Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Lily Pond Construction

Over the last few years we have despaired at our inability to grow water lilies in our garden pond here in Walcot, largely due to the ravenous feeding habits of our large koi. We finally decided to bite the bullet and build a raised pond in a little used corner of the garden  and just keep lilies and marginal plants in there. The pond is now finished  but will have to wait till next year before we stock it but i thought you might like to see a few photos during construction.

Marking Out
I started this project at the end of the summer ,so of course the ground was rock hard and covered with a layer of gravel and carpet,which had been used as a weed depressant (Fat load of good as weeds can germinate in gravel too!!)

Digging Out
Guess what,it was hard graft, digging out to about 15 inches ,filling it with rubble and then pounding the rubble with a sledge hammer to compact it and provide a good base for the concrete infill.One plus point was that i managed to get rid of unsightly brick and rubbish piles from the rest of the garden.I also managed to loose 3 lbs in weight that day too! What are members of the "chain gangs" bitching about!

Concrete Foundations and Cement Block Laying
I forgot to take photos of levelling the concrete foundation with a spirit level and pegs but take that as read..I poured about 5 inches of concrete into the foundations (I'm not aiming to build The Empire State on this plot) ,gave it  couple of days to dry and then started on my cement block work.These blocks are incredibly heavy but you make reasonably fast progress as each one is the equivalent of 6 bricks.This makes a difference as i am very ,very,slow! You may have heard about those thousand bricks a day tradesman.I wouldn't even  lay 50 a day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes ,believe it or not ,it is level.
Outer Casing of Bricks
Finally started on the brick work.Heather is aghast at the huge size of the pond and I must admit it's turning out to be a bigger and more expensive project than I accounted for but too late to turn back now.Every three layers I tied the cement blocks and the brick work together with galvanised metal butterfly ties ,every three courses of bricks.Got bitten to death by gad flies,horse flies,hornets,mosquitoes and every miserable insect that God decreed should attack me in this corner of England.What did "Jobe" have to bitch about.It was like the 12 plagues of Egypt writ large in North Lincolnshire.

.Making Progress

This is the final height,about 2ft 4 inches.At this stage I did wonder about changing the use to a play pen for the youngest grand child but decided that health and safety constraints , concerns from outraged parents and doting grandmother outweighed this thought. (Any time now,will have to move that standard rose in the middle of the pool )

Lining Out
Finally finished the block and brick work.I have removed the rose,levelled the floor of the pool and lined it with old rubber carpet underlay kindly donated by Heather's daughter.Nearly made a mistake with the size for the PVC liner (Base by sides plus top etc etc) but finally the pool is filling.It wasn't possible to just leave it to fill up as i had to pull the creases out and fold in the corners of the liner as best i could but at the end of the day ,quite neat and no leaks!!

Coping Stone Laying
The capping stones were a problem as the original sandstone blocks that I had ordered just looked too insubstantial for the pond.After some searching we found some riven paving blocks which although I had to cut with a large angle grinder looked great when they were cemented in place.I also incorporated some more of those butterfly ties just under the capping stones reaching just over the water's edge so that I can attach planting baskets in the spring.All that's left to do is pave around the side of the pond . I'm in no hurry!!

Bricks,cement,cement blocks          £448
Capping stones                                 £156
PVC Liner                                            £59

 I thought you might be interested in progress of the lily pond over the summer.I planted about  a dozen small lilies between may and september.I got a great deal only a couple of days ago when i purchased four for £15! For added interest i placed terracotta planters filled with geraniums at each corner.I know i have planted far too many lilies considering the size of the pond but i eventually hope to cover the entire surface with leaves and flowers.I couldn't resist buying four small goldfish for the pond and somehow i must have imported fish eggs along with the plants and now have an additional 25 fry of various colours swimming in the pond as well !
Total  £663   


  1. Looks great, I wonder if it will attract any more wildlife too?

    1. Thanks for the comment Thom . Tamsin my youngest daughter tried to post a comment but couldn't for some reason.What do you think she is doing wrong?

  2. Nice job Dave. Looks like you put a lot of hard work into it.
    It looks very robust and well made.
    What's the next project, Kidney shaped swimming pool perhaps?

  3. Thanks Tony.For my next project i thought i would go for broke and build a full scale replica of the "Hitler Bunker" and then follow it up with my own pyramid .lol