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Mini ponds for balconies and terraces

What is nicer than relaxing against a background of gurgling water in your own garden or balcony and simply letting your soul wander? A water feature turns even the smallest garden into paradise. And you do not always have to choose a pond! Water can be integrated in various ways: As a fountain with gushing spouts, a stream, or in water bowls decorated with plants.

To create a mini pond you need a container that can hold water. You will find suitable containers in garden centres. It's really easy to convert plastic tubs such as black mortar tubs into mini ponds. However, to improve aesthetics they should be clad or placed in prettier containers such as wooden tubs. Ceramic containers are also suitable. But as these containers often crack in cold weather they have to be emptied in the autumn before the first frost.

The container should always allow a water depth of at least 10 centimetres; this is the minimum depth for many water plants that grow in the marshy area of lakes. Tubs that are wider at their top than at their bottom are suitable for winter, since they allow frozen ice to expand upwards. Robust plants can survive winter in water outside. However, you can also replant and redesign mini ponds as the seasons change.

The best location for a mini pond is in a place which gets about six hours of sun per day. A shady location is not suitable. If the mini pond is shaded a little at midday, less water will evaporate on warm days. Otherwise water must be added regularly - ideally soft rain water. Tap water is only suitable if the pH value is 6 - 6.5 (use a testing kit to check).

Mini ponds require plants that are suitable for a watery habitat. You can find water-loving plants in garden centres and nurseries. There are plants which mainly grow in water or which prefer deep pond areas, such as the water lily. Others grow in shallow water (5-50 cm in depth) or in the marshy areas of lakes. Check the information on the plant card or ask for advice if you are unsure.

To plant ponds you need plastic tubs which are sufficiently large and are permeable to water. First, you fill a third of the tub with washed gravel. Then you insert the plants and fill the rest of the tub with gravel. The gravel weighs down the plants in the water and prevents the soil from being flushed out. Place large stones or similar under the planted containers to create the desired tub height. Then carefully fill the pond with water - taking care to churn up the soil as little as possible - and your mini pond is done.

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