A Japanese Style Pond For Your Garden!

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Japanese Garden

Have you ever visited a Japanese Garden and marvelled at the wonderful natural looking ponds filled with fragrant water lilies and colourful fancy fish, and wished you could have such a delightful space in your own garden? Well, here is a little secret, you can, and it’s not as difficult to achieve as you might think, although it does require a modest investment of your time and money to accomplish! Let’s walk you through the basic steps to help inspire you!

First, find a quiet corner of your garden that has a little shade, but still sees some sun at least part of the day. You will next plan out the shape, since we are emulating the Japanese natural aesthetic you want to have gentle curves instead of hard corners. Plan on having a shallow end about 40 centimetres in depth and a deep area of roughly 90 centimetres out in the middle. Chalk it out, then you can use your mini loader hire to dig the hole! Plan to use the tailings to form a low bank along one side to create some elevation. Be sure to leave a 90-centimetre wide flat edge about 15 centimetres deep all the way around, we will explain why shortly. The shallow end should be easily accessible from your garden path.

The next important step is to lay out your pond liner. We recommend Reinforced Polyethylene (RPE) for its tear and puncture resistance. Choose black! Make sure you have planned enough lining to cover the entire pond bottom to top as well as form a lip around it on that ledge- that’s where you will place the flat rocks you have collected to hold the liner in place as well as create a natural-looking shoreline!

Now it’s time to pour a 20 centimetre deep layer of salt-free sand in to cover the bottom. This will make the fish very happy! Now it’s time for some gardening. Along the far side of the pond away from the shallow end you can place biodegradable pots along the bottom of the walls full of potting soil to plant your reeds and tall water flowers in! Place several more pots in the middle of the pond for your water lilies! Don’t overdo this, the vegetation may look a bit sparse at first but it will grow and fill out soon enough! The last thing you will do before filling the pond with water is plant these, be sure to keep them in a cool, moist place until it’s time. 

Now you can do some decorating around the edges. The little hills you fashioned are perfect for planting a weeping cherry and some azalea bushes, just make sure they are far enough back that the roots won’t damage the pond lining! We love a thick mass of perennial flowers, choose native species that are sure to thrive under benign neglect! You can keep things natural or add a charming Japanese stone lantern along the shore. Place a low stone bench near the shallows to meditate on while you feed the fish! Those are the last thing to go in, let the pond age for a month before you add them! Enjoy!

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