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Bog Garden/Pond without liner?


 
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ElGordo
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Bog Garden/Pond without liner? Reply with quote

Hi, a friend and I are currently digging out a naturally wet area at the end of her field to make a wildlife friendly pond/bog garden. We seem to have hit a layer of very clay like soil and were hoping that, if we compact this, we can possibly get away without having to use a liner. The area is normally very wet and was full of frogspawn earlier in the spring. It is currently the driest we have ever seen it, which is why we are digging it out now. Does anyone have any experience of digging out a naturally wet area to make a bigger and deeper pond?
Does anyone have any tips on how to retain the water if we want to avoid lining it?
Any suggestions would be very welcome! Thanks.

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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've no experience but to "puddle" the clay, I'd hire a whacker from a tool hire firm. Or get a JCB driver to whack it with his front bucket.

And have very shallow slopes to the pond/bog garden. Bring the clay up to the top of the topsoil at the sides.

Sounds a great idea for a bog garden if the water table is normally near the surface of the field.

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vulkan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ElGordo, you decide.

Advantages

Cheap / free
(Unless you have to import the clay)
Cheap to repair


Disadvantages

Must be kept wet 24/7
Ideally needs a constant water supply (to keep it filled and wet)
Expensive if you have to bring the clay in.
Requires a lot of labour to build it (It must be done right, not this will do)
Prone to leaks
Must be at least 6 inches thick (to avoid movement and cracks)
You can't have any long rooted plants in it, they will grow trough the clay and split it.
Needs "expensive plant" to do the job properly (or loads of people in bare feet)

Other

People used to use puddled clay because that is all there was available, a pond liner is cheaper, easier to install and needs much less maintenance and does not need a constant water supply.

You also said

ElGordo wrote:
It is currently the driest we have ever seen it,
That is a bad thing for a puddled clay pond.

Puddled clay ponds do work, but they do need a lot of attention and maintenance.
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ponddigger
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: wet land bog pond Reply with quote

hi elgordo how big is the pond your are building,. yours ponddigger
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ElGordo
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, thanks for your comments & suggestions. I have attached a couple of photos of the work in progress - sorry about the wierd angle, it was taken from a kind of ha-ha which drops off about 6-8ft into this normally very wet area. We have figured out why this area is always so wet as we have uncovered two separate wells.. One just below where the spade is and the other over behind the large boulder in the right hand side of the second photo. Having dug all the rich organic material out of these, they have filled up fairly quickly. Can't wait for the next heavy rain to see what the effect on the hydrology will be..

I think we will wait and see what the water does now these wells have been uncovered and cleared and allow this to dictate the way forward!



Pond Play1.jpg
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Photo of the pond from above
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Pond Play1.jpg



Pond Looking Up 4.jpg
 Description:
From ground level - we found a well just below where the spade is in this photo.
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Pond Looking Up 4.jpg



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ponddigger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject: pond bog area Reply with quote

hi elgordo. nice photos, there is a good feature in july edition of the irish garden about bog garden cons. yours ponddigger
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ElGordo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:46 am    Post subject: Pond Well Filled Reply with quote

Very Happy Happily the pond has now filled, mostly via the natural spring in the side of the bank where we were digging. We decided not to use liner, or any serious puddling, just dug down to a fairly hard seeming layer and let the water table work its magic. We have laid some drainpipe to run the overflow to the other side of the path and this has been trickling through for the last two days with only a slight drop in the water level. Thanks for the useful comments, we are now looking forward to finishing off the landscaping and doing some planting.


Pond filled1.jpg
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Well filled with recent rainwater
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Pond filled1.jpg



Sheela with Spade.1.jpg
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Sheela testing the depth of the water in the well - around 3 ft
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Sheela with Spade.1.jpg



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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks lovely.
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forest flame
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done el gordo
looks great
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ponddigger
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: natural pond Reply with quote

hi, lovely job ,well done. yours ponddigger
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