How I built my pond

Going back about eighteen years ago, when I lived in my 3 bed roomed house in Essex I worked full time and didn't have much time for gardening.
My back garden had a long straight cemented path down the middle, grass either side and a long straight and narrow garden bed next to the grass.
The previous owner had planted a few flowers that came up every year. It was very boring but I had neither the time or the notion to change it.
It was around this time I started to take an interest in Feng Shui.
The running water appealed to me and I bought myself an indoor water feature. It was only big enough to be place on a unit or coffee table but I got bored with that and then it broke. I then bought myself one of those fish tanks that had plastic fish in it powered by batteries and then I decided I wanted the real thing.
My brother, who had kept fish for years helped me out and gave me an aquarium with a couple of fish. This I enjoyed and me and hubby spent our pennies on plants and new fish.

I was happy with this for a while but then I started to think about a pond.
Once I get an idea I get very obsessive (It gets a problem sometimes)
I used to trot down to the library and come back laden with about 10 books on ponds and water features.
I read and read for hours until I decided I now knew how to build a pond. In theory, anyhow.

Reading up on Feng shui I decided the best place for the pond would be to the left of the garden (from the back door)
I laid out the hose pipe on the grass and pulled it about until it resembled a kidney shape.Gingerly I sunk the spade into the ground. Hubby had already informed me this was my project as he wasn't too keen on having a pond in the garden.Bless him! He hasn't a handy, do it yourself bone in his body.

Anyway, I sunk the spade an and started to dig. I very slowly started to disappear as the hole got deeper. On about the third day my 6'3 son paid me a visit and helped a bit with the digging which made hubby feel a bit guilty and must have dug for at least 10 minutes.

It was when I had almost finished I noticed I had a nasty bite on my leg by something that looked like a leech.(Not that I've ever seen a leech) My leg swelled up to twice it's size.

I never did find out what it was but ended up having to go on antibiotics.

I checked and re-checked on the depth and size. It must have been about 7' x 4' and about 4' depth. I left a part of it very shallow to allow frogs easy access in and out. Having read it all I painstakingly picked out any stones or sharp bits because once your liner is in the weight of the water will press it down into the stones and puncture.

Once that was done I covered every bit of the hole with newspapers, old bits of carpets and anything else I thought suitable to line it with.

Once that was done I looked over at the piles of earth I had dug up at the side of the hole and wondered what to do with it. I then had a vision and realized what a wonderful backdrop it would make. I would create a rockery.

I dragged hubby up to the Aquarium centre to get advice on what I needed. He advised me what size liner and cut it. We came home and between us lined the pond.

I wasn't going to trim it until the pond was full so put the hose pipe in and turned on the tap. It took ages but once it was full I left it for a few hours to see if the water level had gone down. If it did then I would know it had a leak.

By this time hubby had gone to bed very early a his job required a very early start. I had taken a weeks holiday from work to enable me to build the pond.

In the meantime I pondered on what to put around the pond to hide the liner.

Around the garden had always been different pieces of broken paving. I went around the garden picking them up and placed them around the edge of the pond after I had trimmed the liner.

It was still light and I started to tidy up the mound of dirt and placed a piece of crazy shaped paving here and there and even dug up a couple of plants and re planted them around the pond.

I popped upstairs to wash my hands and after walked into the back bedroom to look at my labours.

I will never forget that moment.

That pond, that one thing had transformed a very dingy, boring and basic back yard into a garden.

I felt so proud and very emotional that I could achieve something like that.

What followed changed my life really. It added a whole new perspective on things. Hubby got hooked too. The garden became the love of our life and took all our pennies.

Garden centres enticed us and holidays were dominated with visiting Grand houses with fabulous gardens.

We have since moved and down sized with a smaller garden but that's just another challenge.

Photo taken at night

The grass was suffering here due to a hose pipe ban.