DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

This post is sponsored by Mano Mano.

Well well well, what a surprise, I’m back with another blog post about the garden. You’ll be glad when it’s winter I’m sure so I stop harping on about it! BUT, one of the things in our garden makeover that seems to keep catching people’s attention is our modern pond that we put in ourselves. I’ve had so many requests for a breakdown of how we built the pond… so here it is! Oh and just a warning in advance… Bean absolutely insisted in being in 99% of these photos… he was obsessed with sitting in it before the water went in and now he’s even more obsessed that we have fish swimming about in it…

For the big impact that a pond can have on a garden, they’re relatively easy to do (depending on the size you want to build that is), low maintenance and will last a lifetime. So with the help of Mano Mano – an online DIY store with a huge range of products, here’s how you do it!

I always knew I wanted a pond here – it was an unused space before (just a strange bricked section) and I didn’t feel that another flower bed would suit this area. We have a few different levels to the garden so I thought adding another level with the pond water would be quite effective – plus water always seems to make a space look bigger and who doesn’t want that?!

GET DIGGING

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

So once you’ve decided where you want your pond to go, the first step is the hardest part – time to get your spade and start digging – the depth is up to you! We knew we didn’t want a very deep pond, for two reasons – firstly, I don’t want it to be unsafe for the dogs, I’m not convinced that if Bean happened to end up in there that he would be able to swim – I’m 90% sure he would sink like a boulder, so we made it shallow enough for the doggies (the pond we build the other side of the garden a few years ago, we did the exact same thing and quite literally used Bean as a measure HA!) Safety first kids! Secondly, although we were digging into soil to create this pond, this area has a retaining brick wall so we didn’t want to add so much water that the weight caused too much pressure and burst the brick wall all over our new pretty patio.

 

LEVELS OR NO LEVELS?

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

Natural ponds in particular often have different height levels, for example they might have a shelf all the way around the edge – this will allow you to have plants in your pond that grow at different heights rather than only being able to have plants that are suitable for deep ponds. Or the alternative to tis if you want a fairly level pond like us, is to have a gradual incline so one end is deeper – you can either dig this incline out or you could do it retrospectively once your liner is in and build an incline with a pebbled beached area.

 

NOTHING SHARP

Once you’ve dug your pond out you need to scan the area for anything sharp poking out of the ground. Stones, rocks, rubble, anything that could potentially puncture the pond liner once it’s in and it has tonnes of water in it pushing it down into the ground.

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

 

 

WACKER

This isn’t really essential, but if you wacker the area, or even just stomp it down to get rid of any uneven areas and compress any loose soil, this way your pond liner will sit neatly on top of the ground. If there are any dips/raised areas, the pond liner will crease, so the flatter the better.

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

 

LINER TIME

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

Time to put in your liner. Word of caution – before you order/buy your liner, make sure you account for the depth of your pond as well as the width and length so you have plenty of material! It’s better to have too much than too little, and it’s best to have it overhanging the edge of the pond so that you can cut it down once the water is in. Be sure to get a good pond liner – we chose this PVC Pond Liner¬†which is quite a thick liner, making it durable and long-lasting. The last thing you want to have to do is replace your liner in a years time! Lay your liner out in your pond and then carefully pull out the creases so there are no overlapping areas. On corners (sharp or curved) neatly fold the liner over a few times so that the material doesn’t just bunch up. You’ll be glad to have spent the time doing a little bit of folding once you’re done!

 

BUILD YOUR BEACH

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

If you’re putting a beached/rocky area into your pond, now is a good time to do it before the water is in! It’s easier to move it about and build it up exactly how you want it at this point. We went with Blue Slate Stones to go with the bluey grey tiles and charcoal decking edging and we used 7 bags. I also chose to pop a few plants that would sit flush to the top of the stones at this point.

 

FILL HER UP

Insert hose pipe and off you go! The weight of the water might move the liner in places as the pond is filling up so make sure you’re on standby to notice these areas before the pond is full and it’s too late to do anything about it.

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

TIME FOR A TRIM

Once the pond is full, leave it to settle for a while so you’re sure the pond liner won’t move any more. Once again, check the liner in the corners is neatly folded over so that the material doesn’t just bunch up. Once you’re happy, you can trim the edge of the liner – still be sure to leave enough excess liner at the edge that it will be secured under whatever edging you are planning on using. Basically, don’t cut it right up to the edge of the water!

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

EDGING

There are plenty of different options you can choose from for edging the pond. We used left over outdoor tiles that we had from our patio and some of the decking that was here before – I just gave it a face lift and painted it with Smokey Grey by Sandtex. The decking was screwed down into the wood with the liner sandwiched between and the liner under the tiles was secured in with the tile adhesive. Make sure that you pull the pond liner tight to the edge when securing your edging to avoid any loose flapping liner around the edge of the pond.

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

PLANTS

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

The more plants you have in your pond, the less green the water is going to get and the clearer it will stay. So add lots of plants – you can shop for plants based on the depth of your pond – for example, some lily pads need to be in very deep water so wouldn’t be suitable for a shallow pond! We split some plants like the lily pad and the iris from plants from our other pond and my mum brought some over from her pond too – including water mint! Perfect for Pimms o’clock!

And that’s pretty much it!!! Easy peasy, absolutely anyone can do it!

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

Oh and for extra effect, add some lighting to the pond! These floating pond lights are solar powered so outside power required, look great on the water and are totally affordable!

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

DIY How To Build a Modern Pond

Big thanks to Mano Mano for helping us transform this space by sponsoring us with the items needed to add our very own modern pond!