How To Install And Decorate A Plastic Pond In The Garden. Bowl Selection, Decor And Landscaping, Personal Experience. Photo

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How To Install And Decorate A Plastic Pond In The Garden. Bowl Selection, Decor And Landscaping, Personal Experience. Photo
How To Install And Decorate A Plastic Pond In The Garden. Bowl Selection, Decor And Landscaping, Personal Experience. Photo

Video: How To Install And Decorate A Plastic Pond In The Garden. Bowl Selection, Decor And Landscaping, Personal Experience. Photo

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Video: Decorative Garden Pond Setup 2023, February

Most owners of private plots would like to see a water corner in their garden - at least a small, but still their own personal "lake". In response to this request, ready-made structures for the construction of express reservoirs made of polymer materials appeared on sale. The task of those who want to have a reservoir is to dig a suitable hole and install a plastic bowl of the selected configuration in it. But is it all that simple? How to choose the right ready-made pond container? What difficulties can arise during installation and operation? And, just as importantly, how to plant such a reservoir so that it looks as natural as possible?

How to install and decorate a plastic pond in the garden
How to install and decorate a plastic pond in the garden


  • Choosing a pond bowl
  • Installing a plastic pond bowl
  • Artificial pond decoration
  • Landscaping of a decorative pond
  • Plastic pond care
  • Advantages and disadvantages of an artificial pond

Choosing a pond bowl

Plastic pond size

When choosing the size of the future pond, first of all, they are guided by the size of the site, and also proceed from their personal ideas. After all, everyone has their own idea of ​​what place in the garden will be allocated to the water surface.

For a small plot, as a rule, it is not recommended to purchase too large a bowl, but in large areas, you can place both one large and several small reservoirs, which will communicate with each other, or be located independently in different parts of the garden.

At first glance, it may seem that a small pond is easier to care for, but this is not entirely true. Over time, thanks to the vital activity of microorganisms, a balance is established in any body of water, and the larger the capacity, the more reliable this balance will be.

In this regard, it is worth abandoning too small bowls and giving preference to medium and large containers. Of course, the water in an artificial pond will not become crystal clear, like in a mountain lake, however, a container with a sufficient amount of water will not turn into a fetid puddle either.

Note! In a shop window, any body of water (even the smallest) can seem huge. But after installing it in the garden, decorating the coastline and planting plants, the pond will look completely different and visually will significantly decrease in size. Therefore, choosing a plastic bowl for a reservoir is worth considering such an optical illusion, because most of the structure will be buried in the ground.

Pond shape

Bowls for artificial reservoirs are very diverse in shape, and each gardener can choose the configuration to his liking. Such ponds can be more square or elongated, with minimal bends or an elaborate, rugged, almost zigzag coastline. It is better not to choose the latter option.

Firstly, when the edge is decorated with a decorative stone, such irregularity will be partially hidden, and secondly, such a reservoir is more difficult to plant greenery. It is best to give preference to water bodies of a teardrop shape, with smooth gradual transitions.

Globally, all plastic ponds can be divided into two types: natural (free configuration, reminiscent of natural springs), and regular (round, oval, square, polygonal, and others). And if the former will fit into almost any garden without problems, the latter are designed to be placed in the regular part of the garden.

Pond Bowl Color

Plastic pond bowls are most often black, or various shades of blue (light blue, aqua, etc.). At first glance, it may seem that the second option is more preferable, since it imitates the water surface well. However, this is not at all the case.

In nature, the blue-blue color is more inherent in sea water or mountain lakes, but the usual reservoirs of the middle strip, lakes and rivers, most often have dark water. Therefore, the bright blue pond in the garden looks deliberately artificial, and seems at least not organic.

If your idea is to imitate a sea corner by placing goldfish there or arrange a fountain in a regular part of the garden using a container of the correct shape, then blue ponds may well come up and will not hurt your eyes. But for the construction of a pond with water lilies, lined with coastal plants, black plastic bowls are best suited.

