What could be more relaxing than the sound of bubbling water surrounded by flora of every shade and variety? Incorporate a molded water garden into your landscape design for the ultimate backyard sanctuary.
Installation of a molded or preformed shell water garden is easy. In a few short days your water garden will be installed and functioning. You will then take pleasure in planting and cultivating the vast assortment of aquatic plants available today. Add a variety of fish to your pond, and soon you will be enjoying your landscape on an entirely new level with the aquatic sanctuary that you have created.
Molded water gardens should only be installed on stable, firm ground that will be clear of sharp objects (roots, rocks, etc.) that could puncture the mold.
With soft or loose soil, erosion can occur around the mold, causing empty space to form. Any empty space can cause the mold to buckle or crack. The weight of a preformed pond filled with water is extremely heavy.
1.1 Determine the best view for your pond.
1.2 Place upright and try different position.
1.3 Mark the outline. If the shape is symmetrical, simply turn upside down and outline with spray paint. For irregular shape, use wooden stakes 12" apart.
1.4 Set the pond aside.
The hole needsto accommodate the pre-formed water garden mold in shape and depth.
2.1 Allow an extra 2" around the shell’s perimeter and 2-3" extra beneath the shell.
2.2 Be precise in digging according to the form of the shell, especially around shelves of the mold.
2.3 All points of the shell must be fully supported by soil.
2.4 Fill the hole with 2" -3" of moist sand, providing a firm base for the mold to sit on.
2.5 Firmly pack the sand.
3.1 Ensure that the height of the mold is at least 1" above the ground to prevent run-off from contaminating your water garden.
3.2 Add or remove sand as necessary to achieve this desired height.
3.3 Place a piece of wood across the top of the pond in several places, checking with a level. If the mold is not level, remove from the hole and re-level the ground accordingly.
4.1 Begin to fill the mold with water. As the water rises, backfill around the mold with damp, packed sand.
4.2 Fill all empty air spaces with packed dirt and/or sand.
4.3 Continue to ensure that the shell is level as you fill, confirming that it has not shifted while being filled with water.
4.4 Equalize the pressure exerted on both sides of the mold by keeping the water level inside equal to the packed earth outside. In other words, do not allow the water to rise above the packed earth outside the rim, or the weight of the water will cause the mold to bulge outward.
4.5 Wait a few days for the pond to settle.
4.6 Backfill the surrounding as needed.
Installation of pump will largely depend on the type purchased. Make sure there is a GFCI outlet nearby to connect the pump. If not, there are other alternatives such as solar pump that can be used.
Submersible pumps work well for most water gardens. To install a submersible water pump:
5.1 Place the pump on top of a brick or cinder block at the deepest point in your pond. Do not allow the pump to sit on the bottom of the pond or sediment will be sucked into the pump, causing problems.
5.2 Attach the water outlet tubing by putting a hose clamp over the tubing four inches from the end, then attaching the tubing to the water discharge stem of the pump. Position the clamp so that it is 1/2" from the end of the hose. Secure it in place.(NOTE: The hose clamps only need to be used if the hose-to-stem fit is not sufficiently tight.)
5.3 Position the tubing so that it pushes the water out where you desire it. Consider placing it attached to a fountain head, statue mouth, urn or other element. Secure the tubing with landscaping rocks or fasteners.
5.4 Plug the pump into a GFCI electrical outlet, ensuring that its location is safe from water and foot traffic.
5.5 Turn the pump on, verifying that it is working correctly. Correct any leaks found at the tubing connections.
6.1 Hide the edging of the shell with rocks, pavers or overhanging plants.
6.2 Pavers should overhang the pond edge by 1" -2".
6.3 Add aquatic plants and fish to your new water garden.