Water in the garden, whether it be contained in the form of a lake, pond, stream or any other type of water feature, naturally forms a point of interest and beauty. The sound and appearance of water is renowned for its relaxing, therapeutic effect.
Creating A Pond
Traditional ponds need to be dug out and lined, this is not only time consuming and disruptive, it can also be considerably costly. An easily accessible and attractive alternative is to create your own mini pond in a fully lined half barrel planter made from Scottish oak whisky barrels.
These barrels bring a unique sense of character to the garden, which blends in with any garden style. It also offers the perfect solution to gardens with limited space and, unlike a garden pond, a half oak barrel can be set up quickly.
Introducing Fish to Your Oak Barrel Planter
Fully lined oak barrel planters make a suitable home for fish, unlined barrels must not be used, as the whiskey embedded in the wood may affect the fish.
Looking after fish in a container or other water feature requires the same level of care as looking after fish in regular ground pond. The one major difference between the two however, is the barrel is more exposed to external air temperature fluctuations, and could possibly overheat in the summer or freeze in the winter, it advisable to place the barrel planter in a partially shaded location.
Which Fish Are Suitable for Planters?
Pond fish must have enough space, and whilst there is no such thing as too much space, not enough space is detrimental to the health of the fish – it is therefore important to ensure the species is size appropriate for smaller spaces.
One of the most popular choices has to be Goldfish – the Goldfish family has 100 plus varieties, many of which are suited to outdoor pond living, such as the Common Goldfish, Comet Goldfish and Shubunkin Goldfish. The common goldfish is one of the most resistant and low maintenance domesticated freshwater fish, requiring minimal aeration or movement. Goldfish are also the ideal size for smaller containers, (unlike Koi which simply grow too big) they have also been bred to a wide assortment of shapes and vibrant colours.
A half oak barrel can also be used to make a mini wildlife pond – ensure the barrel is positioned in a reasonably sunny location and fill it with rainwater, oak barrel water butts offer excellent solutions for conserving rainwater. The next step is to place some rocks at different levels within the barrel to allow different creatures to get in and out more easily. The addition of some water plants will help to oxygenate the water. Once everything is in place, wildlife will quickly find it and your barrel butt will provide a home for frogs, water snails, water boatmen, birds and a wide array of other creatures. A wildlife pond is not only good for the environment, it is also extremely popular with children and highly educational.