporation occurs add only small amounts of water at a time. This will prevent making a chemical change.
- You may need to clean the pool every year, but if possible clean only every several years, in the spring.
- Keep dead foliage and debris out of the water as it occurs.
- Be generous, share plants and fish as they multiply. Too many will clog the beauty of your water garden.
See also: Backyard Habitat