clear water reflecting the poolside plants
and fish darting about. That is the image
of a garden pond and it can be the reality
but only with dedication and common sense.
Still water will become stagnant unless oxygen
is present and a balance is achieved by introducing
plants and wildlife. Sunlight encourages green
algae and a single, minute plant of pond weed
will become a sheet of green within a very
Leaves and debris will accumulate in the pond
forming a layer of decaying material at the
There are simple ways of avoiding many of
the problems and undoubtedly, in the case
of a garden pond, prevention is better than
A waterfall, cascades or a fountain will bring
oxygen into the water and discourage discolouration.
Oxygenating plants breathe out oxygen through
their leaves but do be careful. Most of them
are very vigorous needing to be thinned several
times during the season otherwise they will
take over the pond.
wild life such as frogs, water snails and
newts will help achieve a balance in the water.
There is nothing more unsightly than green
water. It thrives on sunlight. Shading 50
% of the water surface will reduce the risk.
The leaves of water lilies are large and will
help provide that shade. Growing plants close
to the pond on the south and west sides will
cast shade where it is needed most. Another
method of control is to pack a fine mesh bag
or pair of tights with barley straw and submerge
in the water. It will be 6 weeks before it
starts to have an effect and should be removed
in the autumn and the straw spread on the
Apart from water lilies and oxygenating plants
other aquatic plants will, through their roots,
help to remove impurities. Weeds such as duck
weed are a real nuisance. It can be introduced
on the feet of ducks or even frogs but in
most cases I believe it is brought in with
free plants from friends. Wash incoming plants
thoroughly and place in an isolation bucket
of water for a week to see if the dreaded
duck weed is present.
The only sure way to eliminate autumn leaves
from the pond is to cover it with a net during
the “fall”. At other times the
odd leaf will cause no trouble.