With the publicity surrounding the building of the Kings Cross swimming pond these have become quite a talking point at the moment. (image from telegraph.co.uk). Kate O'Brien has written a piece in the FT Weekend House and Home supplement today and mentioned us as a source for aquatic plants.
Building a swimming pond can recreate this idea in a garden and the principles of using the plants included within the pond scheme to keep the water clear can be achieved in a smaller garden scale. This idea allows old style 'swimming pools' to fit into the garden and its planted landscape rather than looking like a separate, functional item built within the garden setting.
The principle is that the plants will clean the water rather than using chemicals and the experience of swimming in a pool managed this way should bring you closer to nature. Nowhere in this pond is there any input of chlorine.
The bacterial conditions that the cleansing of the water depends on are created in the planting area amongst all the root surfaces of the plants used where useful micro organisms like water fleas also thrive. This planted area should occupy at least 50% of your total water area.
A range of aquatic plants are densely planted – submerged (oxygenators), waterlilies, floating, shallow marginals, deep marginals, bog and waterside species. It is good to use indigenous plants as they are most adapted to our climates and grow vigorously but ornamental varieties can also be included. This will increase the range of colour and flower type and extend the season of interest and the period of active nutrient usage in the planted area - often referred to as the regeneration zone.
The plants favoured for inclusion in a swimming pond are listed on our Tips and Advice page for Swimming ponds.