Why do you want to build a pond?
Is it for fish, wildlife, aquatic plants or as a focal point?
The site of your pond
Thinking about why you want a pond in your garden will influence the style of your pond and its position within the garden – a wildlife pond will be a more informal shape and further down the garden in a quiet area and a fish pond likely to be a more formal shaped pond, possibly raised up not dug down, and nearer the house.
The combination of water, wildlife and pond plants can make a focal point in your garden. Swimming ponds give a more hands on approach to nature, allowing you to join the wildlife in the water habitat you have created.
1. A raised pond may be safer for children or give an edge for an elderly person to sit on or use whilst working.
Safety of children is paramount when dealing with water and if you wish you can purchase a raised pond cover made in steel that will stop the child having an accident but allow plant growth beneath. See Creative pond covers
2. Electricity – for pumps, filters, waterfalls or fountains. The supply will need to be planned in if you want these features and fitted by a registered electrician.
3. The position of underground services – sewers, pipes, cables should be found and avoided!
4. The pond should not be in a part of the garden in the shade from trees.
Choose a spot with about 6 hours sunshine a day if you want waterlilies and Iris to flower but a pond in part shade from a building can have advantages as the water will remain cooler and the pond will be less likely to have algae bloom.
The shaded pond can be planted with foliage interest plants – structural shaped foliage and seed heads as these plants enjoy these positions. Avoid shade from overhanging trees to avoid leaf fall into the water.
5. Check whether your site is level – the finished pond will have a water level that finds a level which may not be apparent to the naked eye. If possible surround it on one or more sides by planting from a moist habitat/bog garden or flower bed to give a visual backdrop to the water. A rockery or sloping cobble beach may help on a sloping site or 2 smaller ponds linked together by a stream.
6. Try and include a seat or sitting area near the pond as this is often a favourite place to sit and watch the wildlife visitors to the water.
A patio container pond needs the same thought process – it too can be a focal point in the garden or placed in a secluded quiet corner near a seating area – more detail is available on the container ponds page.