Design and Shelving for Lined, Fibreglass and Concrete Ponds
When we think of ponds or water gardens, we build an image in our minds of Bull Rush Pokers, Water Lilies and fish etc, in fact, usually all the same images we see used as logos. So, the most important thing to remember and to consider when designing a pond is the amount, shape and depths of shelving you will need to have in order to correctly house your chosen water plants at their preferred planting depths. If you are using a garden designer or landscaper and he doesn’t mention plant shelving, then here lies the perfect opportunity to impress him or her with your pond knowledge!
It’s always disappointing for customers that turn up at my retail nursery excited about buying plants for their new pond etc, only to find that their chosen plants cannot be put into their designed pond etc as they haven’t either got any shelving or the shelving they have got is not wide enough or deep enough. This now leads me onto –
Amount of shelving
There is no golden rule to the amount of shelving that you will require as it simply depends on the amount and type of plants you want to grow. So now you can let your imagination run wild and get inspired. A lot of people think shelving has to be the same diameter around the pond however; plant shelves can sweep in towards the centre, narrow, widen and or curve and can be any creative shape of your choice, keeping in mind that they will all serve the same purpose.
This is the other area where many simply go wrong. I have seen designs with 90 cm deep shelves for marginal planting, and other designs where the shelf diameter is 10 cm and a depth of 6cm which is simply no suitable. Think very carefully first about the plants that you would like to put in your pond and then this should help you determine your shelving depths as it can be very costly to have to go back to the drawing board and start all over again when the soil has already been excavated, the underlay and liners put in, not to mention the hundreds or thousands of gallons of water sitting in it too! So, the guide below is all too important.
Try to incorporate three different levels below
Shelves 30 to 40 cm will be suitable for deep water marginal plants, oxygenators, pygmaea and small Water Lily cultivars.
Shelves 90 cm will be suitable for medium and large growing Water Lilies and submerged oxygenating plants and pond weeds.
To help you all, the water plant images shown on our website www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk , already have the recommended water depths shown for each plant. Also on our website, you will find on our homepage a category called “Aquatic Planting Containers and Planting Bags”. All our aquatic basket images also have the basket diameters and depths written below them.
I hope this article is of use to all those starting out.
Remember though, this should be fun, so go ahead now with confidence and enjoy!