Many years ago, when I was a lot younger and fitter, I dug a pond in the garden. I was doing a complete landscape job and as the rest of the family wanted a pond – a pond they got. It was lined with old carpet, lots of sand and a butyl liner and had a water feature (a frog) powering a submerged filter. I had some lovely plants in there as well as a few fish. It was a nice pond.
Over the past few years it has been completely neglected and got very, very overgrown. It’s taken us days to get all the plants out of it as they’d formed a thick mat of roots and were all joined together. Once we’d done that though, it didn’t take long to rip a few holes in the liner as it was very brittle with age. Overnight, the water all drained out, leaving about 6 inches of mud in the bottom.
Today, I’ve been in the pond, wading in the mud in my wellies, and have got out the remaining liner from the bottom. I got absolutely covered in mud and pond slime but strangely, I enjoyed myself. There was a very determined frog, or it may have been three separate frogs, that I had to keep rescuing from the mud bath as he couldn’t climb out himself. I think it was the same one that kept jumping back in but Stephen said they weren’t the same one. Not a problem though as I like frogs. I made sure he’d headed off to another garden before I started lobbing stuff back into the pond.
The carpet had pretty much disintegrated so although I managed to fish out a fair bit of it, we’re leaving the rest in there. We’re going to bung in all the gravel, rotted leaves and any plants that won’t root and cause a problem. That should fill it up a bit and then we’ll get some topsoil for the rest so we can grow veggies in there.
This is how it looks after today’s efforts.
We’ll keep the paving slabs as they’ll provide somewhere to kneel when working on the bed. I’m looking forward to growing stuff in it.
The next job is to start raking all the gravel into it and then we can get the weed-proof membrane up and dig out the weeds, and the roots from the brambles. Once that’s done, we’re going to level it off and build some raised beds with tamped down earth between them for paths. The awkward corners will have pots in them with herbs and maybe some more salad or veg. It’s a very odd shape so that’ll make the best use of it.
Next time I post an update, that’ll hopefully be just bare earth and we’ll be able to see where the soil ends and the path starts. I feel we’re making progress now, slow though it is. I’m planning to get some herbs growing this summer but we’ve come to realise that it’ll be next year before we can get any veggies growing. That does give us plenty of time to plan though, so maybe not a bad thing.