A barrel of fun.

Curstie’s parents came round for a visit this morning and asked if we wanted to visit a new garden centre which apparently has a particular  good aquatics section. Sold !

Last year we brought a half wooden barrel with the idea of using it as a mini pond. We had some success but later into the summer months, without a pump installed to aerate  the water, it soon became a little swamp.

This year we were determined to try again with a pump installed this time. The outdoor electrics for the main pond are nowhere near the barrel so we thought we’d try a solar powered.  We didn’t need anything too fancy, just something to add a little air occasionally.

The garden centre certainly did have a very good selection of aquatics and we picked out a few new plants.

bog-arumBog Arum

iris-vericolorAmerican Water Iris

water-forget-me-notWe brought a white variety of ‘Forget-me-not’ for the mini pond and the pictured blue type for the main pond.

zebra-rushZebra Rush

After a bite to eat, Curstie found a suitable solar powered mini pump whilst I picked some Aqua Compost and a hanging bird bath.

Back home, I emptied the barrel of bricks used as planting shelves, emptied the water and gave the insides a good scrub. I’ve read that it’s best to use a pond liner  but to be honest I’ve never bothered – Seems watertight without one.

The pump is quite small, about two inch high and is supplied with two height extensions bring it to about 6″ in total. Because of the small size, it needs to be raised to a level just just under the water surface. I positioned it on one of the brick shelves but it didn’t look quite right off to one side. I have a miniature Lillie growing from the middle so we couldn’t place a brick there.

A coffee later and good think – bingo, we came up with a solution. I secured the pump to a cane using an elastic band and slotted the bottom end  into the Lillie basket. It seems to work o.k and now the pump is in the middle.

Here’s the finished mini pond


…and here’s a close-up of the mini pump – complete with cane ! The flat bit at the bottom is the mini filter.


The Solar panel is attached to the pump using a 3m cable so I was able to position it south facing were it should get plenty of sun.

img_2273-largeThe water marks are there because I forgot I’d put the solar panel there and watered the garden !

img_2262-largeOnce everything starts to grow, I think this should look quite nice. Anything gets too big and I’ll move them into our main pond.


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