Choosing a Pond Liner that Suits your Style
by Nellie Neal
a pond liner
you put in a water garden, the liner makes a difference in how you’ll
proceed. Take the time to consider what kind will work best for your water
feature, then get out your shovel to dig that pond.
buy a liner?
you have a spring in the backyard that can feed a natural pond, the liner
will act as the reservoir for your water garden. Pond liners keep the water
contained and dirt-free, prevent weeds invading and give goldfish a home.
to choose from
the liner that you will find easiest to conceal – there’s nothing less
attractive than a black rim around a pond. From a practical point of view,
exposed plastics deteriorate over time while buried ones scarcely ever do.
Look for products made specifically for garden ponds to prevent leeching of
their materials into the environment. Pond liners are made of nonreactive
black plastic. They are available as either rigid shapes or flexible sheets
custom cut for lining any shape hole you care to dig. The rigid kidney or
rounded shapes offer clear guidance for digging their holes and can be used
aboveground with plants shielding them. Hardshell liners also come in
different depths, ideal for waterfalls or multilevel water features, and
some have shelves to hold potted plants. Flexible liners bury their edges
readily in soil or under rocks along the pond’s edge and can virtually
fill any space – you create shelves and dropoffs where you want them.
the space available in your garden for a water feature, then shop for
liners. Rigid liners come in specific sizes, but be sure to buy enough
flexible material for the size, depth and ground level skirt. Your pond
supply dealer can make the calculations from your measurements. Be
forewarned – most water gardeners soon decide their first pond isn’t
large enough, so measure generously and consider a slightly bigger pond in
the first place.
pond liner has the potential to leak, but you can lessen the hazards with
careful handling and annual maintenance. Any rock or stick left in the hole
can poke over time; clear the area completely while digging. Avoid pulling
flexible liners into place to reduce stress – get a friend or two to help
you unfold it. Siphon most of the water out once each year to examine the
liner for wear. Should you have to patch it, the job’s easier done on a