Kids and water – it’s an age-old combination, but much as ponds have their obvious attractions, they’re not for everyone, or for every children’s garden. If you’re wondering whether it’s finally time to buy a liner, get out that spade and start digging, or a really bad idea that will eventually all end in tears, here’s a quick questionnaire to help you make up your mind.
It’s mainly a bit of fun, but it should hopefully get you started thinking about some of the things that will let you decide once and for all if a pond is just what your kids’ garden has been crying out for, or the last thing on earth you should be considering.
Will a pond fit into your kids’ garden? Well, as you’ll see, that rather depends!
1. How do YOU view ponds and water features in general?
a) Love them.
b) Hate them.
c) They’re OK, but only in the right setting.
2. How do you feel about the safety issue?
a) We know all about the necessary precautions.
b) Absolutely terrified.
c) I know they’re a potential problem, but so are plenty of other things in the garden.
3. How do YOUR KIDS feel about ponds?
a) Absolutely mad keen.
b) They don’t really seem that interested.
c) They like them, but they’re not obsessive.
4. How sensible would you say your kids are around water?
b) Not particularly.
5. Are your kids generally safety conscious?
6. Which one word describes what your kids’ garden is all about?
7. How would you describe the BEST pond you’ve ever seen?
a) Full of life.
b) A pond.
c) A beautiful water garden.
8. How would you describe the WORST pond you’ve ever seen?
b) A pond.
9. Overnight, a small army of amorous, croaking frogs has taken over your pond; what’s your first reaction?
a) Oh, cool!
c) And the surprise is?
10. What are you looking forward to MOST about a pond?
a) Just having it.
b) I’m not at all sure.
c) Adding a new feature to the garden.
11. What are you LEAST excited about?
a) Nothing really.
b) I’m still not sure.
c) The possibility that it’ll go green and look horrible
12. Be honest – never mind the kids, do YOU really want a pond?
a) YES! No question!
b) No, not really.
c) On balance, yes.
Will a pond fit in? You mean you don’t have at least one already? You and your kids seem to be natural born pond keepers, and whether it’s the plants, the fish or the wildlife, if it lives in water – then it’s OK by you!
Adding a pond to your children’s garden cannot fail to bring a whole new dimension of interest and experience for everyone; now all you have to do is decide where to put it and how big to make it. Decisions, decisions!
You’d probably be the first to admit that ponds don’t really ‘do’ it for you. Although it’s often said that there’s space in every garden – however small – for a water feature, there’s a lot more to a pond fitting in than whether you can physically find a spot for one.
There’s no getting around the fact that ponds can be demanding things at times, and there’s a lot of routine maintenance involved if the beautifully clear showpiece you started out with isn’t going to soon degenerate into a bit of a stinky swamp. The bottom line is, if you really don’t want one, you certainly don’t have to have one – and there are plenty of other ways to produce a garden that you and your kids will love.
Will a pond fit into your children’s garden? Well, with your family’s level-headed approach to garden design, you should know!
You’re not about to let your enthusiasm run away with you and shoe-horn a massive water feature into some tiny corner just because you like the idea of it, but you’re certainly not opposed to the idea if there’s somewhere it will work. If you do decide that it is for you, you know you’re going to make a good job of it.
Enjoy gardening with your kids, whatever you do about that pond.