It's hard to think of any truly exquisite garden that does not have water. It will always be the thing that completes an outdoor space, as well as the very best way to bring wildlife into the garden. As with all good things though, there must be a down-side, and in this case it is that any pond is only really a bog-garden in the making.
It’s the time of year when algae begins its assault – warmer weather and anything but the perfect chemical balance means that most of us either have water that looks like green soup, or that its surface is covered with the stuff (like my pond, above). No short-term solution is full-proof, but manually removing any blanket weed using a pole is a good start. A submerged bag of barley straw will help to prevent growth, and if you don’t mind your water being black, then a pond dye is a real option as it prevents photosynthesis. In essence though, an algae-free pond is all about achieving a delicate balance; and long-term, the solution is to ensure that any water added to your pond or pool is rainwater (I know, not always possible), that clippings, fallen leaves, mowings and compost are kept out of it, and prevented from adding nutrients, and that it has a modicum of shade. Achieving the right amount of oxygen, nutrient levels and light, is a continual project; your oasis of water will always be a work in progress.