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pre-formed vs lining for pond

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by babafang, May 10, 2011.

  1. babafang

    babafang Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello fellow garden lovers!

    We have been working hard over the last 2 years in our garden (moved in June 2009) It was basically a blank canvas with a few trees - the garden had been split into two - the end had a massive 'natural' pond that had been put in - so not naturally there..... However, this pond was really only full during the February months - then by May - completely dried out - and basically a big hole in the ground!!! We've worked hard slowing filling up this as it was far too big, prob over 12ft wide and 24ft long!

    However - we want to keep a pond - and as we haven't filled it in completely - this year again, we had frisky frogs, toads, newts - much frog spawn was laid - however, of course, tadpoles perished as the pond dried out - we tried to save some but although they 'hatched' in our bucket, the tadpoles all died :cry3:

    We have fenced of half of the original pond area - the other half is now vegetable beds, etc. We are going to leave it as a wild area - and want to keep the pond going all year round - SO we cannot decide what is best......a free formed pond, hard, seems more durable, but is more expensive... or the pond liner, cheaper, probably easier to install(?) but maybe prone to leaks? I'd like to add some pictures - we still have lots of pond plants growing, i think they are a sort of rush, it grows still in the dried up ground - all very clay-like soil - I actually used some of the clay to fill in holes in OH's veg patches (he made raised beds from decking planks) and it dried like rock!

    I am sorry if I've waffled on too much, I was trying to 'set the scene' as it were......!

    I really think if we can keep the pond alive, the wildlife will thrive and the frogs may also in turn, help us keep the slugs and snails at bay and other vegetable munching pests!

    We have trees around too - a huge conifer, and a willow tree also - other small trees. My OH has been digging to find a drainage pipe that is supposed to run along back of garden (possible in land behind us) as our garden floods during the February month - and floods to the full area of where the pond used to be in fact!

    So - all the above in mind - pond liner or preformed pond? Sorry rather a lot above!
     
  2. Kristen

    Kristen Under gardener

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    When we moved in here there were concrete ponds, all cracked, all leaking. We've lined then with pond-underlay and cheap plastic liners (cost was more of an issue than durability) and so far, fingers crossed, they are fine.

    With money I would have them lined with fibreglass (British Racing Green is apparently the preferred colour to be "dark / invisible")
     
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    • babafang

      babafang Apprentice Gardener

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      Hi Kristen - thanks for you reply!
      We saw a big green hard liner in a garden centre - it was reduced but still £175 or something! Very big (prob still only just big enough for our hole)!! seems so much to spend! plus it would never fit in the car! I didn't think of the green being more 'invisible' but it makes sense and is a very good point - thanks!
       
    • Palustris

      Palustris Total Gardener

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      We have just had to reline our pond. The liner was PVC and 8m by 5.5 (actually they sent a 6m one, but we paid for 5.5m). This is for our wild life pond. The liner is guaranteed for 25 years if properly laid over sand and underlay. All we have done is put it down over the well cleaned old liner which was already on a sand bed. Cost? £56 ish. Bradshaws had a half price sale on for Easter, not sure how long that price will last.
      bradshawsdirect.co.uk
      Rigid is probably more durable, but harder to get in place. They also sell them with free delivery. Seem to be a good company.
       
    • Palustris

      Palustris Total Gardener

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      Just had a thought though, if you are getting a pond over winter then either you have an intermittent spring or the area is where the rest of your garden drains into. In either case it is not the best place for a pond, rigid or otherwise. The water draining into the area will push the pond out next Winter. You would need to deal with that problem before you do anything.
       
    • watergarden

      watergarden have left the forum because...i'm a sad case

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      Hello babafang, Palustris is not wrong. Come winter or any great deal of rain the current area of the pond will flood, even if you have a liner or fibreglass pre formed pond already full of water, the rising ground water will lift it up. If its a flexible liner the sides will fall down letting out water, if its rigid it will probably tip it to one side. The other thing is it lets the existing inhabitants escape, and when the water receads you could end up with dead fish as they cant get back in the pond.

      The easiest option is to build either a raised pond in that location, but then wildlife can not easily get in or out, or to build a pond somewhere else.
      You can make a "pit" and install a sump pump but that can work out expensive.

      I would go for the flexible liner option as it can be any shape you like and as big as you like, also you do not have a fixed shape you would if it were a fibre glass pond. Bradshaws are very reasonable CLICK ME
       
    • ARMANDII

      ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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      I agree with Palustris regarding the problem of the pond area possibly being a collection point for winter drainage, although I don't think there's an "intermittent spring" in the scene.

      I would go for a flexible liner as the weight of the water in the pond, held in by the liner, would hold it in place. You would have to make sure you have top overlap of around 18" inches covered with soil and large stones to make it look natural and also to ensure that it doesn't get lifted by water collection.

      In my flexible liner pond, which has been in place for around 16 years, I built a wall of bricks [no mortar, just laid dry on top of each other,about 3 bricks high above the water level] across a portion of it and filled it with ordinary soil, which when the pond was filled became a Bog Garden which was always fed by the pond water. That has been a great success.

      I think a preformed pond would, as Palustris said, be lifted by any water collecting underneath, becoming distorted and possibly cracking and leaking.:cry3:

      If you're having marginal plants don't forget to dig a shelf around the pond wall about 8" deep and 10" wide to accommodate them. I've put my marginals in baskets, lined with hessian, filled with ordinary soil, and topped with gravel to stop the soil floating away.
      I also put a small shelf at one end of the pond about 3" inches deep and filled that with pebbles to enable any wildlife an escape route

      Which ever way you go with the pond I hope you really enjoy it.:D
       
    • babafang

      babafang Apprentice Gardener

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      Yes, that is a very good point you all make regarding the flooding.... :cry3:

      OH has been digging like mad to find the drainage - he believes that it is blocked - but the main pipe seems to be in the land behind our garden... no other gardens on our road flood - just us! I do not understand the 'mechanics' of it - perhaps I should get him to explain! but although he has found the pipe from the pond and followed it to the end, he hasn't yet found the join to the main one.....

      Well, like I say, I'm not sure of all the technicalities of it....

      The end of the garden is lower than the rest - and it does look like it's coming up from the ground rather than anything else, after wet and snow and ice etc - the whole garden is wet but only floods in the low ground. I have taken a couple of pics if anyone is interested...!

      One shows were we want to place the pond (part of old pond), the next shows the wild area, and the last shows end of garden and I've highlighted with red outline roughly where is floods - it's not major deep flooding but there is concern - and a little way to the right of the 'arch' is a dip in the grass which also becomes a small puddle if it's very very wet!

      Many thanks to everyone who has taken an interest - I think I'll get the OH to have a read through and respond later, as it's him doing all the hard work - I'm just trying to help him out :)
       

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    • Fresh Air

      Fresh Air Apprentice Gardener

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      You might find this website exactly what you are looking for other good advice. Waterscapes
      FA
       
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