Blagdon Pond-In-A-Box. Review and prize draw

The sight of goldfish takes me back to my early 20s when I travelled several times to China. I was lucky to get the chance to visit many gardens, while working for a newspaper. The Leicester Mercury was invited to send a representative to the army base of the Leicestershire Regiment, stationed at Stanley Fort in Hong Kong. Luckily, the editor chose me. And while there, I flew back and forth all over China, including to Shanghai and Guilin to view the gardens. It was the experience of a lifetime, something I’ll never forget. Some of the gardens had huge ceramic bowls of water, filled with goldfish. I’ve always wanted a goldfish pool, to remind me of those fabulous care-free days of travel. Here at bramble garden, we have a large horseshoe pond with a stone and gravel beach. But it is mainly for wildlife and it’s away from the main house, in the paddock. I thought it would be lovely to have a pond right by the back door, under the kitchen window.

I’d heard of the pond-in-a-box concept, and recently, Blagdon asked if I would like to try one of their ‘Affinity’ ponds. This has been a wonderful project to work on during the covid lockdown. It’s given us something lovely to work on together. And the calming sound of water is very welcome. We haven’t finished our project. There’s no fish or pond plants available at the moment. But I thought I would share this with you now, especially as Blagdon have offered a smaller ‘ Affinity corner pond’ as a prize.

So here’s what arrives in the post:

It’s hard to believe that everything for the pond arrives in one box! The word ‘Tardis’ springs to mind.

There does seem to be an overwhelming number of parts to start with. But if you can put together a piece of furniture from IKEA, you can manage to make a pond. The instructions are clear, and after the initial panic, sorting all the parts into little piles and working methodically through the assembly leaflet, it’s possible to make the pond in just a few hours. We didn’t have any difficulty once we settled down to follow the step-by-step guide.

We first created a framework. We did this in the lounge in front of the fire. It might be much easier to work out on the patio. And a lot less overheated! Luckily we were able to turn it sideways and get it out of the doorway, which we hadn’t thought about when we started!

The side panels slide into the frame. I’d say this is easier with two pairs of hands. But you would manage, if you were on your own. A feature of the pond is the ‘porthole’ insets. Children will love being able to view the fish through the sides.

Here it is taking shape.

When it is all put together, there’s a liner that fits inside. Then it is just a case of carefully dropping in the pond pump. There’s lots of fountain and /or waterfall options. We started off with a sort of mushroom and played around with it until I found the gentle burble effect I was after.

There’s an LED spotlight that comes on automatically at dusk. And the Blagdon Inpond filters the water and keeps it clean. You can find out more about it on the website.

Here’s what it looks like at night. I must admit, sitting next to it at dusk, watching the fountain and hearing the splash of water is very soothing, especially in these troubled, stressful times.

Like any new feature, it can stand out and look quite stark at first. But I ‘dressed’ the sides of the pond with acers, ferns, hostas, grasses and rosemary plants. It blended in with the patio furniture then, and didn’t look so harsh. This is no criticism of the product, except to say that it is very new and fresh, and therefore stands out against ‘old’ paving and walls. Foliage definitely softens the hard edges. Pond plants would also help. There are planting pockets included in the package.

Luckily, I’ve got a few large potted grasses, which match the woven panels perfectly. I must admit, we forgot to remove the protective film from the portholes. The view is much clearer now!

I’m delighted with my pond-in-a-box. It’s been a fun project to focus on during a difficult time, and I’ve got all the pleasure of choosing fish and new pond plants to come. And finally I’ll have something that reminds me of those interesting times trekking all around China!

For the chance to win an ‘Affinity View’ corner pond, similar to mine, but with three woven front panels with viewing port holes, please leave a comment in the box below, right at the bottom of the page. A winner will be randomly selected by Blagdon. No purchase is necessary, and the usual rules apply. There’s no cash alternative and Blagdon’s decision is final.

Disclosure: I have not paid for my pond, or been paid to write about it. Views are my own and I’m free to comment as I wish.

Update: Two pond skaters, a water beetle and a water boatman have moved in! Within one day of setting it up. And a blackbird has decided it is a perfect place for a dip, balanced in the planting baskets at the side.

Links. Read all about Blagdon here: https://www.blagdonwatergardening.co.uk/Products/Ponds/Affinity-Pools-Complete-Kits

Available from all good aquatic retailers and also online.

46 thoughts on “Blagdon Pond-In-A-Box. Review and prize draw

  1. I have always wanted one of these.We have 2 small children and these look safer than the traditional pond and I guess the cat would steer clear too if she had to jump up. Have you got any fish in yours yet? I wonder how many you could have in one this size? Great post anyway – very inspiring to see all the stages and how it comes and you put it together

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Emma. Still no fish, but there’s hope the garden centre will start selling them next week. I’m so excited! We are having a metal grid made for ours, which will sit just below the surface of the water. I’m afraid no water, even an inch deep, is safe for small children. Thanks for your kind comments. And welcome to the blog!