Before digging the pit, place the bowl in the chosen place, move back a certain distance and evaluate
Before digging the pit, place the bowl in the chosen place, move back a certain distance and evaluate

Installing a plastic pond bowl

A properly prepared foundation pit serves as a guarantee of maximum decorativeness and durability of an artificial pond, so this issue should be approached with full responsibility.

First of all, you need to make sure that the dug pit for the pond exactly repeats all the features of the bowl configuration. Small containers allow a little trick in this regard. In this case, it is very easy to just turn the bowl over and outline its outline with a shovel or an iron bar. After that, 15-20 centimeters retreat from the boundaries of the outlined contour and start digging a pit.

When installing large-sized bowls, you will have to first take measurements and mark them with a rope and pegs.

The bottom of the finished pit is covered with sand with a layer of 5-10 centimeters, which must be abundantly watered and tamped. When installing, it is important to ensure that the edges of the pond are flush with the soil and in no case are lowered below ground level. This common mistake leads to the fact that during irrigation and during rain, the soil from the coastal areas flows into the pond, and in such a situation, more or less transparent water will have to be forgotten.

It is much better when the edges of the bowl protrude even a few centimeters above the ground. It will be possible to decorate such a ledge later with the help of stones and coastal plants.

After the bowl is placed in the pit, the most difficult and crucial stage begins - leveling the pond and filling the voids between the container and the walls of the pit.

Take your time and do not rely on your ideal eye, it is important to align the bowl with respect to the surface of the soil strictly according to the level, and in the process of filling the side voids, you will have to periodically re-check whether the container has slanted to the side.

Indeed, in this case, the water surface can never be made perfectly even, and one of the plastic edges will stick out ugly, giving out the artificial origin of the source.

To make the bowl less displaced during further installation, the container is filled with water by one third. The voids on the sides of the pond tank are gradually filled. To do this, sand is poured in small portions, which is moistened with water and compacted. As the filling progresses, the water level in the pond also gradually increases, so that the walls in the sand take their final place.

When the filling of sand between the walls of the pit and the container is completed, finally make sure with the help of a level that the bowl has not been skewed anywhere.

It will be possible to start decorating the coastal area in 2-3 days after installing the container, when the bowl settles and takes its final place in the pit.

For stability, decorative stones are installed on a flat flagstone
For stability, decorative stones are installed on a flat flagstone

Artificial pond decoration

The most long-awaited and pleasant moment comes after the completion of all technical work, when you can give free rein to imagination and start decorating the shores of the bowl with decorative stones and planting plants.

The most difficult task facing the gardener at this stage is to hide the ugly plastic edge of the container protruding above the ground. Usually, two methods are used for this purpose: they cover the perimeter of the bowl with a decorative stone or plant creeping carpet perennials, which, as they grow, cover the plastic with a living green carpet.

Sometimes both methods are used together. Most naturally, when part of the coast is covered with plants, and the other part is decorated with stones, as is often the case in nature.

As for the decoration of the coastline with stone, for these purposes, most often, they use rocks that have a flat shape, for example, shale or limestone. To hide the plastic edging of the pond, it is important to place stones directly on it, but in this case they will stand unevenly and unstably (since the edges of the pond usually rise above the soil).

To avoid this, you can make a concrete base-formwork around the pond, into which decorative stones are placed. But if your plans do not include the stationary design of the coastline, then you can level the difference by placing pieces of slate, rubble or broken brick under the stones. It looks very nice if some stones hang quite strongly over the water surface, while others slightly recede from the water and are covered by coastal vegetation.

Some summer residents use decorative pebbles glued to the net to decorate the edges of a plastic pond. You can buy these "rugs" in large supermarkets in the bathroom tiles department. This option is perfectly acceptable, however it is important to make sure that the manufacturer has used waterproof glue before purchasing.

Often, the soil that remains after digging a hole for a pond is used for the construction of high banks, on which a kind of alpine slides are then broken. Aesthetically, this technique looks good. But as soon as you start watering the newly planted plants, waterfalls of mud will flow straight into the pond. To avoid this, it is important to build slides, stepping back from the edge of the pond. In the future, the slopes are strengthened with the help of ground cover plants (for example, stonecrops), then this problem can be forgotten.

