I am thinking of making a pond outside the front of our house. Does a pond have to have trees around it for shade? The area we have has no shade at present.
The exact opposite! A pond should be as far from trees as possible.
Ah, I thought direct sunlight would cause a growth of algae or blanket weed.
Three views of where we would like to site the pond, it is overlooking the field to the West, with a trellis on the left, low wall at the back which faces West and our home on the right. As you can see the area needs a bit of tlc as the grass is growing on rubble and thin soil and has very shallow roots due to it being mainly weed which has sprung up over the years
I'm not an expert but I believe a pond should have some shade which can be provided by using tall marginal/bog plants gunnera and flag iris are great for that, and also some floating plants or a water lily will shade the water too. Oxygenating plants at the bottom of the pond too will use up the nitrates that the algae needs to feed on and so creates a balance. The more sunlight there is the faster the algae will multiply. I have koi in my pond so mine is filtered and I have a uv filter but used to still have a pea soup pond until I used the straw method which is basically barley straw in a leg of some old tights weighted down to a few inch below the surface, and the enzymes t released as it starts to break down prevent the algae from multiplying. It takes a couple of weeks to get going but it really does work. Refresh with a new batch after 6months approx. Koi eat any oxygenatirs I put in so that's a problem for me. I have loads of wildlife even with the filter such as water skaters, pond d shrimps, frogs, dragonfly which leave their eggs/nymphs on the flag iris, plus birds come to drink or bathe in the shallows and waterfall. I have probably rambled on but I hope I have helped. I think a pond is a great addition to any garden and I do hope you include one in your already lovely garden.
Thank you Karen, you have given me lots of information and inspiration with your detailed account of your pond. No Koi for us but I have visited a pond with Terrapins in it recently and am quite keen to perhaps get a couple of these as there were pond skaters and damsel flies all living in the same pond quite happily. I will bare in mind the barley straw method for reducing the algae. All I have to do now is convince my OH that this project is a great idea and will give us hours of pleasure in the years to come. Wish me luck!
Good luck! Just a note about terrapins, they do have sharp claws so I would worry about using pond liners and I do have experience of having a yellow bellied turtle escaping from my back garden (I thought it would love the freedom in summer from its tank setup indoors) under the gate and on its way to school across the road! Lol. Luckily the caretaker took care of it until finding out I owned o it. So an escape proof area is needed. And the water will need filtering, I had 2 turtles and they produced a lot of waste. Not meaning to sound like a know it all, just wanting to help. I love the terrapin idea and it would be worth the egg , sorry effort, as they have such amusing characters. You may find a lot of full grown ones on offer from people wanting to rehome them as they outgrow indoor aquarium tanks very quickly. Please put pics on if your plans come to fruition, I love to see other peoples water features
Just go the full hog and get a crocodile.
Ha, ha Lead Farmer - now that could be a problem, but on a different note philippa yes, of course you are right - I wouldn't want to buy "new terrapins" as we too have noticed an increase in dumped terrapins in public park ponds, so would only take on terrapins that had already been sold and then outgrown. I have two tortoises, both in the 40's who were passed on to me by previous owners. As a child my mother bought a tortoise for me - they were 2 shillings and 6 pence each and imported in the most inhumane way in a wooden chest layered one on top of the other with many dying on the journey - even as a child I knew that was wrong and thankfully that practice was stopped. (1960's). I certainly will put some pictures on here if this pond ever materializes Karen.
I do agree with Philippa about terrapins and our uk climate on the mainland but I was putting 2 & 2 together with your forum name and thought you may be in a warmer climate of Geurnsey?
Yes, I agree with Philippa too, and would not buy the terrapins from the pet shop, rather I would take on some that were from an unwanted home - the terrapins that we have seen in ponds here have all over wintered outside, and yes Guernsey is warmer than most mainland places although some may dispute this....