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The right spot for a pond site  is so important.  You want to really look over your backyard BEFORE you start to dig. I can’t emphasize that enough, learn from other people’s (and my own) fish pond mistakes. Here are several things to consider:

How is the slope of your backyard?  This is important because you don’t want to finish up and then discover that a heavy downpour of rain will ruin your pond site.  A few years ago I had a neighbor that was so proud of the goldfish pond he put in, until the first heavy downpour washed all the dirt from above the pond into the garden, and his wife wasn’t too happy seeing some of her newly planted flowers floating in the water.

Are there any underground pipes or wires that you might accidentally hit when digging the hole? This could be very costly if you hit an underground water or gas line. Or as I mentioned previously, the first spot I picked uncovered a hidden water run off container?, or as I like to call it my bomb shelter  that I didn’t know existed.  This is another example of a pond site gone bad …I often wonder what else is underneath our yard.

Will the spot you pick afford you the best view of your finished pond?  You want the best spot to be able to really enjoy your pond.  A friend of mine put his pond spot in the back corner of his lot.  He picked this spot because he had planned on adding a picnic area next to it, but then realized the ground was too damp for days after a good rain (it was a low lying area) so he changed the picnic area and he’s also considering changing the pond spot and filling in the old one which will be a lot of work for him (and me too as I know him he’ll ask me to help). Bad pond site selection… watch out for those wetland areas.  In nature, ponds are found at the lowest level of a terrain.  If your garden is sloping down away from your home, you can create an artificial situation by building up rocks around the pool.  The pond will appear to be in a low point of the garden.  Excavated dirt from the pond can be used to help with this effect.

Is there some shade and not direct sunlight all day long?   I found this out the hard way, as my pond does get a lot of sun, which will encourage the algae growth. This might not have been my best pond site selection choice, but in my case I picked the location just off the deck so we could enjoy our morning coffee watching the goldfish swim, I was also limited in my choices by a small yard. Both the fish and the pond benefit from direct sunlight, but some shade must be available.  Tree branches that overhang the pond shed leaves into it but they also provide shade.  I have trees next to my pond, which I enjoy because of the shade and because I love trees so I just keep a net nearby to scoop out any leaves or branches that fall in.  Some branches might be toxic so you’ll want to get them out of your pond when they do fall in.

Do you have enough room to fit everything?  Pond site selection also should take into consideration the total finished pond, not just the hole.  Will you have plants around the pond?  Plants will need the space to breathe and grow.  You will need room around the pond for these extras to make it look natural as though it has always been there.

So now you’ve seen some examples of why pond site selection is so important.  You should study the movements of the sun and the shadows created at different times of the day before siting the pond.  I know, this is a lot to think about, but I just want you to be aware that its more than just picking a spot that you want, it has to be the right spot too.  Just want to save you some aggravation.

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