Home improvements and landscaping endeavors are a very common practice, though economic instability and decreased consumer spending have curbed this somewhat over the past few years. Increasing the value of your home and the beauty throughout are cause enough for homeowners to congregate to their local Lawn and Garden store in search of equipment and supplies to get the job done. Some tactics being as simple and basic as planting a tree a few plants or small garden to adding a family room or bed room to your home or an in ground swimming pool complete with multiple decks. Then there are those who are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum looking to fence in their yard, install a new paved driveway or design and build a walkway using pavers. The popularity of indoor saltwater and freshwater aquariums has leaked outside as an expansion of the hobbyists love for aquatic life. Unique landscaping scenarios consisting of plastic tubs/ small ponds complimented by waterfalls, fountains, streams, rockwork and lighting, complete with fish and various plantlife are popping up everywhere.
Ah yes, nothing better than sitting and relaxing under a shade tree in the back yard being mesmerized by the the Koi/Goldfish swimming in the man made pond while listening to the water gurgle as it cascades down the rockwork. Various colors and fragrances transcend during different times of the year through proper planning and selection of both terrestrial and aquatic plantlife creating a tranquil environment to experience and enjoy.
The cost in creating this type of environment can be very substantial, but creative measures and corners can be cut to reduce the number of times you have to reach into your wallet or purse, moreover, you needn’t have to take out a second mortgage to pay for this home improvement either.
As I mentioned above, their are many ways of designing and building an outdoor pond. Creativity can become a very important concept when dream becomes a reality. Having a slopping yard definitely has its advantages, especially if you plan on adding a stream to your pond. Obviously, water flows from higher to lower terrain, so having a slopped yard reduces alot of work and time and you won’t have to bring in soil or fill to gain the elevation needed for your stream. The only drawback in incorporating a stream into your pond is you will have to purchase a stronger pump where gallons per hour are optimal to pump the water from its lowest point(your pond) to the highest elevation(origin of water source). This concept where the number of feet a pump has to push water and the Resistance of the pump performing this is called HEAD. The longer and higher the water has to travel, normally the stronger the pump will have to be to perform to its optimal ability. A smaller diameter hose/pipe can also help aid in the smaller sized pump as well as how much water flow/pressure you desire. It is better suited to use a stronger pump, even if you add a gate/ball valve downstream from the pump to control the flow from the pump. This concept is also beneficial in the aquarium hobby and for those incorporating a sump into the aquarium setup.
Continuing on with the stream concept, using natural looking rocks of various sizes and shapes will recreate a natural looking environment while possibly adding any number of flowering plants and shrubs that are either annual or perennial that bloom throughout the warm season. Accents on the flowing water and prized plantlife can be dramatically enhanced through the use of spot lights, LED or solar lighting that comes in every color of the rainbow. Contrasts, shadowing and focal point delineation can be expressed as a secondary means of light source accentuation.
The pond can be as big or small as you wish. Remember that the pond will house the pump, possibly underwater lighting, fish, aquatic plantlife, a heater and fountain element. You will need to take this into account when deciding on the size of the pond along with space and financial limitations. Ponds normally consist of a high test thick plastic or fiberglass that is either black or grey in color. They tend to be rather bulky and heavy so a large vehicle and an extra body for carrying purposes is crucial.
A deeper pond will provide a cooler water environment for aquatic animals and plants and should reduce the amount of algae that is common in moist areas that receive excessive sunlight. Their are medications available to reduce an algae bloom plus adding shade plants/trees and a Plecostomus(algae eating fish) can help as well.
Again, accent lighting combined with the myriad of plants and flowers available can really diversify your pondscape while separating your pond from your neighbors.
Which pond scenario you chose is up to you. Many variables will need to be addressed with a proper plan of action and design strategy being employed for the best chance of success and ease of setup.
A pond can be a beautiful, rewarding and entertaining part of your landscaping prowess and home improvement scheme. With the plethora of ways to go about erecting a pond environment, there really is no right or wrong way of creating this wonderful addition and extension of your personality and visions.