The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

"Pondlife" at The Haven


By david


One of the biggest tasks at The Haven last year was the breaking up, and disposal of, a derelict 1960s caravan, hidden under a massive Wisteria.

This happened towards the end of last summer, exposing an area of garden which, mainly on account of the Wisteria, and some nearby Pieris, Rhododendrons and Azaleas, I thought, should become the “Hint of the Orient” garden.

This area came to light, and I was all set to build a formal lily pool within the 8′×4′ area inside the slabs, when the snows came, and everything came to a sudden halt.

Last week, I got the Leylandii stump out, and started to excavate the area inside the slabs. Luckily for me, “Le Chef”, Squire’s and M’lady’s son, came home for a visit, and was given the task of digging the hole! At just over 2 feet down, he unearthed a long-lost pet, who has been “re-located”!

Yesterday’s “mission”, was to, finally, build that lily pool!

Over the past week, M’lady and I had had a few discussions re the pool. I wanted it to be 1 foot below ground level, and 1 foot above. Having seen the hole, she wanted it to be level with the slabs. I pointed out that the area does attract some debris (witness, the old Autumn leaves in the above pic), and some barrier to this would be better than none. In the end, we agreed on the 2ft subterranean depth dug to by Le Chef, and 6" above ground level, as below.

I put together the frame, then stapled a barrier membrane and, then, pondliner, to the top edge of the frame.

For the protective “fleece”, I used fluid-proof surgical drapes, from work, lol!! We often get sizes wholly unsuitable for us, and keep them aside, as we all use them as dustsheets for painting and decorating, at home.

Now, for the water!

There is no outdoor tap at the Haven and the hose, led round the house from the kitchen, was still a good 10ft short of the pool. With the jet on maximum power, and Squire’s ingenious use of props, a suitable “hands-free” system was put into place……….

This left me free for a few hours, so I did some weeding along the stream enbankment, where the ground elder is beginning to reappear.

I had my afternoon cuppa sitting on the bench here, admiring the narcissi, which were planted along here last Autumn.

At the beginning of this week, GOYer Shirley Tulip sent me a box of Grape Hyacinth bulbs (I’m all for anything invasive here of a nice kind) and these, along with some more snowdrops and Winter Aconites from Amy, were planted along the enbankment.

Many Thanks for your kind thoughts, ladies. :-))

Squire and M’lady, who had gone out to look for a water feature for the pool, returned empty-handed – well, almost. They brought back these, for a laugh.

They have, however, decided on this water feature which, I suppose, does look a bit oriental, but it will be 4 weeks or so before it is delivered.

After more than 4 hours, the pool was finally filled with water, and I was able to trim the liner, stple it to the top edge of the frame, and finish off with a wooden rim.

In true “Groundforce” style, Squire produced a bottle of champagne and, just as it was begiinning to get dark, and with rain starting to fall, we toasted the pool and launched the ducks and lilies, lol!


More blog posts by david

Previous post: Snowdrops at the "Haven"

Next post: Spring Colour at The Haven



Wow impressive - love the water feature.

2 Apr, 2011


what can I say, have to agree with Olive on this one,

2 Apr, 2011


Well done David, what a feat. I found that very interesting. Love the finished pond/lake.

2 Apr, 2011


How good is that, someone else to dig the hole and have to say I find it amusing the things we do when the hose won`t reach, I like their choice of waterfeature and look forward to seeing it up and running in a few weeks time, in the meantime the ducks,lilies and corkscrew provide a bit of light relief,lol...
You know I like the stream area so thanks David for the photo`s and the update.........

2 Apr, 2011


Love it well done all of you.

2 Apr, 2011


That is Brilliant David, I really, really, like it, I also like the water feature, which will look better when it darkens down, (you know what i mean) Looking forward to the pics of the water lillie's, have you chose which ones yet? You have great design skills David, I bet your friends are "over the moon" that you took over there garden ...

2 Apr, 2011


I love the way you write "I got the Leylandii stump out" ... that must have been hard work even before the construction of the pond! I bet 'Le Chef' wished he hadn't come home for a visit ... so much digging for him. Excellent use of the surgical drapes ... the NHS wouldn't believe where they'd ended up! Pleased the Grape Hyacinths have a new home ... from the South of England up to Scotland ... enjoy them David. Lovely bench for you to sit and have a cuppa . Thanks for sharing 'The Haven' with us. : o ))

2 Apr, 2011


Wow David, what a wonderful garden and even better now that you've built that beautiful pond. You make it look and sound SO easy! LOL
Some lovely photos there too, love the one of the grape hyacinth, quite stunning close up aren't they? Looking forward to seeing some pics of it when the water feature is up and 'running' :o))

2 Apr, 2011


great job david, i love the pool and once waterfeature in place ans established will be great, are you having any other plants in there or just lilies, i dont know how you find the time with work, your garden and this, hope the children are well to ;o))

2 Apr, 2011


A great job well done, and isn`t it great when someone else gets to do the digging.

