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Planning Retirement Online

Garden Ponds and Pond Safety

November 2004   


Rosemary Martin

Garden Ponds - Part one

There are many points to consider before putting a pond or water feature in your garden, some of which I have noted below. This month I shall cover the first three items on the list below:-

Q:  What about pond safety - will a garden pond be dangerous for young children who visit?

Q:  Is there enough room in my garden for a pond?

Q:  Is there a suitable aspect in my garden for a pond? 

Q:  Is pond maintenance time consuming?

Q:  What sort of garden pond should I have?

Q:  What accessories such as pond pumps will I need?

Q:  How much will a garden pond cost?

Q:  What fish/wildlife should I stock the pond with?

Q:  Would a simple water feature be safer and easier to maintain than a garden pond?



Q: What about pond safety - will a pond be dangerous for young children who visit?

A: Pond safety is crucial - any water more than a couple of inches deep is dangerous for young children. Children are curious little people and will investigate things that we perhaps don`t even notice. However much you promise yourself to keep an eye on them, they will still find a way of evading you! Even a latched gate is no deterrent as visitors can always leave it undone. The most dangerous garden ponds, in my opinion, are the wildlife ponds situated at the bottom of the garden, which have become so overgrown with pond weed and algae that they are not easy to spot. Our dog recently leapt into one of these that even he hadn't seen!

To tackle pond safety the first thing to do is protect any newly built garden pond with a pond safety cover, such as those made by Safapond. The pond safety grid is modular and will be made to fit any shape or size garden pond. It can be placed either above the water or a couple of centimetres below the waterline. Do remember to allow for the rise and fall of water levels. Don`t be fooled into thinking yours is only a small pond and that pond safety is not an issue, because complacency kills. Even if you do not have small children visiting, please bear in mind that your neighbours might have, and they could perhaps find their way into your garden and drown in your pool. So put pond safety top of your agenda.


Q:  Is there enough room in my garden for a pond?

A:  The sound of running water making a relaxing sound and bringing your garden to life is worth making space for. If you only have a tiny outdoor space, a small water feature will add such extra interest, even if it is only a wall fountain or pebble fountain water feature. Bear in mind that you will need to have electricity near to the water feature or pond, to work the pump and any lighting you want. If you don`t have a garden at all, the therapeutic sound of running water can be brought inside with any of the huge range of indoor water features.

Keep the size of pond in proportion to your garden and don`t be tempted to build one so big that will empty the local reservoir, whilst at the same time becoming a full-time maintenance job


Q:  Is there a suitable aspect in my garden for a pond? 

A:  Study the area you have assigned for your garden pond to see how much sunlight, if any, it gets during the summer daylight hours. The relatively small amount of water within a garden pond will heat up much quicker than say, a lake, so if you build a small garden pond within a patio that has a sunny aspect, you will find that fish and wildlife will not live happily in the water.. Nuisance algae such as blanket weed also likes to grow in these conditions. Likewise if you situate your garden pond underneath a tree, you might find it too cool, and in the winter the leaves will drop into the pond, polluting the water along with other waste materials. If the lawn goes to the edge of the garden pond you will need to take care when mowing that no grass cuttings get into the water.

The best situation for a garden pond is one where it is in some shade for the hottest part of the day. This would also be better for you if you want to sit and relax by the pond in a shady spot.


Next month:

Q:  Is garden pond maintenance time consuming?

Q:  What sort of garden pond should I have?

Q:  What accessories such as garden pumps will I need?


   This pond safety product is a `must` if you have young children visiting and a pond in your garden:-

Specialist suppliers and installers of garden pond safety systems. Designed with kids in mind. Protecting young children from the dangers of garden ponds and water features..


       Alan Titchmarsh - How to be a gardener    Amazon Book - The Healing Garden    Amazon Book - RHS Plant Finder 2001 -2002    Amazon Book - "Home Front" in the Garden   


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