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Building a "mound"

TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne and Wear Green Belt Posts: 811
Hi all.

I'm currently having a good think about what to do with my back garden (recently moved here).

So far I have thought of a pond in the back left corner (red shape in pic).  Next to this I was thinking that I would quite like a mound/hillock or something (green shape in pic).  It would sit next to and lead to the right side of the pond. In my head it would fit in with the view I have...

I'm picturing it would eventually be covered in wildlife friendly plants and flowers/grasses etc and would be about six feet wide and twelve feet long (not sure about height yet) and would be shaped to look like it hadn't just been plonked there.

The angle of the picture makes it look a lot smaller than it is; the space between the lawn edge and where I envisage the pond and mound is about 14 feet.

Has anyone created anything like this before?  How would I build it up?  

There is currently gravel and membrane over the soil (heavy clay) so would I remove that first or just build up on top of it?

Any thoughts/advice etc would be appreciated.



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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,233
    I rather suspect that a mound of those dimensions would look more like a pimple.  I also think the pond is a bit small.  Better to make it wider, longer, deeper so it can a) withstand temperature variations better thru the year and b) off the opportunity for a greater variety of plants and wildlife.

    If you can make part of the pond at least 60cms or more deep it will be able to maintain a constant temperature over winter and not freeze, thus providing shelter for over wintering grubs and critters.  If you can make it long enough to have a shelf or two at one end or round 2 or 3 sides on which you can plant marginals requiring different depths you'll have greater variety and then a shallow beach on one side so any critters that fall in can get out again.  Hedgehogs and even frogs can drown if teh sides are too steep for escape.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,066
    Remember to leave room to trim the hedges, too.  For that reason, I'd lose the mound and have a larger pond, but away from the hedges.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 729
    Hi @JamesSB,

    I'm no expert on ponds .... but I think the advice is usually to try and put your pond in a sunny site. Your red shape might be shaded out by the hedge.
    Also, it is very close to the hedge, and might make future hedge cutting a bit of a challenge  

    I'd move the pond further into the gravelled area if I was you.

    Bee x
     image
    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,322
    I wouldn't have the pond there, for the reasons given. 
    I'd also agree that, while the idea is fine, but would need to be a decent size to look right. The mound would be better encircling the pond a bit more too [ leaving a space to access the pond as well ] rather than being plonked beside it.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne and Wear Green Belt Posts: 811
    edited 13 July
    This is all wonderful advice/feedback. @Fairygirl @Bee witched @BobTheGardener @Obelixx

    I have no one to bounce these ideas off so it's very much appreciated.

    So put the pond here (a decent way from the back hedge) and I could have a raised edge/perimeter around some of it.

    That section of the garden gets a lot of sun but I'm guessing I can create shade with the plants etc. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,322
    That's a better site. A sunny site is the ideal spot for a pond though, so don't worry about trying to have planting to shade it.  Suitable pond planting is what you need to create surface shade, and your planting round the mound etc will give any wildlife a place to hide when entering or leaving the pond itself.
    A bit of permanent, evergreen  stuff is particularly beneficial for them. When doing some planting in a border yesterday, I disturbed a little frog who was hiding in the shade of a heuchera near the new pond I made in April. He scooted off and back into the pond, which is only a few feet away  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne and Wear Green Belt Posts: 811
    Awwww @Fairygirl I can't wait to have frogs under my heuchera!  

    How did you create your pond?  Is it best to just dig the shape you desire and then lay membrane down or are pre-moulded ponds a better idea?  


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,233
    Have a bit of a read before you commit yourself to a design 

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=622 

    https://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/pond-clinic/create-pond/make-garden-pond/

    https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-build-pond

    and no doubt lots more online.   I think a good butyl liner is more flexible and probably easier, better looking and longer lasting than a pre-formed pond.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,322
    I find using a liner far easier. The ground here is hellish sticky, stony clay, so it's a real chore digging down to get the deepest section for plants. I wanted a fairly large shallow area, which was easy enough,  and I'd have liked a deeper shelf than I've got, but I couldn't physically do any more.  I was completely Kerry Packered  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne and Wear Green Belt Posts: 811
    Thanks @Obelixx

    I shall have a good read through everything and plan it all out.  I can only do things once I have made myself tired with research so it'll be a while before I get started.

    @Fairygirl I fear I may have the same problem.  I was digging a few weeks back and thought I was hitting big boulders but no it was just the clay soil!

    I may aim to start digging in Autumn. 
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