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Old 07-01-2003, 11:14 AM
Pia
 
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Default Filling in pond

Hi all

I warn in advance that this is a rather long post.

We have quite a nice pond in the garden, which holds two enormous ghost koi
(all inherited from previous owner of the house). However, we also have an
18 month old highly active and inquisitive baby. So we have decided that
the pond will have to go.

It's a kidney shaped pond (something like 2m long by 1.5m wide at the widest
point or perhaps a shade bigger) with nice low growing conifers (all sorts
of different ones) and heathers all around it, and it is just to one side of
the patio. It gets good sun most of the day.

I have a few questions about what we do now.

Firstly, we need to get rid of the fish. We've tried to put them in Loot,
but the only two interested parties never got back to us They are very,
very large and quite old (estimated at least 7-8 years), so there isn't much
interest. Nevertheless, there is a relatively local Koi centre (we are in
Herts), and I'm sure they'll take them off us.

So assuming we get rid of the fish, we are left with a soft lined pond with
a couple of plants (easy to remove) and the whole pond is surrounded by nice
grey bricks (approx 4 high - and they go below the waterline). I think we
may keep the bricks, as they would make a nice outline for a bed.

Now, what do we fill it with? The pond is a couple of feet deep, and I
don't know if we need to fill the whole lot with soil, or whether it will be
ok to put a bit of rubble in the bottom to reduce the volume of soil needed?

Also, which kind of soil do we need. Do we just get "standard" soil from a
nursery, or do we mix it with compost (or something else altogether)?

As the surrounding beds are heathers and conifers, I thought the nicest
thing to complement with would be a rockery. If we go with this idea, do we
actually need to include more rubble/pebbles/stones in the soil, or will it
be ok to just place the odd nice looking rock on the top? As the bed will
be "contained" within the old outline of the pond, will there be an issue
with drainage? (We will of course take up the old pond liner.)

The alternative would be to remove all the bricks as well as the liner to
make it all flush with the surrounding beds. If we do this, do we fill it
in the same way? The soil in the garden in general is rather heavy and
clay-ey and full of stones and rocks. A nightmare to dig!

Lastly, is there a "right" and a "wrong" time to do this. As we won't really
be digging in existing soil, it won't make a difference if the soil around
is rather cold or frozen, but is it best to leave it until it gets warmer?

I apologise for the long post, and hope someone will be able to give me a
few pointers!!

Thanks for your help

Pia



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Old 07-01-2003, 12:39 PM
Martin Sykes
 
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Default Filling in pond

"Pia" wrote in message
...
Nevertheless, there is a relatively local Koi centre (we are in
Herts), and I'm sure they'll take them off us.

Probably if it's worth them quarantining them for a while first which it
should be if they are a decent size. They'll want to avoid introducing
disease to their existing stock.

Now, what do we fill it with? The pond is a couple of feet deep, and I
don't know if we need to fill the whole lot with soil, or whether it will

be
ok to put a bit of rubble in the bottom to reduce the volume of soil

needed?
I can't think why that wouldn't be OK but remember that the soil will wash
down to fill the gaps in the rubble so expect it to settle quite a bit at
first.

Also, which kind of soil do we need. Do we just get "standard" soil from

a
nursery, or do we mix it with compost (or something else altogether)?

I'd put something cheap and poor at the bottom and then fill the last foot
or so with something better. There's no point putting expensive compost
where the plants won't use it. I'm not sure from your post how deep the pond
is though.

As the surrounding beds are heathers and conifers, I thought the nicest

snip
be "contained" within the old outline of the pond, will there be an issue
with drainage? (We will of course take up the old pond liner.)

If you put a lot of good drainage in the bottom of the hole there shouldn't
be any problem. Actually, just occured that you may need to be careful not
to make the hole too free-draining or you'll be effectively be building a
soak-away which will drain water from your adjacent beds as well.

The alternative would be to remove all the bricks as well as the liner to
make it all flush with the surrounding beds. snip

That sounds more attractive but you should probably still raise the area a
bit to keep it drier than the beds.

Lastly, is there a "right" and a "wrong" time to do this. As we won't

really
be digging in existing soil, it won't make a difference if the soil around
is rather cold or frozen, but is it best to leave it until it gets warmer?

I don't know much about alpines but I think it would be best to wait until
the ground is easier to dig before doing the destruction/construction whilst
still aiming to get it completed before whenever the plants should go in.

Hope this is some help,

Martin


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Old 07-01-2003, 12:46 PM
Pia
 
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Default Filling in pond


"Martin Sykes" wrote in message
...

snip lots of helpful stuff

Hope this is some help,

Martin

That's great, Martin. I did think I'd have to wait for a while to start the
whole project.

Thanks for your help

Pia


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Old 07-01-2003, 03:43 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Filling in pond


"Pia" wrote in message
...
Hi all

I warn in advance that this is a rather long post.

We have quite a nice pond in the garden, which holds two enormous ghost

koi
(all inherited from previous owner of the house). However, we also have

an
18 month old highly active and inquisitive baby. So we have decided that
the pond will have to go.


