Cool and Contemporary Koi Pond Trends
The Koi pond has made a comeback as Covid forced people to stay at home. Even if you are part of a happy family, we have all experienced a degree of cabin fever and the desire for me-time and peace and quiet. A Koi pond is an easy way to create a sanctuary in your backyard. Koi ponds don’t take up much space and are a calming escape from one’s home office. Looking at the slow movements of these colourful, gracious fish, stills the mind. As with other pets, caring for them are fulfilling for many people.
These water features are also an eco-friendly alternative to a lawn. It uses less water, less mowing results in fewer pollutants, fewer fertilizers and pesticides. It also supports local wildlife and bio-diversity, such as dragonflies and frogs. Pond slush can also be used as fertilizer for plants.
The first Koi ponds were built in China more than a thousand years ago to farm carp. It is only since the early 19th century that Koi, which are coloured varieties of carp, has been kept for ornamental purposes. Since Koi ponds originated in Japan, it has been associated with Zen gardens, calm and serenity, ever since.
In traditional Japanese gardens, Koi ponds are usually part of the garden design, often having an organic look.
Over the last century, Koi ponds have gained popularity all over the world and nowadays there is a style to suit everyone’s garden. Most importantly the pond should be a minimum of 1,8 x 2,4 metres wide and at least 90cm -120cm deep, since the average size of a mature Koi fish is 60cm. Buy smaller varieties for a smaller pond. It is recommended that Koi ponds are not bigger than 4m x 7m, so it is easy enough to catch them when emptying the pond every few years.
For a contemporary look opt for straight lines such as a rectangular or square shape. Screed, cement pavers or wooden decking all tie in with this look. To get the most enjoyment and tranquillity from your pond, build it near your outdoor sitting area or design the sitting area together with the pond. It could also be part of your outdoor entertainment and braai area. Add aquatic plants and other plants for a calming garden feel. Be mindful when planting so you don’t obscure your pond with plants, rather use plants to screen off the house or the rest of the garden.
A big trend is to build a raised pond with a window, for better viewing from further away. Just make sure you use glass that is strong enough for the size of your pond. Toughened, laminated glass or tempered glass are recommended. The pond can also be covered with glass, which doubles up as a floor or bridge – making your pond part of the architecture. This works well in entrance halls or leading up to your front door.
Fish observation tower
A fish tower or fish observation tower is an easy extension to an existing Koi pond. It is basically an upside-down glass fish tank with an opening underwater for the fish to enter. This gives a better view of the fish. Whilst the fish is small, a large glass container or vase could be used, upside down on a stand. Adjust according to the size of the fish.
Fountain or Waterfall
Water is calming, even more so when you can hear it. A small cascading waterfall or fountain can add to the relaxing atmosphere of your pond and will help to drown the noise of traffic and city life. Instead of listening to a recording of water flowing over pebbles, you can now enjoy these sounds in your own garden. A waterfall with a wall behind it can also be a focal wall and give some privacy from the neighbours. Add cladding or texture for some interest on the wall.
Stepping Stones and Sculptures
A Koi pond is a great place to display your favourite sculptures. Whether in the water, on islands or against a wall, it will add charm to your Zen sanctuary. Design your pond with stepping stones for easy access to plants and islands and to sit and feed the fish. Stepping stones can also link the house with the pond and give uniformity. Rocks on the pond floor give a more natural feel. Your own backyard haven is only a Koi pond away.