We decided to create a wildlife pond in our backyard. Hoping to attract frogs and dragonflies and provide water for wildlife.
First we had to dig out the soil. We decided to go with a PVC pond liner rather than a rigid pond liner. We dug out the area which we had to ensure was level. We are on a slight slope so this was the worst part of the project. We decided to make a beach area with stones for entry/exit into the water for smaller creatures. The deepest area is around 50cm in order for tadpoles to overwinter in the pond without freezing to death.
We built ledges into the soil rather than have a slope into the lowest point of the pond. This way we could put rocks or marginal water plants on those ledges.
Once we were happy with the shape, depth and ledges, we lined the whole thing with old mattress protectors, blankets and block out curtains. This is to protect the PVC pond liner from any stones or roots that might pierce the plastic. You could use a couple of cms of sand instead or some geotextile fabric before adding the liner.
Then the pond liner went in on top. I climbed in with bare feet and moulded the plastic to fit the ledges as well as I could. At this point, you cannot avoid some creases in the pond liner. Just push it into the ledges as best you can.
We put some weighty items around the edges to hold the plastic in place while we added the water. This was rainwater from our water tanks. We used a garden hose to fill the pond.
You will see there is quite a bit of pond liner on the outside of the pond. This gets covered by rocks, stones and in this case some pavers as well. Once you have everything in place, remembering to leave a 'beach' area which is shallow for creatures to get in and out of the pond easily, you can them trim the liner. We added pavers at the front edge, some water plants in aqua baskets and two troughs of Dietes on the far ledge inside the pond. We put tiles under the two troughs so that they were not sitting in the water. Dietes doesn't like standing in water. We added some sand to the bottom of the pond (washed children's play sand) to cover the bottom of the pond/liner.
We added bush rock at one end to cover the liner, a solar water fountain and a water lily. Logs and bromeliads finished the look. A zen like frog sits at the front of the pond. Sunlight can damage a pond liner, so you need to ensure to completely cover the liner to avoid the plastic cracking and splitting due to sun damage and also because if the black plastic shows, it looks a bit ugly.
A large Cordyline plant in a pot sits behind the pond to add height and a pot of Lomandra sits on the front corner of the pond. Most of the bush rock was sourced from our own garden. The water plants used here are Pennyroyal and Milfoil. The liner was trimmed back once complete. I have also planted up some native violets around the edges of the pond, which I hope will fill in and spread to provide cover for frogs.