An alternative would be to fit a strong metal mesh about an inch below the
surface of the water. You can buy mesh with a variety of different wire
thicknesses and holes sizes in large sheets, or cut to size, from Mirlyn
Wire in Hove, East Sussex. You would probably need to build some walls
inside the pond to give a secure support, but I suspect it would be a lot
less work than filling it in.

Colin Bignell


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Old 07-01-2003, 04:25 PM
Mike
 
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Default Filling in pond

In article , Pia pia.a.reynold
writes
Hi all

I warn in advance that this is a rather long post.

We have quite a nice pond in the garden,


'quite a nice'? You therefore like it.

which holds two enormous ghost koi
(all inherited from previous owner of the house).


Who are at home in it?

However, we also have an
18 month old highly active and inquisitive baby.


All 18 month olds are highly active and inquisitive, and they don't get
any better.

So we have decided that
the pond will have to go.


Why? You have already said it is attractive, and by the sounds of things
the fish are happy.

If it is because of the 18 month old I say no. And that is from someone
who has rescued a child from a garden pond, not breathing, and
resuscitating her.

We have had 4 children grow up in the vicinity of rivers, the sea and
garden ponds, and a Grandson with a pond just outside the back door.

1) Make sure the child cannot get into the pond. Someone suggested a
thick mesh 1 inch below the surface. No, the child I rescued was in
nothing more than an overgrown garden puddle, but face down it needs
very little water. Build the wall up a bit, don't forget that children
grow and climb.

2) As soon as possible teach the child not to go near the water. Do that
by taking the child there 'with someone' and showing it the water. "Do
you want to go and see the fish with Mummy/Daddy" No good 'banning' the
area, it will only be more 'interesting'

3) As a parent you should have eyes in the back of your head :-((

4) A stair gate can be used at the door which leads to the garden and/or
could be fitted to the walls around the pond if you build them higher.
This 'Wall' could be in the form of an attractive fence until the child
grows up.


It's a kidney shaped pond (something like 2m long by 1.5m wide at the widest
point or perhaps a shade bigger) with nice low growing conifers (all sorts
of different ones) and heathers all around it, and it is just to one side of
the patio. It gets good sun most of the day.


IF, the pond has to go for the sake of the child. Get rid of the fish
and then board it over until the child is old enough to understand
without teaching and training.

My 2d worth which won't go down very well I expect :-((

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bringing up teenagers is like trying to nail jelly to a tree

(and you thinkyou have problems with an 18 MONTH old)





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Old 07-01-2003, 05:46 PM
Pia
 
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Default Filling in pond


nightjar wrote in message
...

An alternative would be to fit a strong metal mesh about an inch below the
surface of the water. You can buy mesh with a variety of different wire
thicknesses and holes sizes in large sheets, or cut to size, from Mirlyn
Wire in Hove, East Sussex. You would probably need to build some walls
inside the pond to give a secure support, but I suspect it would be a lot
less work than filling it in.

Colin Bignell


Hi Colin

I can't really put mesh below the surface of the water, as the fish eat food
which is on the surface. I had considered putting a mesh over the top of
the pond itself (as the "walls" around the pond go quite a bit over the
water level). This is likely to be our solution if we decide to keep the
pond.

Thanks for your help

Pia



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Old 07-01-2003, 05:50 PM
Pia
 
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Default Filling in pond


"Mike" wrote in message
...

Snip

have already said it is attractive, and by the sounds of things
the fish are happy.

If it is because of the 18 month old I say no. And that is from someone
who has rescued a child from a garden pond, not breathing, and
resuscitating her.


snip lots of interesting stuff

I do see your point, and filling it in was in a way the "easy" (not
physically!!) option. We will look into putting a mesh over the top,
although it will perhaps not look too nice. We've also considered a fence
around it, but kids like climbing, so a fence is not really going to work.

Thanks for the long answer. We will definitely reconsider filling in the
pond...I myself quite like the wildlife (although I could live without the
frogs urgh!!).

Pia


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Old 07-01-2003, 05:52 PM
Pia
 
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Default Filling in pond


"JennyC" wrote in message
...


It seems such a shame to get rid of the pond when it's doing so well.
What about removing the water and making it into a sandpit until your
child gets old enough for it to long longer constitute a danger ?

Personally I'd be inclined to fence it in somehow so that he/she could
enjoy the frogs, dragonflies etc while she/he grows up :~)
Jenny


See my replies above. We may well find a solution to keep it...perhaps we
will wait to see how Thomas is around the pond this summer and if it is a
nightmare, perhaps look into filling it again.

Thanks

Pia


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Old 07-01-2003, 08:33 PM
Warwick Michael Dumas
 
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Default Filling in pond

"Martin Sykes" wrote in message ...
"Pia" wrote in message
...


Now, what do we fill it with? The pond is a couple of feet deep, and I
don't know if we need to fill the whole lot with soil, or whether it will

be
ok to put a bit of rubble in the bottom to reduce the volume of soil

needed?
I can't think why that wouldn't be OK but remember that the soil will wash
down to fill the gaps in the rubble so expect it to settle quite a bit at
first.


