Can you successfully put a pond in a dry garden?

Hello, My partner and I have recently purchased a house with approx 1 acre of land.  Very excited to landscape this into a beautiful garden and would both like a pond.  The land is half way up a valley side, dry clay soil and no waterways running through.  Is it possible to put a large pond on this land or would the water constantly evaporate away.  There is no shelter for the pond currently so would be in full sun.  If anyone has experience of this or tips on depth etc I would be grateful! Thanks


  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,777

    The water will evaporate but is usually replenished by rainfall throughout the year. If you have low rainfall that would be a problem because the pond would need to be filled using mains water which isn't ideal.

  • The property has its own borehole so no chemicals in the water, would this be less a problem?  Would you suggest a preformed pond or something deeper?

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,780

    Bigger the better I reckon Harriet, and I think a flexible liner gives you a lot more .... flexibility ...  with the design of the pond. Usually they look more natural and you can have very gently sloping banks (easier to disguise and better for wildlife), rather than steep shelves as per most preformed ponds.

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    We made our own pond on our sloping hillside with such a liner. We dug as deep as we could until we found solid stone, so it is abut 1.50 m deep. The liner is 1mm thinck, and it was HEAVY, over 80 kg, but it was not difficult to install it.  Usually the water level never goes more 10 cm down from the top before rain fills it up again BUT we installed a pipe under ground that brings in rainwater from the roof ouf our shed. If you can arrange to collect rain water from a shed, or even the roof of the house you should be fine, and the occasional little top-up from the tap will not be dramatic. Do make gntly sloping sides, or even better leave a shallow "shelf" all around the pond edge. Then you can put stones and shallw water plants and you won't see the liner. image

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,858

    bigger the better,

    you can use clay to form the base if it gets really big but that's not a DIY job you need professionals for that!

    you could run land drains from uphill of the pond so that they drain into it, that might reduce the amount of water you need to add?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 25,354

    Even small ponds have evaporation in long dry spells so you need to top up from time to time. Tap water's really only an issue if you have fish. A liner will be best as Will says - much better to accomodate slopes and all the nooks and crannies you'll find when excavating. Katherine's suggestion of pipes using roof run off is a very good idea and the planting is key as she says - plenty  of variety and lush planting at the edges to hide any bits which might show. Winter rainfall will keep ponds topped up unless you're in an area with low rainfall. 

    As you'll have the pond in full sun make sure you have sufficient planting to cover about a third of the surface of the pond to provide shade in hot weather. Most people use water lilies for that purpose, but there are lots of others. Other shrubs/trees/ perennials at the edges will help as well. I'd create a nice area with a bit of height where the pond will be most exposed to mid day sun. 

    Good luck with it image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,449

    In such a large garden any preformed pond would look tiny.  They can also be absolute ******** to install.  Much better to go with a liner.  The pond will do much better in full sun than in the shade of trees but the trade off is that there will be evaporation.  If you have your own borehole and can get water to the pond from it you really shouldn't have any problem.  To be honest, I never had a problem when topping my pond up with tap water.  The fish actually used to swim into the current created by the water from the hose.

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    Yes! My fish love that too, like they are at the water park! Aqua fun! Ooo, hoo! And the top up from that tap water is tiny in percentage. I mostly do that if I feel the water needs some extra  oxigenating, in spring, and the fish love it. Never had a problem, and they breed like rabbits, so clearly they are at ease image

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