Before the time when on-line activities took over from real life we spent a lot of time gardening. From when we first moved to Ladymoor Gate and began tackling the overgown parts of the garden and fighting to convert the grassed areas into lawn we had always wanted a pond. In 1999 when I was between jobs we decided it was a good time to begin. I expected to have at least three months before starting a new job, which should have been plenty of time. The pond building went to plan, but job hunting went much faster than expected and so finishing the pond was "outsourced" to my parents while I rejoined the ranks of the wage slaves.

When it was finished the pond was delightful. The plants quickly established themselves, the few fish we introduced multiplied each year and the frogs soon moved in. Unfortunately the fish attracted passing herrons and although for several years we succeeded in fending them off, they finally feasted on our fish. The frogs however went from strength to strength and each spring the pond is heaving with frog spawn. 

Site for marking out the pond

Moving the rocks for the gardenFirst we marked out the site of the pond with a number of wooden pegs. These showed the postion, size and shape of the pond. Approximately 7 x 5m.

As we had decided to use a number of large rocks to build a rockery beside the pond we decided to move them approximately into place before we dug the hole. This would prevent us from negotiating the hole and the resuling heap of soil!


Mixing-cementWe built a low brick wall around the edge of the pond to provide a firm edge and a base for the stone features. The water proof lining will come up over the wall and under the stones.

To make it easier we used a cement mixer!



Before we lined the main pond we worked on the watercourse. We used a thick butyl liner with an underlay to minimise the risk of puncture from unlderlying stones. We dug out the watercourse in a series of stages, each pool being 10 to 15cm deep with the front edge deeper than the rear.

We used large rocks to make a deeper channel for the water course and build stone weirs at the front edge of each stage. These would slow down the water flow and allow pools to form behind them.


working-on-rockerySiteview2The large rocks were moved approximately into place by the digger but still needed to be moved manually into their final position. The large rocks in this picture were manoevered into position by three people using crow bars and levers. More of the large rocks to the left were also moved to build the water course channel.

Top soil saved from the digging and barrowed in compost from our ample compost heap was used to build up the rock garden prior to planting.


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