Cambridge Turfing – How to make Garden Ponds
Check the slope of the ground with a spirit level on a length of wood. If the Edge of the pond is not levelled the water level will spoil the appearance of the pond. Choose a spot for the pool well away from trees and open to plenty of daylight.
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Before you decide finally on the size and shape of the pond, select the liner either a flexible liner sheet or a rigid plastic or glass-fibre shell.
The best and most durable liners consist of a double layer of PVC with nylon netting sandwiched between it, or black butyl rubber sheeting.
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Dig the hole with its walls sloping in from the top. This reduces the risk of collapse and frost damage. Remove all sharp stones, roots or other obstructions that could damage the liner.
Line the hole with damp sand, about 25mm thick, to cushion the liner.
Dampening the sand makes it stick to the sides.
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Stretch the liner over the hole and anchor its hedge securely with bricks, stones or slabs. Run water onto the liner from a garden hose. The water will stretch the liner until it touches the sides and bottom of the pond, though it will be necessary to move the weights from time to time.
When the pond is full remove anchoring bricks or slabs and cut off surplus liner with scissors, leaving a flap about 150mm wide lying on the ground around the pond. Cover the flap with paving, mortaring the slabs or broken pieces in place so that they overhang the water with at least 25mm. Take care not to drop any mortar into the pond, as it will poison plants and fishes. If any does drop in, empty the pond, clean it out and refill.
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There are two main types vacuum-formed plastic or the more durable and expensive moulded glass fibre. Both are installed in the same way. Dig the hole as closely as you can to the shape of the shell but make it larger so there is a definite gap all round when you put the shell in place.
As a rough guide, place the shell in position right side up and sprinkle sand around the outline. When the hole is the right size, line the base of the hole with at least 25mm of sand. Put in the shell and fill the gap round the outside with sieved soil up to the level of any shelves.
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Edge the pond with paving, mortaring it in place to overhang the water with at least 25mm.
If you need help with you Garden Pond and you are based in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire call Cambridge Turfing