Swim­ming pond

Country Homes & Interiors - - RUTLAND GARDEN -

A nat­u­ral pool of­fers the best of both a pond and a swim­ming pool, with­out chem­i­cals.

• The wa­ter is kept clean and al­gae-free with a bal­ance of mi­cro-or­gan­isms and plants. Once es­tab­lished, it is a sim­ple, nat­u­ral and ef­fec­tive sys­tem. You must keep nu­tri­ent lev­els low by dis­cour­ag­ing wa­ter fowl, and promptly re­mov­ing leaves. De­signs and plant­ing vary, but the build­ing method is sim­i­lar. • A free-form hole is ex­ca­vated with

edges vary­ing from slop­ing – to pro­vide safe ac­cess for wildlife – to steep-sided for swim­mers. • The earth walls are lined, and

banks built to keep plants and swim­ming ar­eas sep­a­rate for ease of vac­u­um­ing the pool lin­ing. • Filtration tech­nol­ogy varies, but

one pop­u­lar sys­tem cleans wa­ter through a sump of shin­gle, pre­vent­ing blan­ket weed growth. • Decks, steps and lad­ders go in. • Bal­anced plant­ing, in­clud­ing marginals and oxy­gena­tors, is added, plus large-leaved lilies for shade in shal­low non-swim­ming ar­eas, keep­ing the wa­ter cool. • Reg­u­lar sweep­ing, vac­u­um­ing

and leaf net­ting keeps the wa­ter crys­tal clear.

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