Posted by ngs123 | Posted in Generally Speaking, Past meetings | Posted on 24-04-2011
This month’s meeting was exciting and challenging, as none of us have ever built a pond start to finish before, but hey, how hard could it be, right? Well, surprisingly – not that hard!! Many hands do indeed make light work.
This little pond was going where a birdbath had been previously; a spot which had been surrounded by mondo grass, mostly because Nancy had run out of places to put the stuff, so why not around the birdbath? Rocks had been gathered earlier, and trucked via Honda Pilot to the site. A pond liner, pump and hose were purchased at Home Depot. The desire was for a smallish pond with a small waterfall.
Our first task was to dig out the mondo and wild violets, and then make a bigger hole. Suzi’s handy Honda tiller was called into service, and did a magnificent job. Much easier than digging a hole by hand!
Then we broke out the pond liner, and we all had a good, hearty laugh as we read that the expected time for completion of the project was two hours. Ha! There were four of us working on it, and we spent at least six on it start to finish. So I suppose if you had 12 people working on it you could do it in all two hours, provided you didn’t step all over each other in the process!
Getting the liner just right took quite a bit of time, as there is more of a slope in the area than we realized, and so one of the sides had to be built up to keep the water level even all the way across. We didn’t want water spilling out one side while the other side had liner showing. In fact, we wanted NO liner showing at all. So we brought in more dirt and back-filled until we got the level we needed. Then began the fun and challenging part – placing the rocks.
Rock placement makes all the difference in the look of a pond or waterfall. It needs to look as natural as possible, and as little like a rock pile as possible. No liner should show at all, which means slightly overhanging the rocks to conceal it.
In natural waterfalls, the large rocks are left at the top, and the smaller rocks get carried to the bottom, so what we wanted was a change in size from the back to the front, with the larger rocks in back, spilling to smaller rocks in front. The above picture shows where we were when we broke for lunch, which consisted of delightful sandwiches made of maple bacon, avacado and tomato on a whole wheat pita bread bun. Yum!
After a refreshing lunch, we returned with vigor to the job at hand. Finding the right stone to go in the right place at the right angle is more art than science, and lucky for us we are all very artistically inclined! Still it took many false starts and trials and errors to get it all just right.
Looking more like a pond, eh? The excess liner has been cut away, and the pump and hose have been set. Still, it needs something more….
Dirt covers the liner, and adding plants and pots integrates the pond into the surrounding landscape. There is a ledge inside the pond which will eventually hold some water plants, which will do even more to blend the pond into its surroundings.
Adding mulch around the plants gives the finishing touch to the project. We are all well pleased. See the startling change in the photo below!
Oh, there were doubters among us. Some who thought we couldn’t do it in one day, some who thought we didn’t have enough rocks, some who thought our expertise might be lacking, but by the end of the day we were all believers. We were amazed that we had done it, and done it so beautifully!
This was without a doubt one of the most satisfying projects we have ever tackled and conquered, and I suspect that there may be a small pond in the future of all the BYBz. This would have been hard, if not impossible, for one of us to accomplish on our own, but with the help and encouragement of all of us together, it was relatively easy and even fun! I have never been happier or prouder to be part of such a great group of friends/gardeners/women. Thanks, BYBz! Who knows what we’ll be up to next month in Suzi’s yard – stay tuned and you’ll find out!