Be sure to make a paved area near one of the banks to ensure access to the water
Be sure to make a paved area near one of the banks to ensure access to the water

Landscaping of a decorative pond

Plants planted along the edges of a reservoir with a plastic base do not have to be moisture-loving and belong to the coastal group, because the water does not leave the bowl, and it can be very dry along the banks of such a pond without watering.

You can mimic coastal vegetation by matching plants with a similar appearance. For example, narrow linear reed leaves will resemble numerous grasses (sedge, pennisetum), daylilies and Siberian irises.

It is better to select coniferous plants near the pond with weeping forms (Inversa spruce, Horstman juniper) or creeping forms (horizontal juniper varieties). Most of all, the hemlock will like it near the reservoir, which responds well to high air humidity.

But practice has shown that creeping forms of such drought-resistant species as junipers grow very well, even if their spreading legs hang over the water and slightly touch the water surface. Dwarf nest-shaped Christmas trees (fir-trees "Nidiformis", "Waldbrunn") will organically fit into the coastal zone.

Nature itself suggests that willows must be located near the water. For a small source, it is better to select dwarf or bush forms, whose growth can be further restrained by a haircut. Among the abundance of species and varieties of willows, you can even find creeping forms, for example, creeping willow. And the smallest spherical bushes, suitable for small ponds, are formed by purple willow, "Globular dwarf" willow, blueberry willow.

Among other species, weeping mountain ash, varietal dwarf birches and other low trees are recommended for landscaping the reservoir. When designing a pond, it is important that there are not too many tree species. It is better to plant only one weeping tree on the shore, around which plantings of perennials are formed.

In addition to perennials with linear leaves, such plants will also look harmonious near the pond: a swimsuit, an incense, hosts, buzulniks, brunners, astilbe and many others.

As for ground cover perennials designed to decorate the plastic edge of the bowl, then, first of all, you should look towards the creeping sedum (false, zibold, caustic, etc.). Dense rugs are also formed by such plants as subulate phlox, lamb, yaskolka, periwinkle, and others.

But the most successful with a similar task will cope with the monet loosestrife. The element of this interesting plant is humid places, therefore, growing rapidly, long stems not only cover the coastline, but also picturesquely descend to the surface of the water.

The only drawback is that even literally floating in the water, the loosestrife will continue to grow, and subsequently it threatens to tighten the water surface. Therefore, its size will have to be adjusted with a haircut. For landscaping, you can plant a natural form of coin-like loosestrife with green foliage or purchase a varietal golden version of "Aurea".

Directly in the water, such plants of reservoirs of the middle lane will feel good, such as the Umbelliferae, plantain daisy, three-leafed watch, arrowhead. And such a small unusual plant, floating on the surface of the water, like frog water paint - a miniature copy of water lilies. Well, and of course, the water lilies themselves. What gardener would refuse such a miracle?

Nymphs, as "water lilies" are scientifically called, is quite possible to grow in the smallest plastic pond. To do this, it is necessary to choose a variety from the "dwarf" nymphs (planting depth 10-25 centimeters) and "shallow" (planting depth 15-50 centimeters) groups.

The variety of divine nymphs is so great that few growers will be able to resist the temptation to buy several varieties at once. However, remember about the coverage area of ​​the water surface, because in dwarf varieties it is equal to 30-60 centimeters, and in small varieties it can reach 1.2 meters. That is, for a small pond, one specimen will be enough.

Before deciding to buy water lilies, think about whether you can provide these plants with wintering in a cool, frost-free room? And also whether these plants will receive enough light. The nymph pond should be exposed to sunlight for at least five hours a day.

