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LASSAM: Water in your garden gives an added dimension

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You do not need to have a large garden to include a pond.

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A water feature of any size can give your garden an added source of nature in many forms. It can add a soothing sound when you incorporate a fountain or flowing water.

Most gardens have large grassy areas where a water feature could be added or beside a deck and even in a flowerbed of short perennials. You can easily create a place to relax beside and enjoy the sounds around you. Curiosity as to what visits your water will expand your knowledge on birds, wildlife and the many insects that inhabit your garden. Frogs and toads will be one of your first inhabitants and they will give you the chance to teach young children about their life cycle.

It is easy to make small features using many discarded items or ‘buys’ from garage sales. Children’s paddling pools, cattle troughs, galvanised pails, totes – just use your imagination. A solar fountain adds noise and movement and is very affordable. A small feature is easy to make for a tabletop or balcony and is a good talking point. An interesting website to give you an idea is www.diyncrafts.com.

Large water features are not as difficult to make as one imagines. Research online for ideas and make a list of purchases needed. Start by drawing an outline with a water hose or cord. Dig the centre out to at least two feet deep leaving a ledge one foot deep for small plants. Measure the hole, remembering the depth, and purchase a liner. Next lay the liner on your prepared site making sure there are no stones. Allow space for a pump and filter system which is necessary for a fountain and clear water. Secure the edges with whatever edging you desire to finish it. Flagstones are easy or large pebbles and rocks. Use wood if making a square pond or beside a deck. Next you will need to have hydro placed to your pond. Add your pump system and fill with water. A bag of straw weighted in your pond will help clear any algae which forms before plants can create cover. Let it acclimatize for a few days at which time you can buy your plants and fish. A pet store is a good place to buy goldfish to start. Complete it and sit back and enjoy.

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There is a small amount of maintenance, the same as the other parts of your garden, but the rewards make that time very rewarding. You will see your feature change through the year and will have many new small visitors to watch. There will always be life and movement with water and it offers all wild creatures a natural source to drink.

Tillsonburg Horticultural Society has the Junior Gardeners program progressing and gardens will be judged in August. Members hopefully received an email speaker message noting interesting gardening related topics for you to browse while we are still under government Covid rules. Happy summer and stay well. Stay safe.

Check the website and Facebook for updates.

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