Before you pick up a shovel

So after months of thinking about it, you’ve finally decided to build a fish pond this weekend. While I hate to postpone your project by another week, I really suggest you put down the shovel, and pick up a pencil.

Sit down in your favourite part of the garden, and decide where the pond will not only look best, but be most practical. (While it might look great running past the washing line, you may not be so popular when someone falls in it while hanging out your socks).

You should also think about where water pipes, phone lines, power and sewerage run. Even worse than wet washing (or a wet wife), is cranky neighbours when someone puts a shovel through their phone line.

It’s a great idea to look through some magazines for inspiration – ponds can take many forms, from a gentle meandering stream, to a formal, structured modern feature. But regardless of your preferred style, you really need to have a plan before you start digging.

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