I keep repeating myself on this – my pond / water feature kinda sucks! Seeing to it and making it more attractive is one of the things on my 2012 Gardening To-Do List and up to now I’ve been thinking and doing a bit of pond research. So far, Project Pond has started slowly with the adding of some oxygenator plants to the pond, I’ve germinated some Lotus Blossom from seed (new flowering plants for the pond), I’ve been “window shopping” a bit for other plants and taken a few “before” photographs. Which is the point of todays’ post – the big “Pre” reveal of my slightly grotty pond /water feature, my current ideas of what I might do with it and then a call for opinions, advice and suggestions :)

Some background info about the pond. It came with the house. It came with four goldfish, we now have three. It has a few random, not very well cared for plants in it (yes I’m guilty as charged). I’m not loving the pond. At all. which is why I think I ignore it. Although it is right opposite the big double door to my office and I hear the water tinkling in it all day, I rarely look at it which seems a pity, so I need to make it look lovely and more of a feature. Look … when I sit at my desk and turn my head slightly to the left, this is what I see. Here, Hercules has taken over again, sitting on my keyboard and faces the pond …

Hercules looking at the pond from my desk

The pond is in the Alley on the left hand side of the house. (One of these days I will draw a map of the property!). It’s a long Alley that starts as a well shaded area and changes to lots of sun and heat (from the boundary wall) and then shaded again further down. On each side of the pond is a planting bed. The landscapers told me whatever I planted in the one I needed to mirror in the other and I agree. That is one of the things I need to work on to improve the overall look of the pond area… but more about those two beds in my next pond update.

Then the pond itself … there is nothing actually wrong with it, it’s just not very inspiring. I don’t ever look at it and say “Wow! that’s lovely”. Isn’t that what one should feel? As I said, the plants in it have been neglected so we will get that sorted in the next weeks as soon as the weather is slightly cooler. Then what? I really don’t know what more to do or to plant to make it all better. But I do have a few ideas which I will share.

Lets look at the photos and see if I can show what I am talking about.


I am showing two panoramas of the Alley – it was difficult to do a good panorama because the alley is narrow and long. If you click the images below you will see the full view – these are cropped versions:

Alley Way Panorama

Alley Way Pano

Some normal photographs of the alley and pond

Pond and Alley view taken from the frontPond and Alley view

Pond and Alley view taken from the other sidePond and Alley view taken from the other side

Alley Way seen from the frontThe Alley Way as seen from the front garden

Closer view of pondCloser view of pond and GOOD Restios

Alley as seen from the backThe Alley as seen from the other end

Project Pond is not a one day project. There are a few things I want to do to improve it. So far these are the steps I have set myself to do:

Project Pond To Do List

  • Tackle the beds on either side of the water feature to get the planting right.
  • Repot into larger pots and fresh medium all the plants that are currently in the pond.
  • Clean up the pond. Seriously.
  • Decide whether the pond needs more plants – if yes, try to buy. (Japanese Irises which I love are apparently rarely available).
  • Decide whether to paint or mosaic the inner which is currently painted black and looking a bit worse for wear. Leave it and enjoy the “oldness” or renew? I need to decide.
  • Find a way to incorporate more plant material into this space, perhaps a trellis or two above the 3 bird baths? I can picture Star Jasmine making a beautiful wall covering here, the scent filling the evening air in spring. I’m very tempted. But how?

I have a lot of decisions to make about this area and being nervous about messing it up and slightly daunted by the task means I’ve had all these things on my “To Do” list for nearly two years. I’m hoping that breaking it down into these bite-sized individual tasks means I might actually get something done. And I feel a bit more committed to doing it all now that I’ve written about it!

Here are a few more visuals and ideas I have …

The birds love the three bird bathsThe birds love the three bird baths

Starlings are here every dayStarlings are here every day

One of my goldfish in the pondOne of my goldfish in the pond

I am considering blue mosaic for the insideI am considering blue mosaic for the inside

The birds and fishy are just to show you why I want to keep the water feature going and not just fill it with soil and plants.

Tomorrow I will show you the plant beds on either side of the pond and why they are not working (see post here).

Happy Gardening