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Sunday 6th August, 2017
Category: 2017/08
Tags: pond

One of the most relaxing images in the world, I think, is cool water in a stream, trickling over shady, moss covered rocks with electric blue damsel flies delicately hovering here and there and the air coloured green from overhanging trees. Actually I'm probably describing the scene down at the Yantra river where I quite often take the hounds for a walk, and I guess it's the actual sound of the water which is so soothing and restful. So when I was in the UK, one of my purchases was of a small solar powered water fountain, with the idea of making a little pond for it in the garden.

I tested it out in the UK in a basin of water and it worked really well, with different shaped nozzles for varying heights of fountain. The only oddity is that if a cloud covers the sun, the fountain doesn't start up again when the sun reappears. First you have to wave your hand over the solar panel and that triggers it to start again. Annoying in the UK where there's a cloud every two seconds, but not a problem over here.

After one of the bouts of heavy rain recently I began digging a hole for the pond (taking advantage of the softened soil. This was left half finished for over a week as the novelty suddenly wore off, but a new burst of enthusiasm saw me finish the basic shape last week. I'd originally planned to use some of my old summer tyres to edge the pond, but in the end couldn't face the faff of getting someone to saw the tyres up, so just decided to go with a plastic liner.

I've always got tons of nylon sheeting around so I dug out some suitable sized pieces and proceeded to line the hole. A few rocks to hold it all in place and then the magic moment of filling it with water:

The black is some old weedroll fabric which is being used to help hold the soil mound in place.

I was already quite excited by the look of it, and couldn't wait till morning to see how the water would hold. Unfortunately there must have been some tears in the plastic because the water level around the shallow edge soon dropped.

A quick trip to Gabrovo saw me purchase 6 meters of stronger plastic sheeting - enough to fold over to make four layers. Back at the pond I decided to widen the central deep hole and extend the shallow ledge to make it easier (hopefully) to edge with stones and gravel which would protect the plastic. The four layers were then gradually squashed in place and the pond refilled with water:

This time success! The water was still at the same level the next day.

The next stage was to cover all the exposed plastic in weedroll which will hopefully give it some protection from the sun until plants get established.

Then it was time to add the fountain. I put a big brick in the bottom of the deep bit and a flat stone on top. The fountain was wrapped in some nylon material to help filter the water before it enters the pump, and then tied to another stone to stop it floating. Once placed on the brick the spout was just clear of the water.

Add some flat stones around the edge to create ledges for insects and possibly small creatures, and then space for some plant pots:

And here it is so far with some moss added to the stones and a few herbs in the pots.

Eventually I will cover the edges of the pond in soil for it to grass over, and then plant some taller things such as the day lillies or red hot pokers behind. Then I'll add to the plants growing on and around the rocks. But even as it is, laying there in the shade of the tree listening to the steady splash of the water and watching paper wasps coming down for a drink, it's quite perfect!







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