Monet loam is picturesquely lowered into the water
Monet loam is picturesquely lowered into the water
Be sure to plant a swimsuit near the pond, which will delight you with delicate flowers in May
Be sure to plant a swimsuit near the pond, which will delight you with delicate flowers in May
The daylily looks great on the shore of the pond, but it is important to choose not flashy monochromatic colors
The daylily looks great on the shore of the pond, but it is important to choose not flashy monochromatic colors

Plastic pond care

Some neat gardeners regularly clean the walls of the artificial pond from overgrown small algae and change the water almost daily. But such procedures cannot be called useful.

Of course, if the water is stagnant and smells unpleasant, then there is no other way out. But when the biological balance in the pond is more or less stable, then an unpleasant odor, although the water looks dark, does not appear. The growths on the walls are decoratively very desirable, because they hide the plastic essence of the reservoir, making it more like a natural one.

Even if soon after installing the container, the water in the pond acquires an unpleasant smell, it is better to endure a little, and change it not completely, but partially. The fact is that during this period, under the influence of bacteria, equilibrium is established in the reservoir.

In addition, to facilitate the establishment of biological balance, you can purchase special products with beneficial bacterial strains, which are always available in aquarium stores. In order for the pond to be "alive" it is important not to disturb this balance and change the water in the pond as rarely as possible, and also not to locate reservoirs in places where it will stand under the scorching sun all day.

It was also noticed that the water practically does not bloom, provided that the nymphs are planted. To prevent decay processes, it is important to remove foliage and dead insects in time, which periodically end up on the surface of the water. For the rest, your pond will literally start to be self-sufficient over time, funny frogs, swimming beetles, dragonfly larvae and many other inhabitants will definitely settle there, which will make the reservoir truly alive and interesting to observe.

In autumn, the pond requires the greatest care, since it is important to remove the foliage on time
In autumn, the pond requires the greatest care, since it is important to remove the foliage on time

Wintering a plastic pond

Often on the Internet, you can find recommendations to dig out a plastic bowl every autumn, so that in winter it will not be “torn apart by frost”. However, the numerous experience of gardeners, including the author of this article, indicates that in most cases a plastic pond can easily endure winter in soil filled with water. In particular, our plastic lake has been hibernating in its place without complaints for the seventh year already.

As a safety net, it is often recommended to put plastic bottles half filled with water or sand in the bowl for the winter. In this case, when the frozen water expands during its transformation into ice, the sand in the bottle will take some of the pressure on itself. But, frankly speaking, in our bustle every year we forget to take these measures before the onset of winter. Fortunately, this did not affect the condition of the pond.

The only serious trouble that will certainly arise if the reservoir remains to winter in the soil is the death of frogs in winter. The fact is that in the fall, these amphibians select reservoirs for wintering, and in gardens, the choice of frogs falls on an artificial pond. But due to the fact that the water there completely freezes, the frogs die, and in the spring you have to do not the most pleasant thing - to catch dead amphibians from the pond.

To prevent this from happening, in the fall, pull a mesh with small cells over the pond, while making sure that its edges are tightly pressed by stones on all sides, blocking access to water.

Advantages and disadvantages of an artificial pond

And in conclusion, I want to talk about the main disadvantages and advantages of a plastic pond, which I can assert from my own experience.

The main disadvantages of a plastic pond bowl

  • For all the gardener's efforts, plastic garden ponds will always look a little unnatural.
  • It is more difficult to create biological balance in an artificial pond-bowl.
  • Plastic reservoirs are not very durable and will require replacement over the years.
  • Usually, the bowls do not have sufficient depth and exclude the possibility of wintering nymphs and fish.
  • The ready-made pond-bowl eliminates the possibility of being creative with respect to the form.
We installed a plastic pond in the garden 7 years ago
We installed a plastic pond in the garden 7 years ago

Pros of a plastic pond

  • Easy and quick installation of the finished bowl.
  • Availability (can be easily purchased from any garden store or supermarket department).
  • A wide range of different configurations and sizes.
  • The presence of steps in the structure on which coastal plants can be placed.
  • The possibility of self-installation without the involvement of hired labor and unnecessary financial costs.

Dear Readers! We hope this material will be of practical use to you. We will be grateful if in the comments to the article or on our Forum you share your experience of creating a reservoir in the garden.

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