Want a dramatic focal point in your garden? Love a classic design with elegant, simple lines? Keen to home Koi fish? Then a formal pond may be just the project you need to indulge yourself in. This article defines a formal pond, looks at a few design options and offers tips on building your very own formal pond lined with a box-welded or tailored-to-fit pond liner
Formal ponds take inspiration from classic architecture. They are built to a symmetrical design where perfectly straight or arched lines are used to create the shape. Formal pond designs typically include square, rectangular and circular sides – or a combination of these to create an ornate design. Hexagonal formal ponds are less common but lends itself to a uniquely designed garden feature. Whether a formal pond is built at ground-level or raised above and supported by a retaining wall, the symmetrical shape is made water-tight by the installation of a box-welded or made-to-measure pond liner. This type of liner is fabricated from either Butyl or Epalyn rubber to the exact size and shape of the pond so that when installed it ‘fits like a glove’ with no folds or creases to distract from the formal, precise shape of this type of pond design.
The key feature of a formal pond is the way it brings the sky and clouds down to the ground. Where a formal pond is positioned is very important to enable it to cast the perfect reflection.The edges of a formal pond are clearly defined using materials such as brick. flagstone or tiled. Edging material also serves to secure the box-welded pond liner in place.
Siting and building a formal garden pond
A formal pond needs to be sited where it is going to create the greatest visual impact and where it is going to complement the surrounding landscape. Ideally this should be in a position where it will become the focal point of the surrounding landscape. A common place is at the end of a patio or the centre of the garden. Sited so that it reflects the dramatic changes of the sky above or that of the surrounding landscape. They suit more traditional European style gardens but work equally well in modern home designs.
Formal ponds can either be set in the ground, partially or completely raised above ground level. Partially raised is a better option if keeping fish because water is more likely to be kept at a stable temperature particularly during the winter months. Raised ponds are inhospitable to amphibians so ideal if you want to keep fish or unique aquatic plants.
When building a raised pond ensure the walls will support the volume of water. Use concrete blocks for the inner wall and planting shelves.
Many regular shaped ponds include a fountain or a statue. To include a heavy stone fountain, it may be necessary to build a concrete footing in the base of the excavation to support the weight of the fountain before installing the pond liner. Planting too many aquatic plants should be avoided because this will distract from the formal design. The beauty of a formal pond creates interest through the reflection off the water so over-planting will take that feature away.
When ordering your made-to-measure pond liner – also known as a box-welded pond liner, ensure that exact measurements are taken of your perfectly geometric shaped pond. The pond liner is generally fabricated from Butyl for the following reasons:
- Moulds readily to the pond contours
- Considered to be a premium quality liner
- Withstands extreme weather conditions without any compromise to the integrity of the liner
- Safe for all fish and aquatic plant life
- Can factory seamed to create a pond liner without creases and folds
Feeling inspired? if you are, contact Liners Online to order a made-to-measure pond liner and for any additional advise you may be searching for with regards to the build and installation.