A pond is a great feature to add to your garden as it brings about a sense of tranquility and awe, especially in young children. With this in mind, it is essential to consider your children's safety when designing a garden pond.
Garden ponds allow young ones to connect with nature as they get exposure to wildlife like dragonflies, frogs, and fish. However, kids are prone to drowning in ponds which is why we made a list of garden pond safety tips you can implement at.
An estimated 87% of drowning fatalities occur in home swimming pools for kids under five years. And kids aged 5-17 years are more prone to drown in natural waters like ponds and lakes, according to Stop Drowning Now.
With this in mind, safety should be a top priority when creating a pond in the garden. Below are safe landscaping designing tips for your home pond.
Things to Consider When Designing a Garden Pond
Build A Pond Where It's Visible
Before you can start building a pond, ask yourself if the location you have chosen is appropriate. The perfect space for constructing your garden pond is somewhere visible from the house, outdoor seating area, or patio.
That way, you can keep an eye on kids as they play around the garden pool to avoid accidental drowning. However, be sure that the pond is in full sunlight and not under a tree.
You don't want your pond in the shade to reduce debris and dead foliage from falling inside.
Set Barriers in Your Garden Pond Design
A lack of barriers around water sources is one of the factors that increase drowning risks. Therefore, design your garden pond in a way that allows you to install fencing around it.
As a general rule of thumb, the fence should be at least 1.1 meters high with a lockable door or gate. While fencing your pond is a practical way of preventing kids from drowning, it can ruin your garden's aesthetics.
To keep your backyard attractive, invest in a temporary fence, mesh, or grill covers. This way, you can fence the pool area when children are near to enhance safety.
Choose Safe Edges
Choosing suitable edging for your garden pond design goes a long way in promoting garden pond safety. The most common safety pond edging are stepper and beach edges.
Stepper edges are designed with large, flat stones fitted together to define the pond's edge clearly. On the other hand, beach edging is sloppy and allows you to see where the water and sand meet.
Build A Raised Pond
Increased concern over child safety is one of the leading reasons many homeowners are building raised ponds in their gardens. Given that raised ponds provide a vertical barrier, curious toddlers can't fall inside.
You can also attach a strong mesh to cover your pond with ease. That's because raised ponds allow you to design definitive edges for protective meshes or grills.
Installing a mesh or grill over your garden pond provides kids the opportunity to feed fish without difficulties or fear of falling in the water.
Consider Growing Plants Around The Deeper Sides
Growing plants around your pond, especially on the deeper sides, is a sure way of preventing kids from falling into the water. However, your pond plants should not block your view of the water feature from the patio or outside the house.
With this in mind, grow tall plants at the back of the pond and short ones in front. If you choose to plant small trees, ensure they have slim trunks and fragile leaf structures.
That way, the trees won't overshadow the pond's small size but deter kids from accessing it. You may also want to add interest in your garden by placing pond plants with different colors and textures randomly.
For example, combine marginal plants like arrowheads, canna, and water irises with water lilies.
Here is our comprehensive growing guide on arrowhead plants.
Ensure Boulders and Edges Are Firm
Trips, slips, and falls are common hazards around garden ponds. And both children and adults are likely to fall into the water and get injured if the edges and boulders are not firm.
Therefore, use large and stable slabs for constructing your pond edges. Don't be afraid to use cement to keep small and loose rocks in place.
Grouping large boulders is another excellent way of creating a barrier for your pond while providing space for people to sit. In addition to designing firm edges, consider building stepped plant shelves in your pond.
This design guarantees safety because you can easily climb out of the pond if you deliberately or accidentally get in the water. Also, ensure the paths surrounding your water feature aren't too narrow to avoid falls.
Prioritize Pond Hygiene
Apart from falling inside a pond and drowning, children and even adults risk contracting diseases from pond water. That's why it's crucial to think about maintenance when designing your pond.
You want to ensure you and your loved ones don't carry bacteria or germs when feeding fish or splashing water in the pond. Besides, maintaining a clean pond isn't as complicated as it might sound.
Experts recommend removing fallen leaves and debris from the pond regularly to keep the water clean. You'll also need to ensure the water has enough oxygen by removing algae to promote the survival of wildlife.
Here are more garden pond ideas you might want to add to you list.
Final Tips in Designing a Garden Pond
To make pond maintenance less stressful, invest in a filtration system that's suitable for your garden pool size. Incorporating a safe pond in your garden isn't as difficult as many people think.
All it takes is a bit of research on where to build it within the yard. As a general rule of thumb, construct your pond in a visible location from your house or patio.
Also, install barriers like fencing or mesh covers, design safety edging like the beach or stepper edges, grow plants, and prioritize hygiene.
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