Certain items concerning the inclusion of pools and fountains must be considered. First there are two distinct types of water features—formal and informal. Both have their place in the garden layout. Formal pools are suitable for inclusion on terraces, below terraces among the formal flower-beds, as a centre piece to a large rose garden, in the topiary garden, and so on. Informal pools should be associated with rocks or alpine meadow gardens.
The situation for a fountain should be preferably in full sunshine, so that the sunlight can play on the waters. The only exception to this is where a wall fountain is set to drip into a deep basin or pool, a type of fountain that is equally suited to sun or shade.
It may be mentioned here that a natural water supply is not a necessity for either fountain or pool. Neither is it necessary to use vast quantities of company’s water, since fountains can be worked well and inexpensively by means of a small electric motor, which uses the same water over and over again.
It is probable that most garden owners would prefer to pay a contractor to carry out the far from easy construction ofand fountains for them. Wall fountains are often fashioned in lead, and may be extremely costly. So of course may fountains of other types. The same thing applies to construction, whether formal or informal. It is work that entails some amount of patience and hard labour.
Nevertheless even those who will call in the contractor to help ought to know a little of the essentials in this connection.
With regard to theof a water garden, this should be in full sunshine if possible, so that plants and fish may be reared to perfection. At the same time it does not matter if a part of the pond is shaded, and this allows the lover of the informal to plan picturesque waterside planting. Water should find a place in the lowest part of a garden, not on a hill-top, since water gardens look best seen from above.
Then there is the question of water supply. If company’s water is used, it can be taken to any part of the grounds, but it is not always so easy to dispose of the surplus water; the same problem also occurs if rain-water is collected and used. This problem in a small garden can be solved by the formation of a sump. This is a deep hole, lying lower than the water garden, and filled with very porous material, such as coarse clinker. A hole dug to a depth of 5 ft., refilled to within 18 in. of the surface with coarse clinker, and then covered entirely to the original level with soil and turf is quite a good sump, and this can be accommodated under a lawn, where its presence would be unsuspected. It would be necessary for a pipe to lead from the water garden to this sump in order to dispose of the surplus water.
A simple method of pool construction will be described here for the benefit of those who wish to carry out the work unaided, but naturally this will be adapted as needed according to the site and to what may happen to be the owner’s individual requirements.
The first step is to excavate the site for the pool to a depth of 18 in. or more. If you intend to have a deep central part and shallow margin, excavate the marginal trench to a depth of nearly a foot. Beat and consolidate the bottom and sides as much as possible, and ram into them any large stones discovered while digging. Line the bottom with a 4-in. Layer of concrete, and erect a shuttering so that the sides can be also lined with 4 in. of concrete. Be sure to make the concrete mixture wet enough to fill the cavity and leave no air pockets. Also keep frost away from the concrete while it dries, and if the weather is very hot, water the concrete occasionally, so that it dries more slowly. In this way a harder set will be obtained A final surfacing with Pudlo cement gives a good waterproof finish to the concrete.
A pond will be far more satisfactory if all this part of the work is done at one time, as joins in cement work are apt to crack easily.