WATER GARDENS AND BACKYARD PONDS
How To Have A Water Garden Or Backyard Pond You Can Enjoy
First Things First
Before turning that first shovelful of dirt, there are a few things to consider. First, just where in your yard will this water garden or backyard pond be constructed? Second, what kind of pond do you want? Will you stock it with Koi fish or other types of fish? What about plants, will there be water plants in your backyard pond as well as surrounding it? Will there be a fountain? How much money can you spare for this project? Will you be doing most of the work yourself, or will you hire it out? In other words, you will need to carefully plan your backyard pond, water garden or garden pond so that you'll end up with what you want. After all, you're going to have to live with it. So head to your local library, garden supply store, or online, to find out what you'll need to know to begin planning and constructing your pond. We're sure you won't regret it.
Location Is Everything
It's recommended that you put your pond where it can be seen from a deck or patio. It should blend in with its surroundings. The soil around the pond should be elevated so that excess water flows away from the pond and not into it. Drainage from the pond should be away from your house. Plan your landscaping around the pond to provide habitat for frogs and birds. Your pond will do better if it is not under trees. Most aquatic plants will grow better in sunlight. And if you will be using an electric pump for your pond, be sure electricity is accessible, use a filter, and you may want to light the area, too. If you find there really isn't space in your yard for an in-ground pond, there are tub ponds or large water bowls which you can place on or near your patio for a similar effect.
If you plan to do it yourself, you'll find lots of good information from the US Department of Agiculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service's web site, titled "Backyard Ponds."
Types Of Ponds
Here's a summary of the types of ponds you can put in your backyard.
This is the most popular type of pond that homeowners install in their back yard. They can be large or small, and because this type of garden pond requires the most care, it's recommended that you start with a professional installation. If your area has a lot of birds of prey, attention will need to be given to having a place of refuge for your fish. An overhanging ledge or log where they can hide is highly recommended. You'll also need to monitor water quality and temperature for the well-being of your fish. You can find plenty of sites online for help, such as About.com's Landscaping area or the Natural Resources Conservation Services web site.
Water Garden Pond
If you just want plants in your backyard pond, you can grown them in both large or small ponds. When considering the types of plants, you'll need to look at the water depth in your pond. The three types of water garden plants include emergent, submergent, and floating. All three can be successfully grown in your backyard pond. Emergent plants have their roots in the water but the plant themselves are above water. Examples include cattails, arrowhead and water lillies. Submergent plants live under water and are used as oxygenators, removing carbon dioxide and adding oxygen. These plants help control algae and keep the water clear. Floating plants species include duckweed, water lettuce and water hyacinths. These are attractive in any backyard water garden.
Adding A Waterfall Or Fountain
Most people find that a backyard pond is sufficient for their needs, but many are interested in adding water features such as a waterfall or fountain. Water features can come in many forms and sizes, from a small fountain to a large waterfall. Depending on what you are adding, you may want to have it professionally installed. In the case of water fountains, you can often find them in kit form for easy installation, and they'll usually include everything you need to add this to your pond. For more information on waterfalls and fountains, you can check out ABCponds.com, Eco Pond Supply, or the above-mentioned Natural Resources Conservation Services web site, among others.