The MGS Forum

Gardening in mediterranean climates => Water => Topic started by: Pauline on July 19, 2014, 05:53:05 PM

Title: Making a pond in Greece - progress report
Post by: Pauline on July 19, 2014, 05:53:05 PM
I'm planning to make a pond for goldfish & plants in my garden in the Cyclades - in Andros to be precise. Assuming a surface area of around 7 square metres, does anyone know how deep it should be, please? I'm seeking the optimum volume for maintaining a reasonably stable temperature.

I've had ponds before but always in colder climates (UK and Belgium). I've previously gone for a depth of 18" with a pond heater to keep an area ice-free in the winter, but worrying about its getting too hot is a whole new ballgame.

I plan to have some kind of cascade to break the surface tension and prevent CO2 build-up. I'd like my fish to be healthy and happy and eat lots of mosquito larvae! I have absolutely no idea where I'm going to find them, but I shall be looking for oxygenators and plants, preferably water lilies, to cover a good proportion of the surface. I'm not sure about marginal plants - in my experience they tend to take over.

Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - advice needed please!
Post by: Daisy on July 20, 2014, 12:38:33 PM
I could not imagine my garden without my pond. It brings the whole garden to life. It is the centre of the garden, both literally and spiritually. Everyone and everything is drawn to it. It provides water to everything from the local village cats and polecats, to bees and butterflies.
In spite of so many visitors, there has never been any damage, or loss of fish. This has surprised me, as the fish are so tame, they come to investigate any person or animal that comes to the pond. I often watch as the fish come and nibble my cat's whiskers, whilst she is drinking from the pond. Like John J's cats, my cats much prefer the pond water to tap water.

Pauline, my pond is 4 metres long by 2 metres wide and is 1 metre deep. I wanted it deeper than the ponds I had in England, as I didn't want the water to overheat in summer. It is also big enough to find it's own balance, which makes maintenance easy.
It was simple to get it 1 metre deep as it is a raised pond. This meant that excavation was minimal. It was built with concrete blocks in a rectangle incorporating  two planting shelves for marginals.

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It was impossible to find the pond liner, underlay, filter pump and even planting baskets here in Crete, so they all came from England.

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The tiles for the sides were sourced locally and the stone on the top came cut to my specification from a local quarry.

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I didn't want the cascade to be too strong because water lilies will not grow if the water surface is too agitated. Also, the sound of trickling water is a lot more soothing than a strong waterfall.

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The junction box for the electrics is behind the pond on the right hand side. My husband made a wooden box for it.

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I also found that marginal plants took over in England, but that has not been my experience here in Crete. They are much more well behaved here.
They add a lot of beauty to the pond and provide perching places for the many dragonflies.

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My decision to have a raised pond, was because as I grow older, I find it a lot easier to maintain the pond from the sides. No bending or kneeling. It also means that it is easy to sit on the side of the pond with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and dream. ::)
Hope this helps.
Daisy :)
Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - advice needed please!
Post by: Pauline on July 20, 2014, 06:16:38 PM
Thank you for such a wonderfully comprehensive reply - I appreciate the time you took on it. You have given me the information I needed and then some.  :)

I had already planned a similar pond to yours:


but it would have been out of sight from the house. Then a friend of mine said why don't you put it there where you'll be able to see it? Here is the new proposed site:


It's a weird shape, a sort of trapezium, but rather than reduce the size of the pond by making it rectangular, I may well use all of it, weird shape notwithstanding. Mainly I need to get on and make a decision or three - there's a man and his digger coming of Tuesday or Wednesday!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - advice needed please!
Post by: Alisdair on July 20, 2014, 07:26:40 PM
That looks an absolutely terrific spot and shape for a pond, Pauline - and I think some of our Californian landscaper members would give their eye teeth for it!
Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - advice needed please!
Post by: Daisy on July 23, 2014, 08:59:42 AM
Pauline, what a wonderful place.
I would love to see more photos of your garden, it looks so serene.
It would be lovely to see "before" photos and as it develops.

That spot looks great for a pond. It will look fine there. I would put two deep curving planting shelves at the two corners of the widest end. That would balance it perfectly.
Please keep us updated.
Daisy :)
Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - progress report
Post by: Pauline on July 24, 2014, 01:17:20 PM
One way to dig a hole (while we had the digger here):


Thank you for your nice comments, Alisdair and Daisy. Thanks also for the nudge, Daisy - I really must get out there and take some photos of the rest of the garden; currently it contains half-a dozen olive trees and not a lot else.

Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - progress report
Post by: Hilary on July 24, 2014, 03:59:20 PM
What a view!
Hope you have great success with your pond.
Daisy, as usual, I have been enjoying seeing  the photos of your garden and pond .
Here is my only photo of anything in a pond, a waterlily in Malta
Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - progress report
Post by: Pauline on August 26, 2014, 09:03:27 AM
There is progress. Eventually I shall have a swimming pool for fish.  :)


Title: Re: Making a pond in Greece - progress report
Post by: Pauline on June 13, 2015, 03:10:12 PM

I just thought I'd post some final construction information in case it's useful for anyone:

Due to the builder's not using all the available space and making the walls quite a lot thicker than I expected, the pond ended up smaller than I'd imagined - the final surface area is just under 6 square metres. (And Daisy thinks her pond is small !)

It was also built as a simple box with no marginal shelves. I wanted marginal shelves on three sides but I was getting really concerned about not losing volume, so they are, literally, shelves - not supported for their full depth. It ended up with the rather complicated-looking construciton shown in the diagram. I suppose this not only gives a bit of extra volume, but also some extra hidey-holes for the fish.