Aug 2, 2022
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Pond in the garden: typical mistakes of amateurs

Pond in the garden: typical mistakes of amateurs

Almost every garden has a pond. And he definitely gets into the frame: the owners love their pond (or even the smallest pond), are proud of it and consider it perhaps their main garden achievement. And this is understandable. But the strict eye of a professional often notes the unfortunate blunders in the creation of reservoirs, which are repeated in many gardens with offensive constancy.

Are you building a pond? Make no mistake!

Perhaps it makes no sense to convince someone that a pond in the garden is good. Water like a magnet attracts everyone’s attention and even in photographs it always looks mysterious and alluring. Is it any wonder that today the reservoir has become an indispensable attribute of the “gentleman’s set” of any design project for the development of a new land plot or the reconstruction of an old one.

Unfortunately, as a result of a formal approach to business, one garden becomes similar to another. Gardens are churned out by professional designers like cakes are baked, and they actually turn out to be cloned. To be honest, the gardens of amateurs are closer to me, which, although they sin with some dilettantism, still attract more with their ingenuous sincerity. All actions of an amateur come from the heart, and therefore the path is often tortuous, but in the end the truth is found, and not least thanks to intuition.

To make the path to beauty shorter, let’s try together to analyze the characteristic mistakes that miraculously repeat in many reservoirs, and analyze their nature. And after that, we will gradually analyze all the subtleties and secrets of a quick, easy and economical creation of a reservoir that is ideal for your garden. So, the most typical misses.

Wrong size

This is the most common mistake: the pond does not match the size of the garden and its surrounding plants. A small puddle located somewhere at the fence or at the entrance to the garden and squeezed on all sides by lush and beautiful garden plants, no matter how hard you try, will always look miserable.

But this does not mean at all that a small pond (for example, in the form of a spring) cannot decorate a garden at all. Simply by choosing one or another image, you need to correlate it with the surrounding space. If you don’t have space for a large pond in your garden, you may find a solution to this collection of pond in miniature: a dozen simple ideas. A successful example is also presented in the publication Saucer of Water as the completion of a dry stream.

Wrong place

In no case do not place a reservoir against the backdrop of unsightly buildings, a sloppy garden, a pile of garbage, a rickety fence, and who knows what else.

Water always attracts the eye, so placing your pond in an unsightly place, you thereby focus on the shortcomings of the garden.

Mistakes in the selection of material

When purchasing materials for arranging a garden, be guided by the law of similarity. If the house is made of brick or stone, then their color, texture, shape and size must be repeated in the material of the fence, paving, finishing of other buildings. The same applies to a wooden house or a house sheathed with siding.

You can often see a picture when individual corners of the garden are very good: beautiful plants are logically grouped, a reservoir is carefully and with fantasy decorated, but the overall impression of the garden is negative.

You start to analyze, and it turns out: a brutal-looking house is made of red brick with white trim of plastic windows, a powerful fence is assembled from ready-made concrete blocks painted with bright pink paint with white scallops on top, a carved gazebo is gilded with turned beams, an asphalt tape of the path leads to it, over which the yokes of openwork white arches for roses are thrown, the presence here and there of colored plastic, various-sized borders, flowerpots, and to top it off – like a gold medal for bad taste – a plastic water lily on a living leaf of a nymphaeum completes the picture. As they say, comments are superfluous.

Conclusion: while arranging the garden, introducing new elements into it, try to predict the final result, predict how the garden as a whole will look like. The body of water should always match the garden, buildings and surrounding plants in size and style, and be placed in the most advantageous position depending on the image you choose.

Defeat in the fight against the plastic mold

A common misconception: a ready-made plastic mold is the best choice if you decide to create a pond, as they say, with little money. Yes, indeed, manufacturers offer a wide range of such “baths”, and it seems that you can choose a shape for every taste. But everything is not so simple. Even the largest of them (and they are very expensive) will not be big enough in the garden, and the small ones just look like a misunderstanding. At the same time, all of them, although obviously small in size, have an overly intricate shape that will never turn out to be natural in place.

The edges of such forms have a rounded profile, on which it is impossible to fix neither soil for coastal plants, nor stone, much less gravel. Some of the more expensive forms have quartz sprinkling glued with a wide tape along the upper edge, but most often it is so strikingly different from our local materials that it still cannot be decorated.

Plastic molds are made by stamping, and cheap products often have an annoying defect – the edges are skewed along the periphery, due to which, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to dig such a shape neatly and evenly in principle. Needless to say, a piece of black plastic sticking out above the water will nullify all your efforts. For clarity, such a reservoir can be compared with a luxurious suit, in which a carelessly sewn lining is bristling in the most visible place. The sight of such a suit is at least regrettable.

