A LITTLE while ago I wrote a review of the rather wonderful Blagdon Affinity Feature Pool, which I was lucky enough to test and I was very impressed with it.
With this in mind, when the inventor of the free-standing pond-cum-water feature rang and invited me to test his latest product, a new version designed to fit in with a more modern patio or garden, I jumped at the chance.
It’s available in several shapes and it’s a marginally smaller setup than the rattan-style versions also on offer. It’s also, uniquely to this design, available in two different colours - black or sand.
The rectangular version I opted for holds 57 gallons of water and stands around a metre high.
It uses the same clever ‘life support system’ to filter the water, run the fountain pump and pipe water up to the supplied waterfall attachment at the same time as lighting up the pond at night.
The feature pools all come flat-packed, in surprisingly small boxes and they’re designed for easy self-assembly. With the textaline pond its woven material has to be stretched into place and this makes it much trickier than the rattan pond, which comes with solid flat panels that need to be screwed together.
You start by making a structure out of its poles and cross-beams and then comes the task of heaving the panels into place.
I won’t lie, it’s really not easy. Setting up either pond is much easier as a two man job but two pairs of hands is essential for the textaline version. We even borrowed a third pair from my brother to slide the last few panels home.
Once set up though, it’s amazingly rigid. The panels look and feel as though they arrive as solid parts - such is the tension they’re under. The result of this is an exceptionally neat and clean-looking structure and that’s a good thing because this is the pond that seems to fit much better into a modern garden or patio design.
I don’t have a modern garden, which is why I opted for the rattan pond - but my brother does, so we chose to install the textaline model on his immaculate patio.
It looked wonderful. The sand colour we picked complements his house bricks so it fits in beautifully with its surroundings and, with its sharp angles, it lends itself well to having the odd colourful plant pot scattered around it.
It also comes with its own planting basket, just the same as its rattan siblings and its low voltage filter/waterfall setup comes with plenty of wire to help you find somewhere safe to plug it in.
Because this version stands on small round feet, it’s a little bit harder to hide the supplied underlay fabric that protects the thick liner, but a carefully executed attack with a Stanley knife soon had it looking its best.
Filled with water, and with the pump chucking a spray through your desired fountain attachment, it’s an absolute delight. That’s what I love about these ponds. They fit into any garden or even a conservatory or balcony and the sound of running water is absolutely blissful.
My pond, by the way, has settled in very well. We had a slight issue with algae because I unwittingly placed it in full sunlight but a fairly cheap UV filter attachment supplied by Blagdon soon sorted that little problem out.
We bought three plants, one of which has already flowered and we’ve also put six fish in, which are all happy and healthy.
We called our favourite two fish Andy and Murray after the Scottish tennis ace because we bought them on the day he won the Wimbledon Men’s Final.
It was a pleasure introducing my brother to the delights of pond ownership and he’s just purchased his own fish and plants - much to the delight of his two-year-old daughter, who now has to be dragged away from the pond’s port-hole window where she spends much of the day happily cooing at the ‘fiss’.
As I said before, I’d recommend the Affinity range to anyone. It’s a delightful addition to any garden, large, small, rustic or - thanks to the new textaline range - modern and contemporary.
It’s just a case of choosing the right one for you.