The Challenge
To create a natural stretch of water where you could keep fish and ducks.
Designing the Garden
The ground was sloping, so when designing I had to give careful consideration to the levels of the land.

To keep ducks, I wanted to create an island in the middle of the pond. This would offer the ducks a safe haven, away from any four-legged predators. Since the island would need occasional maintenance, I included a wooden jetty for mooring a boat.
My design took advantage of the field’s natural spring and created a stream to carry water into the pond. No need to keep filling it up in summer!
If you are having excavation work done in your garden, it should be done in a way that looks natural. With this project, some excavation was needed to create the pond. Also, I planned to reuse the soil elsewhere in the field. Topsoil is expensive so you should always try to reuse it.
The pond was dug to a depth of ten feet with shelves at varying depths to allow me to plant a variety of aquatic plants. It was lined with a thick rubber liner. You should always start with a protective layer when using a pond liner. This way you will reduce the risk of puncturing by sharp stones. I generally use sand however, you can use old carpets or even blankets!
At water level, a ledge was built on which I placed natural stone. As a result, when the pond is full of water you won’t be able to see the liner around the edges. The water laps up against the rock, creating a really natural look.
  • When planting for a pond remember that water lilies work best in still water. Avoid planting them in streams and fountains.
  • Keep all pond liner off-cuts. These can be used under rocks around the water’s edge to protect the liner from punctures.
  • Ducks need to be able to get in and out of the pond easily, so create a shore. Do not be tempted to use sand. Duck feet are quite sharp, and can pierce the pond lining. Instead, use flat stones that will not become dislodged.