"THE SLIME and THE PASSION". RENOVATIONS of VERY LARGE PONDS. Transformations of OLD FARM PONDS and LAKES...up to our waists in foul smelling black slime), but worth it just to get them back to...

We can put anything right...DIY disasters, old ponds that haven't been touched for years, overgrown ponds, leaking ponds, stagnant ponds in need of moving water, replanting...

PICTURE INFO...OLD FARM POND (RENOVATION) IN OXFORD... now part of a private garden.

This is after we pumped out most of the stagnant water, and clearly on a Monday morning, because those white shirts are about to change colour!

And their next job is to remove by HAND (as there's no access for diggers, dumpers or a tanker lorry to pump it out) the years of black, evil smelling sediment from the pond's bottom.

To get your bearing later note the old Oak top left...

Also to add interest and to circulate the water in a very natural looking way, we suggested to the clients that we should turn this old ditch into a "natural" stream.

To get your bearings note the old Willow tree...

And there we are, and what a difference!

But because the ditch still had to function as a ditch in times of flood, we had to build the stream to accommodate the flow of natural water whenever necessary. Otherwise the flood water would have destroyed all of our work...which of couirse would not have been acceptable.

So what looks to be just a simple natural stream is in fact quite a sophisticated bit of water engineering...

So that was the very natural part of the feature, here's the ornamental part being prepared ready for planting. And also there's a view of the now renovated and refilled ex-stagnant mess, with the aforementioned Oak top left!

The rocks that you can see just below the waterline are the specialist areas that we create to grow the margin Aquatics in. And behind those we will plant the Bog plants in the soil that is just moist enough. These two areas will attract the most wildlife.

Then as the soil gets drier we will mass plant with ornamental shrubs and trees for all year colour and interest.

Of course we could plant the whole of the pond in a 100% naturalistic way if that's what the client wanted. But this side of the pond visually linked with the main ornamental house garden, hence the existing Palm Tree.

If planted correctly in areas that have been created for specific plants, then the effects are fairly instant!

But only if you know what you are doing...



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Now we are in ESSEX...This is supposed to be a pond, with an island...but it's just a weed filled hole in the ground!

And another fine mess created by amateurs, who thought they knew how to retain water WITHOUT A LINER in a pond to a natural level.

But because of the methods used the hole could never retain enough water except at the wettest time of the year...which is no use at all!

So the clients lost interest for a while and nature took over...as it does, but as here, not in a pretty way!

So, what was under all of that weed...this is the same hole! And here's the proper way to do it...

After clearing it all out and lining it, we planted several thousand NON-INVASIVE Aquatic and Bog plants, again is specialist marginal and bog areas, that we created.

The pond is being filled in this image, when full the grass at the edges of the island will be below the waterline, so none of the liner that you can see now will be visible.

Most of the features that we create like this have all of the liner covered for 100% natural look...but that does add a lot to the cost of a project this size.

If you look closely at the foreground you will see lots of pots waiting to be planted. This is our method of mass planting. We create specialist areas (within the liner) to grow a wide range of plants. As the water in the pond rises so these side banks act as a sponge, exactly as they would in nature, like a wick they suck up the water creating a very natural effect.

Here's what's left of a very old woodland pond...now just a swampy hole, in a lightly shade woodland setting in SUFFOLK. Woodland ponds are fine as long as there's enough light. Otherwise they are fine for duck weed and stagnation...not what we do!

So usually an element of clearing has to be done to create a heathy location for the new pond. Most people think that leaves are a problem in a pond, but that's not the case with a wildlife pond...wildlife love the decaying leaves that fall and build up on the bottom.

So what happened next, as they say? Note the three trunked tree in the background...

And there's the tree again, this time looking down into a beautiful woodland pool...perfect for wildlife and of course...people like you and me.

Won't bore you with the technical detail of how we got from the hole in the ground to this, but next here's the stream that we created to circulte the water...very necessary in these situations...

Did you know there's no natural stone worth mentioning in Suffolk, so if you want to be authentic, which we do, then you have to go to great lengths, which again we do, to create something that looks right. So these are rare "field boulders"...farmers dig them up when they plough. All you have to do is find a farmer that has some!

This stream I designed to look like it was flowing out of the grass bank. To look like the natural spring water had washed away the earth and exposed the stone.

Here's the bottom part of the stream where it pours into the pond...

How natural does that look!

There are alternatives of course to going to so much trouble, and much CHEAPER too than paying us to go on a field boulder hunt around Suffolk!

Here's an example next...

SAVE MONEY, GET A NATURAL WATER FEATURE AND STREAM FOR LESS (BUT DONT ASKE US TO CREATE SOMETHING LIKE THE ABOVE)...There is, I'm sure you will agree, a certain type of skill needed to create something as bad as this!

And if you think this is a joke, you'd be wrong. This was created by a Landscaper at an exhibition to show his skill at building natural water features...you can see more in Horrors & Eyesores section...



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