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Pond in re-designed back garden.


Never written a blog before but here goes! :) :) :)

In the middle of 2008 I got fed up of mowing the lawns in our back and front gardens so I decided to do a radical re-design and COMPLETELY eliminate grass. Cutting the grass and strimming and generally tidying up around took nearly all day. A day a week lost in my life! so in order to get some of my life back, the lawns had to go.

So for the back garden I came up with the plan below. Sorry, but the GOY site has beheaded and be-tailed my drawing! The top left hand corner contained a triangular area (Area A ) and a high garage and the bottom of the pic had the design of the large patio.

Digging and construction finished at Christmas; this included the new red sandstone wall on both sides of the garden that you can see part of in the second pic. I dug a well as well but this has been a waste of money this year as, with all the rain we’ve had, the pond water level has never dipped.

The pond is constructed of 4" deep mass-poured concrete with fibreglass fibres in it and a waterproofer added. No liner, steel or anything else added. It’s 90 feet long with a max width 30 feet. It’s 3 feet deep in the middle shallowing to 2 feet at the sides. The floor was poured in a day and was very cheap. I got someone to build the sidewalls on top of the floor and render it with waterproofer-added plaster.


Formerly the garden contained 8 apple trees the branches of which when laden with fruit bent down to ground (before the crows would scarper with half the crop! ). But no-one in our house eventually wanted apples and the neighbours got fed up with me bringing around bags and bags of apples so when the pond went in, the apple trees went out. We had two copper beeches as well but one died; I think it died because a lad who used to cut the grass kept damaging the bark at ground level with the mower. One copper beech still remains in “Area C”. I built a concrete wall underground around the tree to restrain the roots from breeching the pond wall.

Area A. (clipped off the top in the pic of the plan)

We’ve planted bamboo at the back (Pseudonica japonica) in order to screen
the high garage with a yellow Magnolia in the middle and various phormiums in a row at the front. I’m open to any suggestions of how to improve our planting. (I’m new at this gardening lark! ) The soil in this section I made myself from a mix of yellow clay and 20 year old horse manure with a small bit of sand thrown in. (I had no topsoil.) The bamboo and magnolia seem to like it; the phormiums are less enthusiastic.

Incidentally, to keep the weeds down, I’ve laid newspaper down with a thin layer of the 20 year old horse manure on top. Seems to work in this section.


Anyone any suggestions for improving Area A?

I think I’ll take out the Magnolia in October and substitute it with an Irish Strawberry Tree (which was what I wanted in the first place.)

Going on to Area E.

From the photo you can see I’m trying to get some vibrant energy into this area as it’s normally viewed from a distance.

In the middle are Red Hot Pokers, mostly the 2 metre tall Uvaris. (Oi! They’re not 2 metres tall yet because I only planted them a couple of months ago. :) ) Behind them are Toy Toy from New Zealand (The NZ Pampas Grass) I prefer them to the South American Selloana.

In front are various phormiums with a Heuchera stuck in between. I’ll hook out the Heuchera in October and replace it with a Cordyline Indivisa. I’ll see if I can be successful at growing one of those: they’re supposed to be hard to keep growing.

Looking towards the house.

Now, looking for more suggestions. What can I put in these pots? They’ll need to be something that ties in with the rest of the foliage and is distinctive all year round. The clayey soil that’s in the pots is fairly dry.

I’ll be missing over the weekend as I’m climbing Slieve Donard, one of the 5 peaks. I’ve done Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Carrauntoohill; I’ve Slieve Donard and Scafell Pike to do yet.

Well, I’m back down off of Slieve Donard and still in one piece. I popped out and took a few more pics in the rain this evening.

This is Area C with the copper beech. When I was digging up the front I moved a couple of old dwarf conifers from there to under the beech. Unfortunately we had a hard struggle to remove them (they’d grown under concrete and posts) and when they were re-planted they had virtually no roots only a stump; I stuck them down anyway and gave the golden one a 5% chance of survival and the green one ½ of 1% chance. I think the golden one is going to make it but the jury is still out on the green one.

Seating area between Area B and Area C.

These are our steps up to the patio.

Some shots of Area D to starboard.

This is a pic of the edge of the pond where I’ve put down some red sandstone for frogs and toads to travel in and out of our pond if they fancy a change of address. I hope they do.

Some variegated bamboo I’ve stuck in a couple of pots.

I’ll stick some more pics up tomorrow night, if you like.

More blog posts by kindredspirit

Next post: Update to Pond Blog. 2. 9. 09.



Pond!!!....its a lake!!!....more please.

Just being silly for a mo....errhnmm...your outline drawing looks a bit like a pregnant ET...:)))....sorry....
Look forward to the next bit......

2 Sep, 2009


Wow that is some pond! Would love to see some more pics of the different parts of the garden as well as the pond. You must have worked so hard on this.

2 Sep, 2009


Had to pop back up for another look, Lol .Your pond is fabulous and yes very interested in seeing more..........

2 Sep, 2009


Makes our pond look a bit tiny........yours is a lake........!!!!!!!!!

2 Sep, 2009


Can you swim in

2 Sep, 2009


Wow!! That's fantastic...and a great design!! I'd love to see more, please....:))

2 Sep, 2009


this is amazing look forward to more pictures for sure,
did you sell your lawn mower?

x x x

2 Sep, 2009


Wow what a pond, get a few fish in there thats for sure, or are you having it as a wildlife pond, there will be ducks etc taking up residents on it.

2 Sep, 2009


That's a big pond there. It will be interesting to see more.

3 Sep, 2009


Thanks for the kind comments from everyone.

I'll try and add a bit each day. Is that how you do a blog?

And Mookins, I didn't sell the mower yet. Although it's for sale, I haven't advertised it.

3 Sep, 2009


What a huge garden the lake! And the edging stones you've used.

Amblealice...that's a vivid imagination you've got there!! ET home phone...

3 Sep, 2009


I wouldn't add more pics to this blog because people won't know you've done so. You could put them in another blog or on the photo page. ( just a suggeation )

3 Sep, 2009


Yes I agree with Hywel. Maybe another blog would be best. I don't always get as far as looking at the photos but others may go there first so either would be good.
What you've shown us so far looks great

3 Sep, 2009


I often don't see all the photos either. There are so many it's impossible to get throught them all.

3 Sep, 2009


I've just looked at some pics taken in July and these taken this evening. The difference is incredible. All the bare earth is vanishing at an unbelievable rate. I didn't think plants could grow so fast!

7 Sep, 2009


Yes you don't realise the difference until you see old photos. Before and after shots are great.
Lovely to see more views of your garden, it is absolutely beautiful. Well done.

7 Sep, 2009


Your garden looks fab! I love your new pond. Hope to see more as it grows.

17 Jan, 2010

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