Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pond Construction -Part Three

Over the past week we have been busy collecting rocks, digging the trench for the electric wire, and working on creating the waterfall. This part is quite time consuming! I'm soooo glad the kids are doing this!!

We can't thank enough, the parents of my son's girlfriend for so generously allowing us to collect the rocks we needed for the waterfall from their old farm stone wall. The stone is natural rock from our area and aged to perfection! This turned out to be a real treasure since many of the rocks were covered with moss, which I just love!! The boys worked hard to carefully sort through the stones on the wall to make sure they picked out an assortment of sizes without disturbing the integrity of the wall. We decided to name the waterfall after this wonderful family!

We had to make several trips to get the stone because of their weight. During one trip the boys worked in a heavy down pour, determined to finish the job! Looking like two drowned rats, I just had to bake them some warm chocolate chip cookies when we got home!

Once we had all the stone laid out' we decided it would be easier to work on the waterfall with some of the water emptied from the pond. The next morning, we found a little frog sitting on a flat rock in the pond looking like he was ready to move in- but wondering what happened to the water! For now, we had to move him away from the pond so the boys didn't accidentally step on him while working! Hopefully he'll stick around until the pond is completed ---- I think he'll be very happy!

After digging a trench for the waterfalls and stream, approximately 18" wide and 8-12" deep, it was lined with newspaper and a rubber liner like the pond. The boys began placing large stones for each of the four steps that drop into the pond. It's important to get the rocks in the proper position so they look as natural as possible.

Once the large stones were in, they built up the sides of the stream and waterfall using a variety of stones, always trying to face the moss side out so we can enjoy it! Large rounded river rock was used to line the bottom of the waterfall pools.

Now it was time to seal the sides of the stream and waterfalls with a foam sealant especially made for ponds. (non-toxic to fish and wildlife) This is to seal any water from going under the stones, forcing the water to run over the rock steps. (In the picture to the right, you can see how they sealed the cracks between rocks.) Use the foam sparingly, it seems to grow to twice its size! Luckily it can be shaved down once it's dry! Needless to say, the boys were a bit heavy handed and we went through several cans of this foam!

We bought Japanese Garden Stone to line the perimeter of the pond. They are a very similar color to our local rock and quite flat, which makes it easy to lay.

A level was used to help keep us on track as we moved along the pond. Soil and small stones helped us to adjust the stones where needed. My son transplanted some of the moss from the shady areas of our lawn, and put it in between the stones, this will be a work in progress as we search for moss!

We bought a pump that was powerful enough to pump the amount of the water we have in the pond up the slope to the waterfall filter and spillway. To figure this out you need to know how many gallons your pond has (length x width x depth) and the vertical height of the waterfall ( pond surface to top of waterfall)
Most of the pumps will say how many gallons and vertical height it will pump on the box.

We still have alot of fine tuning and little details to do on the pond. Plants need to be replanted around the pond once we know we've conquered leaks here and there! It's beginning to shape up!

We couldn't resist adding some water plants. Our frog came back and quickly became king of the pond as he floats around on the water lettuce!
The kids named him Kermit!

Today we had 10 crows trying to figure out how to drink from the pond! Six of them were bathing in the shallow end all together --wish I had my camera handy!! I can't wait to watch the wildlife beginning to discover this new found jewel in our backyard!

Check back soon for the completion of our pond!

1 comment:

Pretty Whimsical said...

Oh, I love your waterfall! I would love to have one in my yard--with a little froggie too! :)