Now is the time to start
Ponds are a delightful addition to the backyard, before lifting the shovel or buying bricks there are a few things to consider. Location, sunny ponds essentially have more maintain through the summer. Shady ones tend are more work in the fall and spring. Do you want fish, a pump, waterfalls, a bog garden, plants, an isolated pond or an integrated one? Rocks, walkways and a means to view it are also important considerations
I have had a variety of ponds through the years. from big to small, bog gardens to full on fish size (my current pond is 8x12 and 42 inches deep). Water features muffle the street noise, offer peace and a place to contemplate. They are also fabulous tools to teach about biology, life cycle and micro ecosystems.
Fish tend to only grow as big as the space they have to grow, the average size, for a 5x6 foot pond is about 12 inches. Koi are very social fish and love to interact with humans, they will eat from hands and entertain with flashy jumps, and theatrical swimming. They are a very enjoyable animal.
The above picture shows Koi carps waiting for fed. They are generally very healthy however they can get disseised so paying attention to behaviour changes and, as I discovered, when one gets a wee bit chubby. Expect the population to multiple.
This picture is of an expecting Koi.
Water attracts all kinds of life. Snails, birds of all kinds, colours and sizes, frogs, insects, mice, cats, bats, reptiles and turtles have all shown up on a hot day in Saskatchewan to bask in the sun and take a dip. There is nothing quite, so beautiful, as a sky full of dragonflies hovering over the water, or seeing a frog swim along side the fish.
Pumps are a consideration, and they can be costly. Any standard pump will work as long as it keeps the water flowing, size, in this case matters. In my current pond I need two to keep the water flow continual and clean, they have matching spray patterns which adds, an element of, formality that the Giant pump did not.
Plants are a welcome addition to the ponds edges or water. There are many varieties, shapes, sizes and colors to choose from. Different plants, do different things, all however, aid in cleaning the water and keeping it healthy. And speaking of healthy ponds, while crystal clear water looks nice, it is the least healthy for sustaining the life that lives in the pond. Some discoloration and sludge is both normal and to be expected.
Edging the pond with rocks enhances the natural feel and the pond, it also encourages critters to live within the confines of the pond. Spiders, frogs and snails tend to creep into the crevices for safety and live quite happily among the fish and water.
Regardless of the size, depth or surrounding edges, ponds are a great addition to the yard. Teaching both kids and adults how the wonders of eco systems, maintenance and sustainability.
I hope this has you thinking on the location, the size and the purpose of your pond! Fall is the best time to start digging, but more on that in another article.