2 Apr, 2011


lovely blog ~ looks like one of those programs that do a make over in 2 hours!! have you used wood just above ground level around the pond?

i still like that lovely shaped tree in the pot at the end of the pool ~ looks very japanese to me.

perhaps the rake should have been made into a permanent garden sculpture!!??

2 Apr, 2011


Lovely job you ve done here David and you derserve that drink love the ducks :o))

4 Apr, 2011


Many thanks for all the kind comments. :-))

You're welcome, Lincslass. yes, I got the impression that you especially like the stream area. :-))

Haven't chosen the lilies yet, daisyd, and want a single clump of something tall. Will probably wait until the water feaure is in place, and see what space is left. The feature comes in a range of colours, so left Squire and M'lady discussing which to choose. :-))

Lol, Shirley, removing that stump did, actually, take 3 attempts. Back in November, I set fire to it, hoping to reduce it to ashes - but that didn't work. So I took a sledgehammer to it, which loosened it considerably, so I was able to dig down around it, find the main roots, and saw through them. Many thanks, again, for the Muscari. I look forward to seeing them spread! :-))

It really was easy, Lily2 - honest! :-))

We just want one or two lilies, Sandra, and perhaps one tall plant. children are well, Thanks. School hols have begun here, so many activities planned. :-))

Yes, Sticki, wood only above ground level, to give the pool a bit of height. We could always have one or two small pots on the rim. The plant in the pot with the bamboo leaf motif is a prostrate conifer I rescued from the bed now occupied by the pool. I thought that it looked a bit like a bonsai specimen, too. Good idea for the rake as a sculpture, but think that i will be needing it for some time. :-))

M'lady, especially, can always find an excuse to open a bottle of champers, 6d, and I enjoyed my drink, Thanks! :-))

Have just noticed that I categorised this blog as a "nature" one. Perhaps, that drink was stronger tan I thought ?? :-))

4 Apr, 2011


Quacking good job, David ;o)

4 Apr, 2011


must have been a good drink ~ cheers!!

4 Apr, 2011


excellent job there, it looks great.

5 Apr, 2011


wow .......... love the ducks haha , i have been trying to get aconites 4 my banking but carnt find any , as likew you the more things spread the better ............ lovely show on ur banking

5 Apr, 2011


i couldnt find any this year either cristina ~ got a lovely one last year but none this year.

5 Apr, 2011


Love it, Tt, LOL!

Again, Many thanks, folks. have nick-named the ducks "M'lards", as seems to fit in with M'lady, squire and Le chef.

Not usually found here at this time of year, "in the green", but more usually, the tubers are sold ready for Autumn planting. Even some of the "poundshops" around here sell bags of them. Will be looking out late summer for these. Perhaps you will have better luck, then, Cristina and Sticki?

6 Apr, 2011


A lot of hard work but well worth it, it's "Looking good"!

7 Apr, 2011


A great job well done, David! :-)) The pond looks really nice! Can't wait to see it full of water lilies!

7 Apr, 2011


M'lards as in mallards?
aconites in pound shops or did you mean those ducks?

7 Apr, 2011


So, you burnt the Leylandii stump, pounded it with a sledge-hammer and finally sawed through it! Remind me never to ask you to remove a tree stump for me ..... lol! : O )

9 Apr, 2011


Thanks, Balcony. There doesn't seem to be any lilies, or much else, available here, yet.

Yes, sticki, lol! as in mallards, and, I meant the aconites. :-))

Lol, Shirley! Was a great way to work off the frustration, though! :-))

9 Apr, 2011


Oh the satisfaction of a job well done! Congrats, David.
Great to see the banks with all the bulbs up and blooming! That area looks wonderful and the new pond is a tour de force! I'm glad M'lady agreed to the "lip" on the pond...will you be staining the wood, leaving it to "gray", or adding some ceramic cladding? Will there be fish, eventually? Water circulation isn't usually necessary just for lilies, in fact, some lilies don't care for too much water movement. (something to check out when ordering stock.) Quack Quack!! I'm looking into the process of constructing a Duck/Goose Pond!!!
Guess you're busy "keeping your ducks in a row"..hee hee... sorry couldn't resist.

16 Apr, 2011


great job!well done!

17 Apr, 2011


Many Thanks, Arlene and Lori :-))

Am going to have to exercise great control when choosing the plants, lori, I know. The wood will be stained a colour, but have to construct an adjacent decking area, so will leave until this is done. I wonder what colour Squire and M'lady will choose????????????
Hope that you get your pond for the ducks and geese!

7 May, 2011

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by david

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Feb, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • bjs

    Gardening with friends since
    13 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    13 May, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    19 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    8 Apr, 2010