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Wildlife pond design

I'm planning a wildlife pond for my back yard.
The dimensions are more or less decided: 3.4m long and 2.2m. wide, bean shaped.
In the middle it will be 1m deep.
What I'm not sure about is how to design the borders for the marginal plants.
My goal would be to put a lot of marginals to make it the centrepiece of the garden (which is not much larger anyway).
I'm thinking about leaving a 40 cm wide shelf all around at 40cm deep.
Maybe another 40cm wide shelf only 20 cm deep at one end.
On the other end I'd like to put pebbles to make a small "beach" and a rockery nearby.

Is it enough? Is it too much?

I've absolutely no experience with ponds, but I've got an a tropical fish tank at home for some years.


  • LynLyn Posts: 21,372

    I have just done exactly the same, I think you are really on the right track. 

    The hardest part is getting the hole absolutely level, or you will see the liner on one side. A long piece of wood with the spirit level is the way to go. I hope you can post some piccys of the progress, we are all interested in wildlife ponds.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I cheated with my pond/bog, I could because it's fairly small, the whole thing about 2m x 3m.

    Instead of shelves, I hollowed shallower areas around the sides, lined it all then chucked wet aquatic compost in the side areas and in the bottom, planted up and then covered it all in pebbles which took care of the level and some awkward bits of liner. 

    It went a bit murky at first but cleared and when it rains now it doesn't cloud up. The rainwater can drain from the bog into the pond or if I top up the pond myself it seeps into the bog area. 

    Cons of it were losing some of the depth and width and also the amount of pebbles, rocks and stones I had to buy/ dig up/ acquire from friends.


    Wearside, England.
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,275

    Hi Uberto - that sounds like its going to be a beautiful sight. In regards to your borders/marginal plants,you suggested a width of 40cm and depth of 40cm. I think it might be worth bearing in mind that many marginal plants prefer a little less than this depth,perhaps more like the 20cm you mentioned at one end.

    This is just a generalisation of course and plants can be lifted or lowered with different sized baskets. Keep us posted with pics,you will love it when everything falls into place image  PS - I've got tropical fish too

  • Thank you all for the responses.

    Next week they will dig the pond and I'll make sure the marginals steps will be 25 cm deep.

    I will post pictures here as work is done.

    I'm planning to buy plants online a week after the work is done.

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