Aquascape’s Ed Beaulieu, known to many as The Pond Professor, highlights in a recent video that a growing trend in the landscaping world of outdoor living spaces is what he calls “a living pool or recreational pond.”
“A recreational pond is water the way nature intended it — full of life, with fish, a home for pollinators, water lilies, all living together, symbiotically, creating a beautiful serene setting,” says Ed.
How’s that for a description of idyllic outdoor living!
Our own Dave Stockwell adds: “Indeed, these natural swimming ponds are so popular today that Aquascape has come up with a do-it-yourself kit for creating one in your own yard (see video). Deck and Patio can certainly help you obtain what you need to do that and walk you through any questions. Or if you prefer, we can design/build one for you.”
This pond, for example, is one of two ponds a client asked us to create in their yard — a yard which overlooks beautiful Long Island Sound:
More examples of Deck and Patio natural swimming ponds, including this one, and information about the natural pond experience continues below.
According to reports, across ‘the pond’ in Europe, natural swimming ponds have grown in appeal for a quarter of a century. Here at home, however, North Americans have not yet joined the craze with equal zeal. While swimming au naturel (chemical free) certainly appeals to health-conscious North Americans, some can’t get over sharing their backyard swimming water with — ewww — bugs, tadpoles, let alone pond fish.
This, however, may be changing. After all, a man-made natural pond is no different from swimming in a lake, swimming hole, or swimming in the ocean. Who hasn’t brushed up against seaweed, or snorkeled to enjoy colorful fish? And, indeed, in recent years, Deck and Patio has been asked to create man-made ponds on Long Island for the pure enjoyment of swimming in them.
In a recent post on Aquascape Inc.’s website entitled: Growing Up Around a Pond, the writer focuses on the ’10 most interesting things’ she has learned from having just such a pond:
all bacteria is not bad;
swimming in a pond is more fun than in a pool;
ponds are wondrous at night;
ponds are better than TV or video games.
We would have to agree with her. Snorkeling in a regular swimming pool isn’t all that exciting.
Don’t let the bugs bug you:
Unchecked by the chemicals of a regular swimming pool, the odd dragonfly will no doubt flit across your natural pond’s surface. You may spy a salamander at its edge. And frogs (who eat the more undesirable insects around your pond) may parent some tadpoles in any natural pond. And if there’s koi in your pond, you’ll want to keep them healthy and free of disease.
That aside, swimming in a pristine natural pond is very possible and thrilling. Using the right underlayment, liner, Biofalls and skimmers, bog filtration and water plants are part of creating the perfect experience. Detailed information on how to do this can be found on such helpful websites as Aquascape Inc’s, and local pond experts can aid you in keeping your water clean, and your fish healthy.
The homeowner who wrote the Aquascape Inc. blog “Growing Up Around a Pond” included this photo of her son encouraging a friend to join him in the pond. Photo: Courtesy of Aquascape Inc.
This pond is one of two ponds these clients had us create in their yard which overlooks Long Island Sound. Now you may think that our beautiful model is avoiding the ‘ewwww’ factor by using a floating device. But as you’ll see from the next photo below, she’s not bothered at all by healthy pond life. Indeed, this pond is pure and clean — a joy to swim in.
A key factor in a good natural swimming pond is to build it big and deep enough so that you can snorkel as well as have room to swim.
Some ponds, like this one, is intended as a koi pond and not a natural swimming pond. One way to ensure you pond is sufficiently pristine for swimming is not to overload it with koi or other pond fish. This allows the aquatic plants and filtration systems the ability to absorb and “clean” the pond sufficiently for an enjoyable swim.
This pond is an infinity pond, one of the first done in North America. The project includes a stream, waterfalls, a second lower pond, and a natural biological filtration system that is continuously maintaining the feature’s crystal-clear water.