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Old stone pond and fountain

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hi 

new to gsrdening but keen to learn 

have a large garden well stocked with evergreen and foliage but not much colour. It has an old stone pond (pictured) which has been filled with gravel and some sort of wire basket type liner. theres a wire coming out of it. It this seems to have been cut. (Presumably it operated the fountain?))

whilst id loved to restore it and have a pond we have two kids and it's too much of a concern that they'd fall in. 

Anyone got any any ideas what we could/should do with this? Fill with compost and plant it out? rip it out and turf? 

We conidered a sandpit. If I think all the local cats are drawn to this garden nd it's already their toilet without me givinvthem any more encouragement! 

Thansk a lotalura image

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,030

    First thing to do is clear all the gravel and liner away so it's no longer attractive to visiting cats and you can see how deep it is.   Then buy, hire or borrow a Karcher pressure washer and give it all a thorough clean so you can see if it has holes or cracks.

    You then have to decide about a pond or not.  You don't say where you are so no idea of your winter conditions but I don't reckon anything less than 60cms deep is going to provide safe protection for any fish if you get heavy frosts.   It is possible to buy metal grids across the top to stop children falling in and drowning if you decide to make it attractive to wildlife and plant suitable aquatic plants and have no fish.  You could also cut your own grid to measure from mesh bought at a builders' merchants.

    If you really don't want a pond, how about a gravel bed for plants that like drought.  To achieve this, you don't need the base to be waterproof but you do need to fill it with good quality planting compost mixed with pea sized grit for drainage.   Then plant a selection of succulents, alpines and other drought tolerant plants and top dress with gravel but, be warned, cats will love it.

    The third option is to fill it with rich, moisture retentive compost such as Levington's and plant bog loving plants but make sure you put some lumps of charcoal in the base to keep it sweet.

    The last option is just to empty it, clean it and fill it occasionally when you need a paddling pool for the children and then make it into a pond when they're old enough not to fall in and drown.  More info on ponds, dry gardens and bog gardens on the RHS website.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119

    I think it's fabulous - a real asset to your garden. If you can restore as Obelixx has outlined, it would be no problem to get grids fixed in place until the children are older. 

    Possibly not deep enough for fish to be fully protected, but they would certainly be an attractive addition if you can keep it from freezing. There are ways of doing it, but it would depend on the amount of time and energy you have to devote  to it. 

    Until you get in and find out what it's like, in terms of the stability of the base, it's difficult to make decisions, but Obelixx has given you some good ones. If you plant it up, you could use larger pebbles and rocks for top dressing, to make it less attractive to the locals  image

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


  • Thanks very much for taking the time to reply. 

    I do love it and do t want to make it look silly! You know - a few Morrisons petunias and a load of gravel or something equally "beginner" as I have been prone to do in the past...? 

    Cats are a blummin pain to be honest and i know will be difficult to derer. 

    I really really would would like to restore and make it a pond again so the info re fish is good to know. I've lifted that grid thingy and it is quite deep in the middle. The grid seems screwed down so it All needs a good coat of looking at. 

    Kids are 5 (sensible and a good swimmer anyway) and nearly one so it's only the little one and any visiting nutters I need to worry about. My dad has a mesh over his pond since a heron decimated his fish stock so I knew you could get them but my mum has begged me not to turn it into a pond while the kids are small! 

    Like the paddling pool idea and so will they. Will look at bog gardens too. 

    Thanks cery much indeed x

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,119

    I can understand your mum's concern Laura, but, unless the kids are handy with an electric screwdriver, it would be tricky for them to get past a screwed down metal grid  image

    I feel that so many children are completely 'divorced' from the natural world nowadays, that it would be a shame if they couldn't experience a pond when they're young ( and easily influenced  image) and be educated about it, including teh safety aspect. I find children are usually very interested, but a lot of parents aren't, so they don't bother spending the time. They miss out on so much - the parents especially ! 

    It's a beautiful feature, so take your time with sorting it before you decide on the best route to take.

    Keep us updated on your progress anyway image

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


  • Fairygirl says:

    I can understand your mum's concern Laura, but, unless the kids are handy with an electric screwdriver, it would be tricky for them to get past a screwed down metal grid  image

    I feel that so many children are completely 'divorced' from the natural world nowadays, that it would be a shame if they couldn't experience a pond when they're young ( and easily influenced  image) and be educated about it, including teh safety aspect. I find children are usually very interested, but a lot of parents aren't, so they don't bother spending the time. They miss out on so much - the parents especially ! 

    It's a beautiful feature, so take your time with sorting it before you decide on the best route to take.

    Keep us updated on your progress anyway image

    See original post

     Thanks fairy girl. And completely agree. I'd love them to have frogspawn and fish and all sorts in our own pond. the garden and potential for outdoors and nature was a massive selling point for us but I feel like everyone will tut if I fill this pond up!!

    will be involving them in whatever we do do and will most def keep you posted. And thanks for advice (And pond backing!) x

  • How about a compromise?

     

    I think filling it and planting is a great idea, but, how about sinking 4 (quantity is purely down to personal preference) large pots/containers in there aswell and filling them with water and adding a few aquatic plants? You could plant around the pots/containers with plants to encourage insects and this may with the combination of water encourage frogs. An added bonus is that it would give the children a space where they can observe any wildlife closer to eye level as the ground level would be raised to the height of the pond wall.

     

    Sorry if this post seems a little short and lacking a clearer vision but I saw this post and decided to sign up to the forum so i could reply. 

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,896

    Totally amazing, please do everything you can to keep it in some form.

    Obelixx has some good ideas.

    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,045

    I think it is fabulous. I would love something like this in my garden. The choice seems to be either to restore it to its former glory which will take time, effort and money, or make it a temporary planting space until the kids have grown. The choice is entirely yours. 

    i would think that if it has a liner in it then the concrete pool is not watertight. It would be better to be made watertight if you decide to go the pond route. You will never hide the edges of a liner successfully in a pond like that. I am intrigues as to why there is a metal grid. Has anyone any ideas?

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,030

    The metal grid is a safety feature - keeps kids form drowning and/or herons from fishing out the koi carp or whatever.  In this case it looks like the support frame is there but the grid has gone.

    Last edited: 12 February 2017 12:13:48

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,045

    I would have thought if there had been a grid over the top that it would have been attached to the concrete walls. But thinking about it, it may have been a way to form  the liner i.e. A basin of metal with sides, within which the liner sits, then it comes up over the top of the sides and gets tucked in Between the side and the concrete side. Maybe! I can't think of any other way a liner could be fixed/fitted. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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