It is worth adding that it is not easy and expensive to transport a finished form, especially a large one, and as a result, the final cost of the structure increases significantly. I once had a chance to work with a plastic mold of small size and at the same time intricate design. She was hopelessly skewed.

However, rigid forms have a future. In Europe, plastic molds of regular geometric shapes have been produced for several years now: round, rectangular, trapezoidal. They have a wide, flat, horizontal edge, making them easy to mount under all sorts of flooring. It is advisable to use them for raised formal reservoirs, which are effectively decorated with stone, wood, plastic, metal; they can be located at different levels and combined with fountains and waterfalls.

Unfortunately, our trade so far offers only round shapes, but we must not forget: if there is a demand, there will also be a supply. The breadth of the horizons of consumers shapes the market.

Conclusion: before choosing one or another method of waterproofing, you need to comprehensively familiarize yourself with the positive and negative sides of each and conduct a comparative analysis. The lack of information about the qualities of waterproofing materials in the presence of a large supply on the market leads to the wrong decision.

Trying to repurpose an old bath

Speaking of ready-made forms, it should be mentioned that amateurs often try to recycle enameled cast-iron bathtubs. Once upon a time, in times of chronic scarcity and lack of available materials, this simple way to create a garden pond was welcomed by many. However, few people managed to decorate a white bath so that the enameled pond looked more or less attractive.

More often, such a structure looks miserable: greenish white walls, mounds of garbage at the bottom (after all, you can see everything against a light background!), round cobblestones are artlessly laid out along the edge, and a collectible beauty hosta is planted nearby. An unattractive spectacle…

But there are ways to embellish such a reservoir, you just need to move your imagination. The easiest way is to paint the bath with any dark or black paint. Visually, the container will look deeper, the reflectivity of the water will increase, and the edges will almost merge with the ground. In the presence of all kinds of plasticizers and modern mixtures, the inside of the bath can be coated with a layer of 1-3 cm, give it a texture, tint by adding mineral powder or liquid colored pigments or finely chopped brown peat to the solution. If desired, if such an image fits into the overall picture, a mosaic of colored pebbles or glass, pieces of a mirror, or simply glued pieces of crushed stone of different sizes can be laid on top of the cement.

If you have a whole arsenal of used household bathtubs, you can dig them close to each other in a chain or square-nested way, depending on the quantity, finish the inner surfaces as mentioned above, and mount a decorative flanging made of tiles, clinker, wood over the joined edges etc. You will get a channel or a pool with separate cells, each of which can be decorated in a special way: somewhere there are plants, somewhere a spring or a small fountain, somewhere there are fish or lights – an unplowed field for fantasy.

Such a structure can be made partially raised over the entire area, or you can place the cells at different levels, and even arrange the flow of water from one block to another. So an old primitive idea can be applied in a completely new way and achieve a wonderful result.

Conclusion: old, used containers can be successfully used to create reservoirs, you just need to be creative and never leave the wrong side in sight.

stone beads

The most common mistake in decorating a garden pond is a rounded cobblestone laid out around the edge like beads. More often such beads lie in one row, but some manage to lay two rows on top of each other.

Such a way of laying a stone will never look natural, not to mention the fact that it is absolutely impossible to decorate a film or a board of a rigid structure. So the multi-colored “monists” lie on the monstrous black shores, and no matter what beauty you arrange around, such an aqua garden will serve as a mute reproach to the owner.

When relaxing on the banks of rivers and lakes, try to pay attention to how nature “lays out” the stones, and what you like and remember the most. Usually, small fractions serve as a background, while larger ones are textured by contrasting groups.

Conclusion: stone for decorating a reservoir must be carefully selected. It is desirable to use a stone that is uniform in rock and color, but varied in size. This does not mean that the pellets are completely unsuitable, just that they “play”, you need to work with them even more carefully.

Toys around the pond

Another typical drawback that can spoil the most beautiful, carefully thought-out design: the simultaneous presence of a large number of decorative figures and various garden accessories in a small area.

Nobody argues, some bright gnomes and funny lafs can really decorate some corners of the garden, bring a smile. But if plastic frogs, papier-mâché ducks and clay mermaids are already enough, and you were also presented with an “overturned” jug painted in Mayan Indians for a fountain, white bent furniture in the rococo style and black lanterns a la Montmartre, it is inevitable there will be overkill. Any of these items can be quite attractive on their own, but put together within line of sight, they will most likely do you a disservice by turning the garden into a haberdashery.

Conclusion: The thoughtless use of decorations will break the garden harmony. Try to look at the garden as if from the outside, and if you tend to get carried away with “decoration”, at least spread the decorative “gadgets” in space and time

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