So barbeque season has begun and I have been wanting to get the garden looking nice. Working on filling two large stone flower beds – recently emptied, rebuilt, rotavated and new compost added and some nice perennials they are beginning to look fabulous then I looked at the pond and thought …… meh.
So I started asking local fishkeeping friends if they knew of anyone who could tart up a pond but sadly, it was a tough ask, not much call for pondbuilders/designers around here …… or so I thought. I trawled through several Facebook fishkeeping groups and I came across a small advert JM Pond Services, Bridlington. So I phoned John and asked if he could visit and see what ideas we could both come up with. A few days later he turned up and I realised very quickly, his ideas were exactly what I was after and so the framework for the pond build was established. But, could John put into practice the ideas he talked through with me …. read on !!
Looking at the manky old pond that was pea soup, a broken waterfall where the water dropped behind the liner rather than over it resulting in the line rising to the surface. An inefficient filter, no UV, loose pond edging, things had to be done. The garden needed a good focal point …. in addition to the astronomy observatory.
So, the work began. Pond was emptied, fish temporarily rehomed and we removed the pond liner … err and the other pond liner … and the 3rd pond liner and then had a look what we were faced with – a uniform depth of around 18″ – no good for koi and barely enough for the goldfish. So we got our thinking caps on.
We discussed what options were available and I decided I wanted to shallow the two side planting shelves and have a shallow area towards the front of the pond and a much deeper area under the waterfall. John suggested a gradual slope from all three edges into the deeper area where the pump resides. More or less central. That sounded great and indeed this is what we eventually did. So John got the spades and I manned the wheelbarrow and the digging commenced.
The hole at the deep end is approximately 4 feet deep. John used some of the clay we dug out to build up the two planting shelves and created a shallower area at the front. Wetting the clay enabled it to be smoothed out completely and even before the heavy duty underlay was put in, it really did look super smooth.
Liner was ordered and managed next day delivery for a 7m x 6m roll of Firestone butyl (thanks to Gordon Low). I soon realised why it was a pallet delivery. The liner weighed 60 kilos ! We started filling the pond and I could see first hand John’s skills and experience in pond installation. He was running around the pond pulling and stretching the liner as the water was weighting it down. He was doing it in such a way as to minimise the folds and creases. For a figure of eight shaped pond with a very shallow area near the front, this was not an easy job but John made it look easy !! Old liner covered the shrubs and rose trees to protect the new liner.
Pond filled up and liner trimmed a little more, fish added back and a lily. Next job was to trim the liner back further once we were certain the water level had settled and the weight was not going pull down further. John was spot on with his measurements on liner size taking into account the shelves, overall depth, length and width and made sure I ordered enough without being excessive and so saving me money. The water return from the pump is split around 60:40 with the majority coming through the filter and down the waterfall but John has also fixed an elbow into the edge of the pond to create a surface current adding more oxygen but circulating movement around the whole pond so there is no possibility of stagnant areas. Another fabulous idea he came up with.
The deeper area very evident here which will make a good holding area in winter. I will probably raise the pump higher in the water if it gets too cold.
The finished project. Tiles cemented into place. Pebbles were added later either side of the waterfall to make it look bigger. I will probably cut about an 8″ trench around the edge, bed it with liner and fill it with gravel which will allow me to mow around the pond easier.
It’s a shrubbery !!!
I love the pond but this part was very challenging. The waterfall and fixing the liner beneath it. This difficult challenge was all John’s ideas. A couple of slabs a little longer to ensure the water coming down the waterfall went into the pond but look what he has done with the liner. He used an angle grinder to cut a channel into the rock work, fed the liner in, fixed it with plugs then applied a black silicon bead all around the edge ensuring the liner was totally flush and watertight. Absolutely epic !! John said “it was an idea but I have never tried it before”. It works, it is very professional and I could not be happier with the result !!
The fish are very happy swimming in their new home. Need to get some more plants but it is looking great. The 25watt UV in the filter should keep it crystal clear.
Finally, for sale, one dog, gorgeous but she think’s she is a heron/cat and keeps trying to eat my goldfish, the little sod !!!
We love the pond, great work and completed within the week. John dedicated 100% of his time from start to finish, did not take on any other jobs and devoted himself fully to not only get the job done but also to the customers satisfaction. He was an absolute pleasure to work with, tidied everything up, ran a simple filter to keep the fish happy while work was going on. Some extra cement left over he even fixed back a couple of patio tiles.
If you are considering getting a pond I cannot recommend John highly enough. I will see how the pond goes during heavy rain as I may install an overflow into a soakaway at a later date 🙂
You can probably tell I am absolutely delighted with the result and the cost of all this ?? Very fair and reasonable indeed, no hidden extra’s or nasty surprises. When you find someone who is genuine, honest and knows their stuff it is worth telling friends who may also be considering having similar work done.
Thanks again to John and Sarah.