Spring is in the air, and a young woman's fancy turns to thoughts of ... well, garden ponds. When the weather starts to warm up in spring, it seems that people, both men and women, start thinking about spending more time outside. Inevitably, this means that they start finding projects to do outside, both to have an excuse to be outdoors, and so that they can get more enjoyment from the time they spend there.
This brings us to garden ponds. These have become very popular. Small ones don't require much room, and are very reasonably priced. Your local hardware store probably has everything you need to get started. A simple pond is basically just a tub to hold water and a pump to make it move. This tub can either be set into a hole in the ground or just left free standing. As an alternative, you can dig a hole in the ground, or build something above the ground, and use a flexible liner to contain the water. Submersible fountain pumps are available that have suction cups on the bottom, allowing them to be fastened to the bottom of the pond container. A tube comes out of the top of the pump, extending above the water to create a fountain when the pump runs. You just bring the container home, fill it with water, submerse the pump, plug it in, and you have a pond. Or at least you have a tub of water with a fountain.
If the only reason you bought the thing was because you think the sound of trickling water is peaceful, then what do you care what other people say, you've created a garden pond. Of course, if you're one of those 'other people' that feel that a pond is only a pond after it has plants, fish, and other things living in it, then you've still got some work to do.
Some aquatic plants can probably be purchased at the same hardware store that sold you the container and pump. Pet stores will sometimes have fish and snails for ornamental ponds. You can also look for businesses in you area that specialize in supplies for garden ponds. Or, believe it or not, you can buy live plants and fish online and have them shipped to you. Other supplies and equipment are also available online, as is a wealth of information about building and maintaining ornamental ponds.
For example, the Aquaculture Information Center has links to a multitude of other sites dealing with ponds. While most of these sites provide information related to larger ponds, such as farm ponds, some of it is also applicable to garden ponds. Plants, fish, and snails are also available at the Pond Deals website. They also stock pumps, filters, liners, and other equipment. One of the best places to buy live plants, fish, snails, etc., is eBay.
Of course if you prefer to shop in person, it's also possible to use the Internet, like the yellow pages, either by using one of the online telephone directories, such as Switchboard (the website), or typing your search directly into your favorite search engine. For example, you could try to search for NC goldfish, or CA shubunkins. You might also try to search for fish hatcheries in your area. You can then call them and inquire about whether they sell to the public.
Whether you have a large koi pond set into the ground in the middle of a sprawling picturesque garden, or a small tub set on your back porch, creating a garden pond is a rewarding springtime project, one that will provide years of relaxation and enjoyment.