Noble: the Formal Pond

It is becoming more and more popular and is now more common in small gardens: the formal pond. This type of pond is particularly noble and is characterized by its clear lines and purism. Here you can find out everything that goes with it and how best to plan, create and implement it.

Features of the Formal Pond

The formal pond, also known as the modern pond or design pond, stands in clear contrast to the classic, natural pond: it does not want to blend in inconspicuously into the surroundings but is obviously artificially created and stands out from the surroundings. It creates a visual contrast to the “green garden” and is perfect for the use of artificial materials, geometric shapes, and innovative designs that would be impossible with natural ponds. The most important characteristic of formal ponds is the clear, geometric shapes and lines that are in and around the pond. These can either be round or square. One can easily imagine that they go perfectly with modern architecture and integrate well into the purest picture. Above all, such ponds exude elegance, restraint, and class.

Modern, finely processed raw and building materials such as stainless steel and concrete are particularly popular, but also glass: In raised ponds, the use of safety glass in the sidewalls gives you great insights into the pond’s interior.

The pond itself is often complemented by selected design elements that contribute to the overall picture: water features and stylish lighting are particularly common. Selected plants around the pond are also frequently used, but in the pond, they are less common – and neither are fish.

The Planning

Of course, there are also questions that have to be asked before creating a formal pond – just like with any other pond. First and foremost is the size: Although formal ponds are also well suited for small site sizes and indoor use, one must, however, note that they are also subject to natural processes. For example, shallow pond basins grow algae much faster than deeper basins and thus require a higher level of care and technology. Otherwise, there are no restrictions regarding the size – only the right technology has to be included.

Basically, it is often the case with formal ponds that the required technology is underestimated and initially fails. You should therefore give preference to high-quality equipment with UV technology and reliable filters right from the start. In addition, design elements such as streams and waterfalls can help maintain the correct water values ​​through additional oxygen. A tip: Make sure there are enough power connections when creating the pond.

The Design

The pond border is extremely important for a formal pond because it is the link between the water and the environment. Of course, its design must match the shape and design of the pond. In the case of foil ponds, a border made of wood or stone is ideal. In the case of ponds that are designed as basins with straight walls from the start, the border is often unnecessary if the water is below the upper edge of the border. Incidentally, you can also optically create a formal pond out of sloping, naturally laid out ponds: all thanks to the matching border. You should consider this option right from the start because such a water basin with different pond zones is much easier to create and the planting and stocking with fish are much easier here.

In the case of ponds with steep walls, make sure that there should be an “emergency exit”, otherwise a formal pond can quickly become fatal for smaller animals or unsupervised children.

In formal ponds, one sees particularly often the use of footbridges, bridges, or stepping stones to cross the pond; ideally, this will give you access to a terrace, a pavilion, or a sundeck, for example.

If you follow the textbook, then the formal design of the pond requires the use of “vertical and horizontal elements”: For example, you can equip terraces with flower pots, the plants of which mainly grow upwards. Of course, this is only one design option, it is primarily a matter of your personal taste.

The right lighting is also an element that people like to use – above and below water. You can, for example, surround the pond with spots or fluorescent tubes and thus direct the focus to the piece of water surface at all times. The combination of gravel and lamps around the pond can also create great effects. Last but not least, design elements such as water features, streams, and waterfalls can also be used, which are also well suited to connecting individual pools with one another.

Plants and Fish

Like everything else, plants and fish in the formal pond are a design element that does not necessarily have to be used. If you want to use pond plants, you should use them sparingly, at the same time stick to a clear color concept, and only use a few selected colors. Water lilies are particularly popular.

It is similar to fish, which are even less common in formal ponds than plants. If there is a fish population, then it mainly consists of koi. On the one hand, these fish are not considered particularly noble and beautiful for nothing, on the other hand, they get along well with the “empty” designer basins without plants or hiding places. This is precisely why koi lovers in particular insist on a formal pond for their fish: so that nothing distracts from them.

The Construction

When it comes to building the pond, there are several installation options. The most durable is the use of concrete. Ideally, you should get help from a professional, because the planning and implementation require a certain amount of specialist knowledge: What do you need for a concrete pool, which concrete type suits the soil conditions, what does the statics say? All these questions are best answered by a professional and also pay for any errors. Another problem is that subsequent changes are difficult and – if at all – can only be implemented with considerable effort.

Another option is masonry pools. These can be changed even better afterward, but here, too, there are some difficulties that a specialist can best deal with. For example, the necessary stability against the strong pressure of the water can be problematic and it is also not at all easy to attach a pond liner to the smooth walls without creases. So that you can enjoy your watertight pond for a long time, you should also let yourself be helped here.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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