Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Container pond: How to.

I am not certain a garden can be quite complete without a pond. What do you think?

We've been slowly working our way through the part of the garden nearest the house lately and I have been feeling more and more like the 'dead' spaces need a little life. Being a West Country girl, I have never lived far from the water...until now. 

This unrelenting heat has really been getting me down lately, and although it has been wonderful to see the sun shine and the flowers grow, the heat has been so intense and pretty miserable to be out in for too long. The four mile school run feels more like ten miles and once I am home I like to just sit in the shade, that is nice but pretty dull, so I thought to myself.. what would be nice to be around in this heat? something pretty, relaxing and interesting......a pond!

I may, or possibly may not, have mentioned that I basically live on a farm..yes, it may be a 1920s semi but it is also full of life. Full of adults, kids, three cats and a silly, silly dog who THINKS he is a cat. We live in a fairly rural area and so these creatures, the cats and dog, not the aldults or kids, are forever killing various bloody animals and bringing them back to the house...This makes me very sad. 
The dog doesn't kill them but he does like to carry around bits of broken off animal and lick with this in mind L and I decided that the pond ought to be a nature pond..y'know, for water boatmen and newts and the likes. Not so we can add chewed up and licked fish to the list of poor creatures coming back to us.

After doing some Googling and reading on the subject of container ponds I finally decided that an old tin bath (like this) was the way forward and set about Ebaying for one...WOAH! The prices these things fetch is absolute madness! I quickly gave up on tin baths and looked for something else. Next I tried the good old Freecycle method searching for a traditional pond..this came up trumps a week later but more on that in a bit. 

Soon my impatience got the better of me and by Sunday I had bribed L to take me to the garden centre and there, in the corner of the trugs and wheelbarrows was a big old plastic feed container, it was perfect for what I had in mind. Definitely less chic than an old tin bath but who cares! £14 paid to the poor hot and sweaty sales guy (all trussed up in full garden centre uniform - including fleece with a shirt underneath with the top button done up) and home I went.

At home the next thing was to find a nice semi sun/shade area and then position correctly. That done, I filled up one side of the pond with bricks and on top of them, prettier boulders..

Next: the water..

Off to the water butt I skipped, forwards and back, forwards and back... five buckets later..TA DAH! Full up and sitting pretty.

Now my mind turned to what should live in the pond so it doesn't become stagnant and awful..I went to this lovely man here--------> 4354anthony
And bought myself a traditional Water Iris and a Water soldier.

Later on that evening I sat out with L and some wine and we marvelled at how nice a bucket of water seemed even without plants and took a look around the kitchen garden area to see how much things had grown since I last checked..lots!
The Ferns
Finally the roses are growing tall
An emerging foxglove
I love this bleeding heart plant.

Later on that night, I got an email from someone on Freecycle who lived just down the road and was offering their old garden pond..YES please!.. L went to get it last's ever-so big, but lovely all the same. It is going to go in place of our stack of pavia ..they are off up to the woodland part of the garden to become a nice path. I can't wait to build a pond area and have even more water and a fountain that makes a lovely sound.

Today the postman was kind enough to deliver the plants for my container pond. They were packaged very well and settled into their new homes quite happily. 
The new container pond
Looking a little sparse but hopefully prettier soon

The plants may be small for now but I have read they are both quite invasive so they will do well for our second pond, which so far, is sitting upturned on the other side of the garden waiting to be cleaned and placed in its new home. 

Let us look at how ugly its new home area currently is and then soon we can look and see how pretty it is once I have carted a few hundred bricks off elsewhere in the garden.
ugly ugly ugly
So, in short..container gardening is easy. Buy a big tub, put some rocks in at various heights and fill with water from your waterbutt. Go to Ebay and find a nice man, or lady, who will sell you something to oxygenate the water, and buy a plant or two for prettiness..then wait for the wildlife to arrive. I have found it to be fun and keep pottering in and out of the house to marvel at how lovely it is..I can't wait for the even bigger version to be put in soon! 

It's not yet pretty, nothing has flowered or begun to really shine, but it is the promise of that, that keeps me happy...and that is all that matters.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nelly

    The pond's a great idea, although I don't think I'd know where to start from scratch. When we moved here we had a pond already in with a small raised boardwalk on one side and the terrace curving around it on the other side. We were going to fill it in as Millie is so accident prone (she did go in a few times), but the girls just loved sitting there with jam jars collecting stuff and still do now. Every year the same two ducks move in which we love and now the pink water lilies are coming out (when the sun does shine). Only downside are the reeds which are taking over the rest of the garden, don't get those as they're a nightmare.

    Thanks for your lovely comment. I'm photographing the fabric and putting it on etsy today in case you're interested. You can find the shop via my blog.

    Lisa X