Creating a garden pond can be easy and a source of endless pleasure, says Navneet Raghavan

Water features, cascades and fish ponds can add colour and life to any garden.

Choose the brightest spot in your garden where you get a lot of sunshine.

This will automatically take care of the freshness of the pond and stop slimy growth, while also keeping tadpoles and fish warm.

You can either create a regular concrete pond (moulds for which are available easily) or use an old bath tub and sink it in to the earth, to create an effect that is almost close to a natural pond.

In the past, digging an 18 inch to 2 feet deep hole to make an oval pond has been very popular. However,a pond with an undefined shape, since it looks more natural. The soil from the pit can be used to landscape around the pond, or elsewhere.

While digging the hole, ensure that you don’t disturb the earth below the base too much since it helps to have an even surface below the pond.

Next, you need some plastic sheets. Make sure you buy a little bit more than required so you can use them to plug any holes later. Spread the sheet on the base of the pit you have dug, holding it at the corners with rock boulders or even bricks. Make sure every bit of the ground is well covered to ensure that there will not be any leaks. Once this is done, fill the tank with water and leave it overnight. You can create mounds in the pond, if desired. These will help them look natural.

The aim of this exercise is to get the water to stand in the pond for 24 hours – showing that you have a stagnant pool of water which is not seeping into the ground. Once you get water standing in it for over 24 hours you can be sure your pond is ready.

Personalise your pond

Now you can work on making the pond look more natural. Sink in some solid rocks to the bottom of the pond, and add garden soil on top of this and a layer of sand to prevent soil erosion. Around the edges of the pond, add soil and rocks to give it a natural look. This will also give you the base on which plants can be grown around the pond.

As you may already know, the best plants for a pond are lotus and coloured lilies. Both need to be planted in a pot with proper soil, and sunk in to the pond carefully taking care not to leave it too deep in to the pond; about 6 inches from surface will do. You can surround the pond with some white coloured rocks, or even lights shaped like rocks which are available easily in garden lighting stores. Keeping some fish in the pond will also help keep mosquitoes away.

Ponds are much easier on terrace gardens. Readymade, fibreglass ponds are now available in the market. Or else, you could use an old fish tank or large cement pot to create a small pond on your terrace. All you need do is cover it up well with soil all around and put plants in the soil. Half fill the pond with soil and plant the same plants as for a garden pond.

In Feng Shui, ponds are considered important as they bring inner peace