Pictured on the patio at the Maison Des Girrafes last night (behind the cats) are these reclaimed galvanised water tanks now repurposed as ponds. I got the idea to use large containers as ponds after watching Gardeners World and it’s become my latest obsession. We already have a small pond (scene of much hot frog-on-frog action each year) and I have other containers such as reconfigured plastic water barrels here and there. But there is something about these tanks I find very soothing, and I like the contrast between the big, square, riveted and industrial tanks and the shape and colour of the vegetation. It also adds variety to the garden’s diversity, as the frogs that populate our small ground-level pond won’t be able to get into these, so maybe I shall have other things such as dragonflies. If you build it, they will come – I saw two bright blue damselflies in the garden yesterday, haven’t seen these for years.
Many years ago when the world was young and I was starting an allotment and needed a water tank on-site people could hardly give these tanks away. They used to store water in peoples’ lofts but were gradually replaced by lighter (and less leaky) plastic ones. Back then I got mine for free. All I had to do was get up into the donor’s loft and remove it (I had to bring a friend). But we’ve passed a lot of water since then and these tanks are now heritage items. The tank on the left came from Etsy and cost around £120 with delivery. The tank on the right came from a brilliant place called Norfolk Reclaim and cost £80. If you search around online you’ll see that these are fairly good value. But neither was watertight, so I had to spend more on sealants, none of which really worked, so in the end bought heavy-duty plastic pod liner which cost around £45 all together. Then there are the plants. The sedge in the tank on the left, and the irises on the right, I got for free, but I do like buying water lilies and these can be pricey. I’d like to add another one — a tank, that is — to the left of these two and slightly lower down. But I think I’ll need to save up. To think, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown spent fortunes landscaping deer parks with faux-Greek temples and ha-ha’s and having people dig enormous lakes, back in the day. But he got someone else to pay for it. The ambitions of Henry ‘Incapacity’ Gee must perforce be more limited.