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Natural Garden Design

By admin On December 22, 2008 Under Garden Design

In almost any garden the introduction of water, even on a small scale, adds an attractive dimension. In the rock garden a well placed pool or a sequence of pools with running water can heighten the effect of a wild natural landscape created by the rocks and plants. The addition of water also provides an opportunity to grow numerous plants that complement alpines and rock plants. Re-working an established rock garden to accommodate a water feature may involve the moving of heavy rock and the lifting of established plants.

It is therefore ideal to plan water features as an integral part oft he rock garden right from the beginning. A later  addition is so often fitted in where it is likely to cause the least work and this may not be the most visually satisfying solution.  pool should have two levels, the main body about 75cm (30ins) deep, and a margin, about 25cm (10ins) deep. It is best situated where it will be in full sun for at least half the day. Construction in concrete is laborious and requires experience to get a really satisfactory result. A leaking pool is worse than no pool at all. Prefabricated fibreglass pools are strong and easy to install although they are somewhat expensive. It is necessary to excavate a hole slightly larger than the pool itself and then to use sand or fine soil as a backing layer to give the pool support. The lip needs to be concealed with an edging of rock to make it look as natural as possible. The least expensive and one of the most satisfactory methods of construction is to use a pool liner, made out pf PVC, for example, laid on a bed of sand spread on the base of the hole. The sand must be free of sharp stones otherwise there is a danger that the liner might be punctured. The rim of such a pool will also need to be disguised by and edging of rock.

If a series of pools are to be connected by running water some form of pumping system will be needed to circulate the water. The installation of electrical equipment, such as a submerged water pump, should be carried out by a qualified electrician. However, these pumps do tend to clog up and so it is important to keep your pool water as clean as possible. The best way to do this is to install oxygenating plants. A pool liner can also be used to form a small bog garden, the ideal companion to the rock pool. The liner should be laid in a hole about 30cm (12ins) deep with drainage holes cut in about 15cm (6ins) from the bottom. The bed can be filled with a loamy compost over turves that have been laid grass-side down. If a pool is to be a feature that really enhances the rock garden, its planting should be on a scale with the rest. the pool itself can be planted with deep-water and marginal water plants. What will give it a really authentic touch are the bog plants surrounding it. These could include some of the moisture-loving astilbes, primulas and ferns, as well as many other beautiful plants.

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