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Best place to put a pond

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  • Best place to put a pond

    Hi all.
    I'm new to this site and new to gardening in general.* Since we have moved in to our house, about 18 months ago, we have completely re-vamped the back garden from a load of overgrown mess to a lovely place to sit and relax although there is a long way to go before it's finished.* It's a small garden but it backs onto a nature reserve with lots of trees the other side of the fence. (See picture.)
    I am now ready to put in a small pond.* My intention is to put it in the bottom right hand corner by the fence.* I have read that ponds should be situated in a sunny spot.* The problem is, the best place for our pond, from an aesthetic point of view, is in a north facing, shady corner with lots of trees nearby.* It is also the most boggy part of the garden as it gently slopes from all angles to converge where we want the pond.* We want the pond where we can see it and this is the best place for it situation wise.
    I am using an old baby bath (like I say, it's a smallpond, more like a puddle but there you go!) which I intend to sink most of the way in to the ground leaving a bit sticking out which we will cover with rocks to hide the edges.* The idea of the pond is to give frogs somewhere to live with a few plants in.* We have no intentions of having any fish in it now or in the future even if we were to make a bigger pond at some point.
    My question is this:
    Is there any reason to stop us putting the pond in this position and if so, why?* If not, what plants would be recommended to put in it?* The only sun it will get will be early morning and possibly late evening during the longest days.* Any other time it will be in constant shade.
    Hoping someone can help.

  • #2
    Wow!! When I started reading your post I thought I was reading my own, until I got to the '18 months' part. We have only been in our new house for 6 months. But like you we are working really hard at revamping the back yard. Ours, however, is a bit larger then yours. We too are looking at putting a pond in. Ours will be larger, get more sun and have fish, but still it is a similar story.

    I did get some replies on my post under 'trees'. Most of it has to do with trees around ponds, but there might be an answer or two there for you. Another forum I have posted on and gotten lots of help is specific to water gardening or ponds. Many of the people who post on that site are fanatics about ponds. The site is:

    The link above is the forums specific to gardening with multiple forums available. The more specific one is under ponds and aquatic plants. It covers a variety of topics on water gardening from the small fountain to a man made lake. The specific site is

    One thing I can tell you is everyone has a different opinion on the matter, even the so called 'experts'. And I have found that not one opinion is really wrong and some are more right than others.

    The majority of people and books will tell you that a water garden or pond should have at least* 5-6 hours sun. This is to keep the algae down, however there are chemicals to help with that, not to mention you may not mind algae since you are looking towards frogs for entertainment. Also with your pond being much smaller than the ones we were looking at it would be easy for you to clean it out if needed. What size are you hoping to have? Are you planning on a preformed liner? I would suggest that you not actually use the baby bath, but get at least a small preformed liner or even a small piece of pond liner. They will hold up longer from exposure to the elemets such as UV light.

    One thought I had was you might want to*look into a 'bog garden' since that is what this part of the yard is like. They appear to have an easier set up plan and maintainence then the 'ponds' themselves. At least from what I have read. You could do it like a 'bog' around it with the pond as the 'puddle' as you call it.

    I have read about many* water gardens being put in the shade and some people prefer it that way. Some say it takes a little more work to keep it clean and others say just keep it simple and it will work.

    On that pond gardening site you could see examples of many differnt types, shapes, sizes and locations for ponds. Some go crazy like I said so dont' get scared off if anyone goes into more detail than you want, just remind them that you plan to keep it simple and they will slow it down.

    From the looks of your picture even facing north it appears to at least get some indirect sun light. I saw a picture of one that was literally in the middle of a wooded area with three 'very' large trees surrounding it. Not one drop of sunlight, and he even kept fish.

    That is some of what I have read in my researching effort.

    As far as plants I don't know a lot, but have read about three different*types of water plants (I don't recall the specifics). What I do recall is that one goes along the outer edge of a pond in water less than a*>3 inches, one is a more marginal water plant type*and prefer to have the pot submerged but not to the top, and then there are the ones that sit fully submerged with just the plant sticking out of the water or floating on the water like the water lilly.

    Hope this helps, at least you know someone is reading your post.

    One other thing you will want to remember is what Zone you are in. We are in Zone 4 Minnesota and there are several water plants that are considered tropical here and have to be over wintered inside in tubs or used only as an annual, which when you look at* some of the prices it could get expensive year after year.

    Good luck! and I would love to see a picture when you do finish. I think we will be doing more research and starting our pond next spring since we want something a bit larger for fish and we have done so much this year especially with trees and the big stuff. Or having it removed, ie. the large Maple in the back yard is now gone, not by choice, but neccessity. I only have a before picture.



    • #3
      The best place to put a pond is where you will be able to have the most viewable pleasure of it - Look from inside your home from the rooms you spend time in & then sit where you spend the most time relaxing outside. You want to be able to see as well as interact with your pond. Also despite common misconceptions - that area in your yard where the water sits after a heeavy rain is NOT the ideal place to locate a water feature. This will just lead to problems with your feature.