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  2. It’s amazing what evokes a memory. Taking us back to a happy place. Sight, sounds, smells – all buttons that bring back happy memories. In this case the gentle sound of water, it took you back to China. How peaceful and lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It is a lovely happy memory. Carefree days. I can’t wait to get my little miniature waterlily installed. We had a bluetit baby perched on the rim this morning. It hopped on to the side pockets and sipped the water. I’ve trained my wildlife camera on it to watch the comings and goings. Thanks for reading. xx

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    • Thank you Phao. I’m really thrilled with it, and I’m looking forward to choosing the fish and mini water lilies etc to finish it off. Thanks for reading 🙂 x

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  3. Thank you Karen your review came just at the right time. I am moving to a new garden and looking at all the options available and this does seem to be very simple to construct and stylish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Shirley. It really is a wonderful concept. A pond in a box. A genius idea, and only takes a few hours to construct and site in the garden. Under normal circumstance I’d have had it filled with plants and fish by now, but decided to share my review while we are still in lockdown to have something cheerful to talk about. Thanks again for reading and leaving a comment. All the best. Karen

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  4. I imagine the sound of water bubbling on a summer evening is lovely and calming. So glad that this was something nice to focus on. I am calming down after getting very upset about having to wear masks when shopping since last week. Why now?! They supposedly don’t help anyway! Well, I have realised I can‘t change anything and that I have to live with masks for now. Hope you have some other nice projects ahead too. This is very trying for us all. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. I haven’t dared to go shopping yet. I managed to source a fresh food box for my mum and us from a catering company which usually has weddings and events. They are surviving by supplying a box of fruit and veg and essentials such as eggs, butter, milk and bread. All for £25. They have made a big difference to me being able to cope with the lockdown. It’s been reassuring to know Mum is being looked after as well. I’m sorry you have been upset. I expect we will have to wear masks when we emerge sometime soon. I’m just hoping I still have a business at the end of all this. It is indeed very testing for us all. I just keep trying to think of little things to make a difference. Lots of love. Karen xxx

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  5. Love the idea of a pond in a box so much easier than digging a massive hole in the ground, especially when you have got a car park 2 feet under your topsoil like I have the perils of buying a new house built where the local mine offices once stood. Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    • Goodness, sounds like you have a project on your hands! Yes, this was much easier than digging a hole and worrying about getting pond liners level. I’m so looking forward to buying some fancy gold fish. Thanks for reading Jane. Keep in touch. Karen

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  6. Mercury? How did it get that name? It is the name of the main newspaper of San Jose, The San Jose Mercury News, but that is because the second biggest natural deposit of mercury in the World is in Almaden near San Jose. Almaden is named after Almaden in Spain, which is the biggest natural deposit of mercury in the World.

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  7. Oh my goodness what a fantastic prize. I would so love to win this as it would be wonderfully soothing during and aafter a stressful day. With my disability with ME, and now recovering from 2 sequential viral problems it would be very welcome indeed to help with my recovery and recouperation..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading Suella. Isn’t it a wonderful prize. I’ve got quite a few nice things lined up. Garden suppliers have been really very kind. I’m always looking for nice things to share with readers. I’m sorry to hear about your ME. A difficult time for us all, isn’t it. I’m stuck at home too, on doctor’s orders. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Good luck in their prize draw. Karen xx

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  8. Found this interesting as about to purchase a ceramic bowl for a classier home for our resident frogs to make their own instead of the current plastic box!
    It will create the centrepiece of a rose garden bordered by irises. Sort of a “happening” in our garden as it develops. 🐸💐

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  9. I live in the US and would not be considered for the drawing. I enjoyed reading about this marvelous pond and wish I could have one here. It appears to be a manageable project, and you end up with the sound of falling water and eventually fish that will add life to the pond. Just reading this has sparked my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anne, thank you for your kind comments. The sound of water is a wonderful thing. I’m really excited to be choosing miniature plants for the pond- a tiny deep red water lily and a small bulrush, maybe. It’s lovely to have a new project. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your weekend. Karen x

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    • Thank you Martha. So glad you found this helpful. It’s wonderful to have a new project on the go. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading snd leaving a comment. Karen

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    • Thank you. I’m really excited about getting some fish. Things are often appreciated more when you’ve had to wait for them. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Keep in touch. Karen

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  10. What a great idea! I’ve been promising my youngest son a pond for ages, he’s even decided which fish to have! I only have a really awkward space to put it and can’t face the faff of digging the hole into rocky ground. You’ve made it look wonderful.

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  11. What an interesting concept, Karen, and a great way to encourage people to have a pond who might otherwise not feel confident enough to put research and buy the various necessities form scratch. No need to enter me into the draw though, as I haven’t anywhere to put it. What a great trip you had to China and what an amazing experience it must have been!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. It was quite an experience. I always thought I’d go back as I made quite a few friends while there. But I don’t think that will happen now, to be honest. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great idea. I’d love something like this to replace our “traditional ” pond lost when our house was extended over it! Ideal for a compact garden.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It really is perfect for a small space. And so easy to build. Literally everything (apart from fish) arrives in a box. Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment. All the best. Karen

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  12. What a great idea to bring a water feature into the garden. I’m sure it would be great for the children with the viewing windows. Once planted up would be great for wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ron. We have a lot of little children visiting here. I’m sure they’d love to see the fish through the port holes. Thanks for reading the blog. Have a good weekend. Karen

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    • Thank you Alice. I too was amazed. It was the best -packed box I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t have liked to put it back in there! It was a fun project and we enjoyed putting the pond together. It’s right outside my kitchen window, so I can watch the birds drinking from it. I’m really looking forward to buying some miniature water lilies and iris plants to ‘dress’ it more, thanks for reading. Good luck in the draw.

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