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Gardening Tips: Building Your First Water Garden
by News Canada
April 17, 2005

So you've decided that this is the year that you'll finally build a pond in your backyard. Welcome to the fastest growing outdoor past-time in Canada.

According to Scott Rhodes, product manager for Laguna, a manufacturer and distributor of pond products based in Montreal, building a water garden is certainly something you can do yourself, provided you keep these few tips in mind:

  • First, plan ahead by researching your project. There are many books and magazines on building water gardens and ponds.
     
  • You first major decision is whether you'll have a pre-formed or liner-type pond. Pre-formed ponds are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, typically up to 300 U.S. gallons. The advantage here is that you simply dig a hole and insert the ready-built basin.

    With liner-type ponds, you need to purchase a special flexible liner that goes over the hole and serves as the substrate material between the soil and the pond water. The benefit here is that you can build larger ponds and tailor the shape to suit your needs.
     
  • Another important factor to consider is location. For instance, a pond should enjoy some shade as well as sunlight. And always ensure that there is access to electrical sources.
     
  • The next step: pond equipment. Pond water should always be circulated in order to keep it healthy and life-sustaining (more about fish and plants later).

    This is where water pumps come in. They circulate water and provide features such as fountains and waterfalls. The size of the pump depends on many factors, including how much water will be in the pond and how high you want your fountain and waterfall to be. For example, large pumps with high flow rates will move more water faster and create higher fountains and waterfalls.
     
  • Now, about those fish and plants. If you're going to have some in the pond, you need to keep the water healthy. Water circulation is important, but you also need a filter to remove debris and biologically break down harmful toxins and purify water.
     
  • Filters come in many sizes and perform a variety of functions. Some skim off debris, while others also perform biological and chemical cleaning. Some models are submersible, while others are installed outside the pond. In all cases, a water pump must be connected to one so that water passes through it and is cleansed by the filter.

Your best resources for detailed information are retailers specializing in water gardens. For more expert advice and tips on building a pond and Laguna pond products visit www.hagen.com.

- News Canada

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