“The best way to get real enjoyment out of the garden is to put on a wide straw hat, hold a little trowel in one hand and a cool drink in the other, and tell the man where to dig.”
It’s very difficult to walk straight past a pond without stopping for a moment (or longer) to see what lives under the surface, to admire the plants or contemplate the ripples and reflections. About twelve years ago Mum and I dug a small pond in my old garden. It was fun and manageable and within weeks started to look well-established as the wildlife moved in.
In our new garden we have far more space and decided to be a little more ambitious. Far too big a job for us (with or without my Mum’s help!) so we got a professional in – our friend Lenny at Gardesi.
Two years ago we chopped out a big comma shape from the lawn for the Wedding Flowerbed. It was always our intention to cut out another for a pond and surrounding border so the two beds became a slightly asymmetric Yin and Yang. I wanted the pond to be a perfect circle in the round end of the comma, with the tail stretching off to the apple tree. I didn’t want it to look too formal but I wanted the edges to be neat and as we have used a lot of red brick in the garden we decided to edge it with brick.
Lenny set to work digging out a channel for a concrete base for the edging. As that was setting he started removing the turf for the border. The top soil in that part of the garden was surprisingly good so Lenny saved as much of the spoil from the excavation as possible. Lower down it was thick clay and flint which I didn’t want to keep! We put three shelves in at different depths for marginal plants and to help wildlife in and out. It is three metres wide and a metre deep at the lowest point. That should provide a good environment for all sorts of pond life. We don’t intend getting fish – we just want to see who arrives of their own accord!
The next step is to plant up the surrounding border which I would like to fill with warm coloured herbaceous plants and a few evergreens for winter interest. I have also ordered a Quince tree to put in the widest part of the border. I need to find a good aquatic nursery where I can source some non-invasive, native plants for the pond.
I will have to be patient though and wait for spring when the plants will be sprouting and I can select the healthiest specimens.