There are many elements that make up the perfect garden and one of these is a water feature. You may find yourself looking over your garden and dreaming of the perfect pond. If this is the case, keep reading to find out the pros and cons of garden ponds.
Are garden ponds good or bad? Garden ponds are good because they increase the biodiversity of an area and create a relaxing environment. However, they can attract mosquitos and may need more maintenance than you are prepared for.
What is a garden pond?
A garden pond can come in many variations but essentially it is a small body of water in your yard. It is man-made so it is not a lake and it is larger than a fountain.
Is a garden pond a good idea?
If you have the time, space, and energy, then creating a garden pond is a good idea. However, only you know what you are capable of and what your garden’s potential is.
Ponds take up a lot of space, even small ones, so you will need to be sure you are okay with giving up the area in your yard. You will also either need to do the work yourself or pay somebody to install it. Finally, you should consider the regular upkeep it takes to maintain a garden pond.
What are the advantages of ponds?
A properly maintained garden pond can be a spectacular addition to your yard. Water is a calming element and the addition of river rocks and pond plants can bring an important element of visual appeal to your space.
There’s something very calming about the sound of moving water. If you add a waterfall feature to your pond, you can bask in the sound from further away in your garden.
Even if you just have a still pond, you can sit near it reading or having a picnic. It’s easy to settle near a pond and feel like your worries disappear.
Creating an environment that everyone can benefit from, including animals and insects, is one of the benefits of having a pond. As houses encroach on wildlife territory, adding a pond is a way to restore the ecological balance.
Insects need a water source including bees, which is integral to the growth of your garden. Even small animals such as squirrels and rabbits will appreciate having a water source and as a bonus, you get to see all the wildlife in their natural habitat.
What are the disadvantages of ponds?
Cost and time
Unless you move into a space that already has a garden pond, building one can take a lot of money to get it right. In order to prevent the water from turning stagnant, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes setups that need to take place with pipes and motors.
Adding in gravel or rocks can be expensive, as is simply digging the hole. You can decide to do most of the work yourself to save money but that can take a lot of time and effort.
A garden pond is a lot different than a hole in the ground with water. In order to keep the water pristine looking, regular maintenance is key.
This includes skimming the water to avoid the filters becoming clogged, cleaning the filters, and testing the pH level of the water. You will also need to monitor the plant life around the pond as well as any fish you may want to keep.
Perhaps the most problematic disadvantage to having a pond is that it can attract mosquitos. While there are ways you can stop mosquitos from breeding, you will need to be vigilant about it.
Fish will naturally eat insects around the water, including mosquitos, but they come with extra maintenance. You can also introduce dragonflies to your garden as they will eat hundreds of mosquitos in a day.
Things to consider when building a garden pond
A garden pond is a huge commitment so be sure you really like the location. If it is tucked away in a corner of your garden you might not get to enjoy it as much but if you find the sound of water annoying, you don’t want it too close to your home.
Trees that lose their leaves can be annoying if they are too close to your pond, so keep this in mind. However, most aquatic life will appreciate some form of shade so keeping your pond in direct sunlight isn’t the best, either.
Stagnant water should be avoided in a garden pond so when you lay down your foundation to build one, be sure to install a system of pipes and pumps to keep the water circulating. If you can, create a waterfall, even if it is just a small one, to help circulate the water.
Surrounding your garden pond with the right type of greenery is essential. Pond plants will help circulate oxygen in the water and help prevent soil erosion.
Be sure to research what plants work best with garden ponds and choose ones that work in either sun or shade, according to your location.
As we mentioned earlier, a major concern with garden ponds is mosquitos. These annoying insects are attracted to water and stagnant water is a major breeding ground.
Keep your water moving and use natural mosquito repellents. Fish will eat mosquitos, as well as dragonflies, so create an environment where both will thrive.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply build a garden pond and then forget about it. This is a balanced ecosystem and if something isn’t right, it can suffer.
You may encounter algae on the surface that needs to be rectified or have pesky animals such as raccoons making the area it’s home. Pumps may break down and the pH level of your water may need to be altered.
Before you start digging your hole for your garden pond, be sure to understand the advantages and disadvantages. If you know you have the time, money, and resources for one, a garden pond can greatly improve your outdoor living space.