Whether great or small, country or urban, here is a round up of our favourite garden pond ideas to help you find your perfect style.
There are several things to think about when coming up with garden pond ideas, for example the location, shape and size should be in keeping with your gardens dimensions and style. Avoid deep shade and overhanging trees. Intended use and style will determine the size and layout of your pond, eg. Fish require a minimum capacity of 2000 litres, water features require minimum depths.
Consider a pre-formed pond or a flexible pond liner, the former are available in a range of shapes, some with shelving for aquatic or bog plants. Liners are long-lasting, less expensive, but more labour intensive. They often create more natural-looking pool, tailored to fit your garden.
We've outlined some key considerations and show you some of our favourite examples of stunning ponds and water features.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY POND CLEAN?
To keep your pond clean and healthy introduce oxygenating plants, or consider water filters (electric, carbon, plant-based). Plan how and where these are to be powered and sited? Water features may also require electric or solar powered pumps, to circulate water. You may need to regularly save and change the water rather than resorting to chemical solutions.
Consider how to accommodate a range of attractive and beneficial aquatic and bog plants. Choose an appropriate water feature paying attention not just to aesthetics but to acoustics, a melodic burble is preferable to a water closet flush. Ensure your pond is entirely child and pet safe. Gradually sloping slides accommodate facilitate safe frequenting from a variety of wild life.
Here are some of our favourite water features from contemporary to traditional:
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
This reﬂective pool from landscape architects Gillespies is made from Corten steel and beautifully mirrors the leaves and the sky above. Oliver Duguid lead the project, in the central courtyard of luxury urban housing development, Holland Park Villas, offering an oasis for its residents. Simple pools like this are perfect if you're looking to incorporate a garden pond into a small garden design.
Oliver’s vision was clear when planning the pond.'The mirror pools at Holland Park Villas animate the garden, capturing the sky and reflecting the slightest movement in the surrounding grasses and tree canopies. The russet tones of the corten steel complement the lime green foliage of the surrounding Hackonechloa macra, which - together with the water lilies adorning the surface – create a rich tapestry of colour and texture.'
See more of Oliver’s work at www.gillespies.co.uk
2. MAKE IT A FEATURE
A raised pond draws the eye to a focal point in a garden. Owner and designer Cary Goode has chosen the shape of this pond to tie in with a surrounding feature – in this case, the holes in the dovecote form a diamond that is reflected in the raised design.Cary Goode not only owns Rhodds Farm with her husband, she is also the garden designer
'I have 3 ponds at Rhodds Farm. The raised pond is for goldfish as the heron does not like standing on the edge! The wildlife pond has no fish but lots of toads, frogs, newts and dragonflies. The big pond has grass eating carp which keep the water clear as they eat all the weed. Ponds are essential for all wildlife but if you only have one pond don’t have a raised one as the wildlife cannot get in or out!'
Rhodds Farm is open to the public. For more information see their website www.rhoddsfarm.co.uk
3. CREATE A RESTFUL RETREAT
For those wanting to add a touch of theatre, there’s nothing like a rill. This design at Eastleach House in Gloucestershire sees the water journey down a long slope over a series of carved stone steps creating different sound effects on the way.
Owner Stephanie Richards told us 'The idea of a Rill was mine and with the help of my gardener, Stuart Austin, and a local builder, Ron Blackwell, we constructed it in 1997. It has matured since and is one of the most popular parts of the garden. The distinctive feature when walking up the Rill, is the noise produced by the water falling over the different stone carved steps, producing a variety of "musical" sounds on each step. It is important to have a long slope, so that the water runs down naturally, and it is then pumped up to the top again.'
Eastleach House is open to the public. For more information see their website www.eastleachhouse.com
4. KEEP IT SERENE
Greencombe is an organic woodland-style garden with sweeping views overlooking the Bristol Channel. Under the shade of the trees, this formal pond has an untouched air. Choosing a partially shaded spot like this for your pond will play beautifully with light reflections at different times of day.
Owners of the Garden described the heritage of the pool ‘My wife Kim-Nora Moses and I, Robert Schmidt, have succeeded my aunt, Joan Loraine, as owners and head gardeners of Greencombe.The pool was designed and laid out by the first owner of Greencombe, Horace Stroud, probably in the late 1940’s.’
Eastleach House is open to the public. For more information see their website greencombe.org
I've been Gardens Editor at Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Living Etc magazine since 2020 and have had the pleasure to develop working relationships with some of the country's top garden designers such as Charlotte Rowe, Butter Wakefield and have been exposed to an array of rich garden content and expertise. 2020 saw an increased appetite for quality gardening inspiration and expertise in both print magazines and digital and what I am most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants. Keeping our patches alive with greenery is great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife. Finally, I find it to be such a wonderful opportunity to tap into our creative sides and I believe that garden design has as much as a place in our love of the home as interiors.
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