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ponds


Lapaix

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[quote]We are going to be digging a large pond on our 2.5 acre site in Normandy next spring. Is it cheaper to buy butyl lining in England or France, please? And has anyone got any tips for a successful pon...[/quote]

We have 2 ponds which constantly lost water in the summer due to the clay soil opening up and the water simply drained away within a dry couple of weeks.

I only checked the local garden centres and Bricos but could not find any decent sized liners and was advised by the garden centres that I should join 2 together!

I contacted a firm called Bradshaws in the UK and purchased a couple of liners and underlays at a price from them that was about the price of one of the local ones which was only half the size I required. Of course it meant a trip back across the channel to collect the goods but I had it delivered to family members who live in the SE. It would have been far to expensive to have had it delivered here because of the weight.

You may have better luck if you research in France more but I couldn't be bothered to look very far.  So far I have not found anybody who supplies pond plants and I haven't got the knowledge to source plants myself. If you do find a source for pond plants please let this forum know as I recall this question has risen in the past with no satisfactory answer.

As a matter of interest what are you doing with the soil that comes out because if it is a large pond its amazing just how much soil is generated from compacted land?  When I had loads of soil that I wanted to get rid of I asked my farmer neighbour if he could suggest anybody who would take it, knowing that he would spread it on his fields, which he did for a little fee.

Weedon(53)

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Thanks so much for that information.  I have used Bradshaws before some years ago, for lights for the garden here in England, and they were very good.  I had not thought of using them for liners.  As I have a pond here, I was thinking of splitting some of the plants I already have, plus buy a few more from our local garden centres, as I've found that plants tend to be more expensive in France anyway.

We had thought of using the soil to make a feature of, but as you say, if it is more than we need, we too have a friendly farmer!

 

Lynda

 

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When it comes to buying liner I would not use Bradshaws they are very expensive.

You best bet would be visit a newsagent and buy a pond magazine (of which there are numerous) in the back you will find lots of ads for pond liners, contact these and get lots of quotes for the size you need.

John

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Hi I found a good magazine for tis sort of thing  its called Ex--ange & M--t, red cover costs about 60p. I got a huge liner from there years ago, they will send you samples, some of the liners are used by local councils, so i guess they must be pretty good.

For my first pond i ued a silage sheet think it was 16 foot by 40, underneath I put a load of sand... good luck

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Re: pond plants

There are several water gardening specialists around France. You need to get a copy of L'Ami des Jardins or Mon Jardin Ma Maison and look at the small ads. Off the top of my head, there are some in Rennes, Nantes, Reims, several in Ain (01), Paris etc.

There seem to be more than there were a few years ago so I guess ponds are becoming a bit more popular.

If you can't get a copy of the magazines, let me know and I'll get off my butt (cat on lap at moment) and tell you the addresses.

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[quote]We are going to be digging a large pond on our 2.5 acre site in Normandy next spring. Is it cheaper to buy butyl lining in England or France, please? And has anyone got any tips for a successful pon...[/quote]

Yes, is the short answer. We have only built a small garden pond here but we searched all over for liner and found the supplies rather limited and pricey. It is quite rare to see Butyl on sale and cheaper alternatives that have a life of about 10 years are usual. There are magazines on sale which might give you some advertising leads to follow up amd there are a very few specialised outlets in France which would get you what you want at a cost.

If you can get hold of a book by G Hessayon that is called something like 'Be your own pond and rock garden expert'. There is one of a series of books and they are excellent, basic advice and very cheap to buy.

Two tips, your pond need not be very deep, if it is small 70cm is perfectly adequate, if large I would think 1m is ample. Secondly, don't be imaptient it will take time to achieve a balance and have clear water, after that put in any fish you want. Just thought of a third tip, NEVER, NEVER, change the water!

LIz (29)
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You state in your post that the pond is going to be large, what size do you actually mean?

The depth of pond and size are important depending upon what you plan to

do with it. Are you adding fish, if so what sort, this will make a difference to

the depth you will require. For example I keep koi and my pond is 7' deep.

Let me know you plans and I'll try and advise.

John

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[quote]You state in your post that the pond is going to be large, what size do you actually mean? The depth of pond and size are important depending upon what you plan to do with it. Are you adding fish, i...[/quote]

Hello from Redcap!

Been off the forum for 3 weeks due to move to France. Now settling in to our house.  We have a large pond, about 30m X 20m with a small island.  It is as far as I can tell a natural pond with clay bottom, has some drainage tubes at one end which drains into a ditch in next field. 

The house has been empty for9 years, so we were surprised to see that there are fish living in the pond.  We have seen 3 large (about 1 - 1 1/2ft), and a shoal of smaller fish.  Not sure what they are, the big fish had white mouths (lips).  How are these fish surviving?  We threw some bread in but they were not really that interested!

Not sure if I did the right thing, but felt it needed a clean up around the edges, so raked out a load of stagnent roots and stuff.  he water is quite clear except when it rains or I rake something out!

Rewgards,

 

Bob

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[quote]You state in your post that the pond is going to be large, what size do you actually mean? The depth of pond and size are important depending upon what you plan to do with it. Are you adding fish, i...[/quote]

Hello from Redcap!

Been off the forum for 3 weeks due to move to France. Now settling in to our house.  We have a large pond, about 30m X 20m with a small island.  It is as far as I can tell a natural pond with clay bottom, has some drainage tubes at one end which drains into a ditch in next field. 

The house has been empty for9 years, so we were surprised to see that there are fish living in the pond.  We have seen 3 large (about 1 - 1 1/2ft), and a shoal of smaller fish.  Not sure what they are, the big fish had white mouths (lips).  How are these fish surviving?  We threw some bread in but they were not really that interested!

Not sure if I did the right thing, but felt it needed a clean up around the edges, so raked out a load of stagnent roots and stuff.  he water is quite clear except when it rains or I rake something out!

Regards,

 

Bob

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Could anyone tell me if there is an alternative to a liner. We have dug out to a depth of about 1 metre and although there is quite a lot of clay at the bottom, it is very rocky.  I would prefer not to use a liner if possible.

Julie 

 

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[quote]Could anyone tell me if there is an alternative to a liner. We have dug out to a depth of about 1 metre and although there is quite a lot of clay at the bottom, it is very rocky. I would prefer not t...[/quote]

Hi,

I'm no expert but have a look at the possibility of creating a clay lining.  It's called 'puddling' not sure about spelling, basically you import clay into the  hole and the fltten it by treading it down with your feet, (not bare feet I think!) Exactly how it's done I don't know, but if you Google you should find some info.  The other option mat be concrete.

Regards,

Bob

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Have you tried your local farming merchant, he will sell strong black plastic, which will last indefinately, and much cheaper. if you keep fish you won't have as much diversity in the pond regarding wildlife as they will eat it up. re pond plants, most garden centres stock them, they are often tucked away in a large pond somewhere, even Maisadour stocks them here, who also stock the black liner. You may not see too many plants like that at the moment as they don't tend to stock them in winter. have you any local streams? ditches? you may find reed etc in them. re the fish, I don't feed mine as that would increase the fertility of the pond, which I don't want.
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