Just plonking a pond in your garden and hoping for the best is not the right way to go about it.
Picking the right spot for your garden pond is probably more important to get right than most other features that are planned in a garden.
After doing all the hard work of actually building your pond you don’t want to be moving it a year later because its in the wrong place.
Obviously you are restricted to the size and shape of your garden, if you are lucky you will have a large garden with plenty of space to site a pond but even if you are limited with space it’s still possible to have a pond in your garden.
In a perfect world a pond should be placed in an open and level site which is south facing, well drained, far enough away from trees and protected from wind.
Viewing your pond is very important so walk around your garden to get an idea of where it could be sited and then view that area from different vantage points such as patio, conservatory or kitchen window.
Use a hose pipe laid on the ground to give you an idea of how it will look.
A pond near your house may have its benefits such as being able to see and enjoy it without stepping outside, but in some cases you might not have that option or you prefer to have it away from the house which is fine, everyone and every garden is different.
Positioning a pond near your house also has the benefit of access to water and electricity which is something that should be considered, the closer to your house the better.
Running power cables to the end of your garden can be difficult and expensive.
Filling your pond with water for the first time or for topping up during the summer requires a garden hose long enough to reach it so having a pond close to your house with an outside tap can be advantages.
Also with a pond near your house you are able to keep an eye on it from a safety point of view if you have young children or pets to consider.
If your preferred site is at the end of your garden then that’s fine, there is no rule that says you have to have a pond near your house, it’s your pond and you can have it wherever you want to have it as long follow these guidelines of what to avoid and what to look out for.
Before you start you must check the position of drains, pipes and underground cables as this is the last place you want to be digging unless you are planing to install a raised pond.
A bit of common sense should help with locating underground obstacles but if you are not sure take it easy as you dig.
If you have a sloping garden this can be exploited with streams and waterfalls but it will take more planning on how to make your water feature work so take your time and consider what you want to achieve and how to use the slope to your advantage.
Sun or shade.
Most ponds are best sited where it gets sun at least 3-4 hours per day but avoid sun traps as this will raise the temperature of the pond and the fish will not be happy, it also allows the water to evaporate in the summer months.
If a pond is small or shallow this will effect how quickly and how hot the temperature of the water gets, a large pond with deep water will not be affected as much.
In reality there is likely to be shade of some sort whether its from the sun as it moves around the garden or a part of the pond is constantly in shade from walls, fences or trees.
You should avoid putting a pond entirely in the shade as this will cause problems later on.
Trees to close to a pond is a complete no no, they are not very good companions although if you have a large pond you might get away with having one or two if they are in a position where they won’t cast to big of a shadow on your pond so you might get away with it.
If you have trees surrounding your pond though there is a possibility they will stop the sunlight hitting the water causing the pond to die, this is because the underwater plants that have a vital role of supplying oxygen needs the sunlight to function properly.
You also need to consider the roots of trees as they can do damage to the pond causing leaks.
Another consideration with trees to close to your pond is leaves from deciduous trees falling into the water, the leaves will slowly rot giving off harmful gases.
Most leaves will fall in the autumn but evergreen trees can drop leaves throughout the year which also decompose and have an effect on the water.
To have a successful pond you need to site it away from trees but if that is not an option you may have to remove some trees to enable sunlight to reach your pond.
All is not lost if you have no option but to have your pool close to trees. Build some sort of cover or put netting over the pond to catch falling leaves.
Use shade loving aquatic plants. If you are worried about root intrusion build an above pond or install a barrier between the roots and the pond if you are going to have an in-ground pond.
With lots of careful planning and construction it is possible to have a pond under a tree although it might take a bit more maintenance in the long run.
Orientation of your pond.
Positioning of a pond in your garden will often be determined by the shape of your garden and the type of pond that you are planning.
The orientation is again down to style and the shape of your garden. In reality if you have a straight edged formal pond siting it at right angle or parallel to an existing wall or boundary makes sense.
A round pond has no orientation to worry about but an oval one needs a bit more thought on its final position.
If you are considering an informal pond with an irregular shape you don’t need to worry about orientation because it looks right when it’s sited in the most natural position.
A long thin pond looks a lot better running down the length of your garden rather than across it unless your garden has two levels were it might enhance it.
Not everyone has the perfect garden for a pond and for those with a smaller garden you might not have much choice of the size of pond and where to position it but it can be done with a little imagination.
For those lucky to have a large garden build a pond as large as your garden allows and you won’t go far wrong.
At the end of the day as long as you position the pond to get lots of sun and it fits in with the overall design of your garden you will be fine.