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Preformed versus liner pond

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by luciusmaximus, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. luciusmaximus

    luciusmaximus Total Gardener

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    Having been doing a bit of reading ( courtesy of the current weather conditions ) I thought I would ask people's opinions on here. I know several of you have ponds and there are advantages and disadvantages to both rigid and flexible liners. As some of you know I wanted a pond in the front garden for the wildlife. Having had a last minute change of direction with the pond I am still undecided as how to proceed. Flexible liners would give a softer look to the pond edging perhaps but with the right kind of planting then a rigid liner could also look natural perhaps. I have looked at lots of images online and cannot always tell whether the pond is rigid or flexible, depending on what has been planted around and in it.

    I am leaning slightly more towards the rigid liner at the moment. I bought Bradshaws own brand flexible liner for the bog garden I dug. It was easy to install as I just stuffed it in and wasn't too bothered about a few folds or creases, but I think installing a flexible liner for a pond might be more difficult. I also noticed how easy it was to puncture when I put the fork through it for drainage holes. We came across several tree roots whilst digging out the pond and the soil has a lot of stones of different sizes. I'm wondering how long it would be before a tree root found a way through the sand and underlay if we use a flexible liner.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated on why you chose your type of liner :)
     
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    • wiseowl

      wiseowl Friendly Owl Admin Staff Member

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      Good morning @luciusmaximus my friend as you know I have used both preformed is more expensive but for a small or medium pond I prefer preformed its easier stronger and you can have any shape you want,I know you still have to dig the hole (unless you want it above the ground and build round it,just my personal opinnion of course,hope this helps:smile:
       
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      • Clare G

        Clare G Gardener

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        I put in a small preformed pond last summer, and am happy with it. It's sturdy and well designed with shelves for plants etc. It was pretty easy to instal - easier than a liner would have been, on my own - though you do have to be careful about getting the base level (use a plank and a spirit level) and backfilling all round the sides. The one thing about it I dislike is the curved raised curb sort of thing all round the edge. That looks a bit obtrusive though it is as you say possible to disguise with judicious planting, use of logs, stones etc.
         
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        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          A butyl liner every time for me. More natural looking I think. More fiddly in laying it perhaps and useful to have another person to help.
          However, lucius go for your gut instinct......go for good quality, best quality if you can, and either will be fine. As long as the levels are right and you get some planting done, inside and outside the pond, your finished pond will be great :)
           
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          • Redwing

            Redwing Wild Gardener

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            We made a large wildlife pond last summer using the Bradshaws liner. If used with their underlay it has a 25 year guarantee. Butyl is very good but heavy (as well as expensive) and we worried about tearing it during the installation process. Bradshaws is relatively light weight. I’ve no experience of rigid liners but don’t particularly like the look of the edges.
             
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              Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
            • wiseowl

              wiseowl Friendly Owl Admin Staff Member

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              Edges can be hidden;):smile:

              ef2a2376c89fa7e57c57a9652cf350ac.jpgbest-25-preformed-pond-liner-ideas-on-pinterest-backyard-water-preformed-pond-liner.jpg
               
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              • WeeTam

                WeeTam Total Gardener

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                I used a 25 year Butyl liner 20 years ago. A large pond was created with bog gardens at the side. The sides are invisible and no liner is exposed to the sun. There hasnt been anyleaks so far touch wood.
                Mini digger,sand lining,liner,then butyl.
                There are shelves for marginal plants,waist deep so the fish are happy in winter,good shading so little blanket weed and stable water temps. Fountain and waterfall so fish have oxygenated water and it livens up the pond.
                So I would go flexible very good quality liner with good quality butyl liner fitted on a warm day only.
                 
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                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  Good point about using butyl in warm weather:)
                   
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                  • Redwing

                    Redwing Wild Gardener

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                    They don't look very natural though, IMO.
                     
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                    • wiseowl

                      wiseowl Friendly Owl Admin Staff Member

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                      No good doing it today then;):blue thumb:
                       
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                      • Verdun

                        Verdun Passionate gardener

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                      • martin-f

                        martin-f Plant Hardiness Zone 8b

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                        The way i see it they both do the job, i must admit its easier to hide the edges with a liner and you can choose your own shape,

                        The preformed pond i bought £25 used from ebay will still be full of water long after the liners have leaked,

                        Its all really down to personal preference, my preference was something that was going to last and not worry about it ripping roots can shoot anywhere and could easily puncture a liner,

                        Hiding the edges is quite easy but it will take time to get them how i want them.
                         
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                          Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
                        • Clare G

                          Clare G Gardener

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                          Thanks for posting the moss-growing link, @martin-f - very interesting!

                          I have used diluted plain yoghurt to encourage lichens to grow on stone and concrete before now, and found that worked well.

                          Two evergreen plants which have been working well here for creeping over and disguising the pond rim were mind-your-own-business and dianthus deltiodes (maiden pink). Hopefully the snow won't have finished either off. I might have a go at transplanting some patches of moss from elsewhere in the garden too.
                           
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                          • pete

                            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                            Built my pond in 1989 with a Butyl liner, it is still going strong.
                            One thing to remember with butyl is you need the edging to overhang the pond slightly, otherwise the sun, (UV) will deteriorate it around the top edges.

                            I just used old carpet as underlay, and the trick when filling is to stretch the liner across the hole and weight it down around the edges, letting the weight of the water take into all the nooks and crannies of the hole.
                            Then leave it a few days or a week or more before cutting the edges, leaving enough to roll under any edging you might be using.
                            Although I wouldn't consider using it during mid winter, frosty, etc. you normally fill a pond with cold water, so the temperature when using it is pretty academic.
                             
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                            • martin-f

                              martin-f Plant Hardiness Zone 8b

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                              Another thing to consider with a liner is the heron population in your area, herons also love frogs and would pierce a liner very easy.
                               
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