Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ponds: Free Form or Preformed?

If you've decided that you want a water feature to add tranquillity or depth to your garden, but you got stuck deciding which is better; a free form pond, or a preformed one. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can make the decision easily.

A Preformed Pond

A preformed pond is a piece of plastic/rubber composite moulded into a static shape. They are available in a variety of different shapes, from square and rectangles to more organic shapes.

The ponds have ridges incorporated into the design, which allow for the growth of bacterial colonies. These colonies are essential in controlling algae growth and helping support the natural ecosystem of the pond They are similar to naturally formed ponds and have radically uneven embankments that result in muddy pockets.
A preformed pond is an easy method of installing a pond in to your garden. All you really need to do is dig the hole, place the shell in the ground, and fill it with water. The main disadvantage of it is that there is a limitation to the shape and the size of the pond. Depending on which store you look at, your choice may be quite limited. 

A Free Form Pond 
A free form pond uses a pond liner, like these from All Pond Solutions to retain the water, rather than an already formed plastic shape. They are usually synthetic rubber, which is flexible and highly durable. They should need little maintenance. Pond kits are available too, so if you are less confident in your ability to take on a free form pond, then these might be a good option for you.
A free form pond requires much more work. You need to plan your pond’s dimensions and depth in detail, and then excavate it to your plan. While a preformed pond already has ridges, with a free form pond, you have to create them yourself. These ridges are essential for the delicate ecosystem and all the life that will dwell within the pond, from the fish to the algae.
An advantage of a free form pond is the freedom you have. You can design anything you like, as long as it is within your capabilities to do yourself. 

Weigh Up the Options

Compare the two, and make sure that you pick the best one for you. If you’re inexperienced with pond construction, you may be better off sticking with a preformed one, but if you’re confident and you’re willing it to put in the work to create something more creative, then a free form pond is yours. 

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