Garden ponds have always been ideal for enhancing and structuring a garden at the same time. They represent a new habitat whose inhabitants can improve the health of the entire garden. Frogs and other amphibians eat snails, while insects tend towards aphids and other small critters. Garden ponds also attract birds.
Together with the design options that garden ponds offer, they enrich almost every garden. Unfortunately, there is only one problem: building a garden pond is a time-consuming and very strenuous affair. Digging such a large hole can take days without a backhoe, and then you have to get rid of all the excess soil.
Because of these efforts, garden ponds often remain just unfulfilled dreams. But there is an elegant solution that avoids the hassle of building a conventional garden pond and yet does not miss any of the benefits: Raised Garden Ponds.
You don’t need to dig to build a raised garden pond. All you need is a flat surface and a day. Depending on the material used, you may not even need tools (more on that). Because raised garden ponds are even more eye-catching than traditional ponds, it also offers a unique opportunity to accentuate a garden.
Whether you are designing a raised garden pond for fishing, as a fountain or as a natural pond, there are three decisions to make: material, liner and size.
I will briefly discuss all three here, starting with the building materials.
There are several materials that can be used to build a garden pond. Usually stone or wood is used, but a bathtub will also work. The two natural materials have the advantage of being descriptive, but they also have minor drawbacks in terms of construction.
Stones or bricks are heavy and to build the pond you have to build up the wall with concrete. If you want to use wood, make sure it is thick enough and can withstand the water pressure. Therefore, despite the ban on use, railway sleepers are often recommended. While these are a good size, can withstand water and do not require concrete, they are not free of contaminants.
Unfortunately, you also need tools here. On the one hand, because the wooden sleepers are all the same size and therefore cannot be moved or placed at their own discretion, and on the other hand, because the individual layers must be attached to each other. However, you can avoid these disadvantages if you choose WoodBlocX.
WoodBlocX offers wooden blocks that resemble railway sleepers, but are specially optimized for the construction of raised garden ponds or raised beds. When ordering, specify the desired shape and size and you will receive the individual blocks pre-cut. And thanks to the dowel construction, building is no challenge either, with WoodBlocX you don’t need any tools and the assembly is done in one day.
In addition to the building material, you also need to think about lining your pond. If you don’t, the water will seep away and if you use wood, your building material will become fragile. An inner lining is therefore a must. This also applies to raised beds.
Thick, waterproof PVC plastic film is best for this. You can find these at the hardware store. WoodBlocX also sends suitable tarpaulins. Before laying down the tarpaulin, make sure that it is not resting on sharp objects. Stones and roots should therefore be removed from the bottom of the pond.
The size and shape of raised garden ponds are limited by the material. It must be able to withstand the water pressure, which increases with the height of the pond. That is why I limit myself here to WoodBlocX, since concrete information for other materials is difficult to find.
With WoodBlocX you can order rectangular ponds in dimensions up to 1,875mx 1,875m in footprint and 0.65m in height. However, if you opt for a construction with a bed in front of it, this can be a maximum of 4.55m x 4.55m. Incidentally, these size and shape restrictions do not apply to normal raised beds.
Now that you’ve explored the different ways to build a raised garden pond and how easy it can be, it’s time to learn more about pond maintenance. If you don’t take care of your pond enough, it can lose water quality and become silted up.
The care of a pond is divided into 2 parts: a basic cleaning every few years and the maintenance that must be done regularly. Let’s start with the latter. It also states which plants you are planting. It is very important to have enough oxygen in the water, which is why you need enough oxygen-secreting plants. However, since your pond should not be allowed to overgrow, you will need to thin it out over and over. Half of the water surface must always remain free.
Depending on the season, there are specific tasks. Spring is the best time to plant new plants when the water temperature rises. In summer, you should check the water level and add water if necessary. In the fall, remove leaves and other organic matter floating on the surface of the water to prevent silt build-up. If you have fish, you also need to make sure that the pond never freezes over completely in winter.
Your pond also needs a thorough cleaning every few years. This is necessary to remove sludge. Set up a water tank in the shade to temporarily store larger animals and plants. Then pump out the water and dig out the sludge, ideally also thin out some aquatic plants.
To help the pond restore its ecosystem quickly, it is best to return some silt and old pond water. Keeping the removed plants next to the pond overnight will allow small animals to return to the pond.
So you see that pond maintenance is not too much of a hassle and that a few simple steps per week are sufficient to keep the pond healthy. In combination with the smart building methods now on offer, nothing should stand between you and the garden pond.