I've found rubble in clay tends to prevent drainage. I've got a pond
which I hate (I'm replacing it with quite a nice kidney shaped one
with nice grey bricks round the edge, going down below the waterline)
and I'm going to put sand over the rubble until it's all covered. That
way it should improve drainage.

Also, which kind of soil do we need. Do we just get "standard" soil from

a
nursery, or do we mix it with compost (or something else altogether)?

I'd put something cheap and poor at the bottom and then fill the last foot
or so with something better. There's no point putting expensive compost
where the plants won't use it. I'm not sure from your post how deep the pond
is though.


If you're having 1-2 feet of rockery above it then that sounds about
right. I think two feet of earth below any plants has got to be a good
idea. Don't get it from a nursery if you can help it; this is what I
did and found they charge an extortionate price. If you can wait until
they're at work again, someone told me the best thing is to drive
around and find where men are laying paving. They actually throw away
loads of lawn turf and the like, and will normally bring it round,
maybe for a small fee.

I'm having a real stress about ponds at the moment. I *kNEED* to get
the new pond built because I've collected more than a ton of
poor-quality earth (that I'll use for a middle layer in filling up the
old one) and left it sitting bang in the middle of my patio bit where
I need to fiddle with greenhouse tables! Nor can I lay power cables
with it in the way and I want to start using my propagator by
February. Aaarghh! If anyone's got a giant fold-up winch that can move
about 1500-2000 kgs do let me know.


Warwick Dumas

www.members.tripod.com/ecuqe

"If Adolf Hitler were here today, they'd send a limousine anyway." -
Joe Strummer


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Old 08-01-2003, 12:43 AM
 
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Default Filling in pond


"Pia" wrote in message
...

I can't really put mesh below the surface of the water, as the fish eat

food
which is on the surface. I had considered putting a mesh over the top of
the pond itself (as the "walls" around the pond go quite a bit over the
water level). This is likely to be our solution if we decide to keep the
pond.


I was thinking of a fairly large mesh - 8swg x 2" (4mm wire at 52mm centres)
is fairly readily available as it is used in some security and safety
applications. That size does not cause problems for quite large goldfish.
However, if you think there would be a problem with the Koi, you could
always have a dedicated feeding spot, which has a lockable section of mesh
that can be removed to feed the fish. As there will be someone there to feed
the fish, the hole will be supervised and should present no danger to a
child. Above the surface will work as well, but is rather less attractive.

Colin Bignell


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Old 08-01-2003, 08:40 AM
Pia
 
Posts: n/a
Default Filling in pond


nightjar wrote in message
...

"Pia" wrote in message
...

I can't really put mesh below the surface of the water, as the fish eat

food
which is on the surface. I had considered putting a mesh over the top

of
the pond itself (as the "walls" around the pond go quite a bit over the
water level). This is likely to be our solution if we decide to keep

the
pond.


I was thinking of a fairly large mesh - 8swg x 2" (4mm wire at 52mm

centres)
is fairly readily available as it is used in some security and safety
applications. That size does not cause problems for quite large goldfish.
However, if you think there would be a problem with the Koi, you could
always have a dedicated feeding spot, which has a lockable section of mesh
that can be removed to feed the fish. As there will be someone there to

feed
the fish, the hole will be supervised and should present no danger to a
child. Above the surface will work as well, but is rather less attractive.

Colin Bignell


Hi Colin

The bigger mesh would probably not work, because if Thomas did decide to go
on to the mesh, he would easily fall through (with his legs...not all of
him!!). However, I hadn't thought of having an opening section. I would
really need that anyway, to ensure quick access to the pond itself to clean
it out etc (as I expect I would have to fix the mesh rather firmly). If I
put the mesh *just* below the water rather than an inch below, perhaps it
would look rather nicer.

Thanks again Colin

Pia


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Old 08-01-2003, 01:45 PM
Simon Avery
 
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Default Filling in pond

"Pia" wrote:

Hello Pia

P I do see your point, and filling it in was in a way the
P "easy" (not physically!!) option. We will look into putting
P a mesh over the top, although it will perhaps not look too
P nice. We've also considered a fence around it, but kids
P like climbing, so a fence is not really going to work.

I hate to see ponds done away with too.

As it's not a particularly big pond, how about raising the ground
level around it and putting 2" square weldmesh across? It would need
reinforcing across the span, perhaps by some tanalised timber or
angleiron, but should make things very safe. Not exactly beautiful
though

If you must go down the filling in route, how about a temporary fill?
Fold one end of the liner down so it doesn't saturate, line with
carpet or similar and infill with anything. That way it's quite easy
work to reinstate.

--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK http://www.digdilem.org/

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Old 08-01-2003, 09:23 PM
Martin Sykes
 
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Default Filling in pond

It seems such a shame to get rid of the pond when it's doing so well.
What about removing the water and making it into a sandpit until your
child gets old enough for it to long longer constitute a danger ?


This would require the liner to be left intact so wouldn't it still become
waterlogged, in effect replacing a dangerous but visible area of water with
an area of quicksand?

Martin




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