Wednesday, August 6, 2008

As The Pond Fills, Day Three

Monsieur Eduoard having come and gone with much less fanfare than expected, we were able to recommence pond renovation activities this morning. Justin arrived just after 8 with a load of moss rock and got to work arranging them around the pond. Within no time at all (compared to how long it would have taken me!), the pond looked like this:

I'm going to be very interested to see how I feel about my checkerboard path once the pond is done. The paths through the garden started out as crushed granite but the weed problem was horrific. I have two large concrete patios at the back of the house, both nearly square, and all the curves in the paths seemed to overemphasize that squareness. I hit on the idea of using 12 inch square concrete pavers, set on the diagonal from each other, and filled in with rock (they call the size I used river rock here). As I'd hoped, the square pavers tied the path and the patios together. I used iron sulfate to stain the white concrete pavers so they'd blend in with the rocks. I have a sneaking suspicion that once the pond is finished, I'm going to want to switch out the pavers with flagstones to make the path and the pond blend better. Then I'll be back to the problem of the un-hip patios. I'd dearly love to have those redone with flagstones, too, but I think Essence Man will balk at that.


Justin found some very cool moss rock and I am really happy with how he's used them. I only made one correction to his placement of the rocks and then told him to go ahead and mortar them in. Too often I get caught up in trying to make things just so ... experience has taught me that I'm usually just as happy with the results when I don't overthink the process.


Justin spent most of his morning mortaring in the rocks and this afternoon found him trimming the liner, adding some rocks around the edges, and creating planting pockets amongst the rocks. I'll plant those with some kind of ground cover to help soften the edges of the rocks, perhaps some type of thyme.

Tomorrow Justin will return with gravel to fill the bog area. I still haven't chosen plants for that area so that's on my to do list. Once the bog area is filled and planted, we'll be almost done! Justin has some spots he wants to fine tune, and the clean-up work to do, including a few more cuts to the liner. We might add a rock here or there ... we're still discussing whether to add a few rocks around the electrical box to further camouflage it. I might be able to get away without them if I plant judiciously.


I'm happily surprised by how much more substantial the pond is than I expected. I think it's due to the size of the rocks used ... I love the large flat stones at the front and on the left. I'll be able to stand or sit on those to feed the fish that will soon be calling the pond home. What kind they will be, I haven't decided. I want to consult the fine folks at Nelson Water Gardens first. It's too late for me to make a trip today but first thing tomorrow morning, that's where I'm headed!


10 comments:

Meadowview Thymes said...

Your pond is going to be so pretty! I wish I could pass-along some of my underwater grass and poppies to you! I am pulling them out weekly. I'll be anxious to see what you decide about the path. We had a flagstone with just sand--we now have a flagstone with mortar. A friend of mine has mondo grass between her stones. There are so many options!

Gail said...

Cindy,

It's going to lower the temperature in your garden to enjoyable when you sit on the flat rock to feed your fish! It looks great and I look forward to seeing your plant choices. Gail

Leslie said...

It is just beyond lovely... I'm having pond envy now...but will enjoy yours vicariously!

Carol said...

It looks great and I can't wait to see it with water in it and plants around it.

Now I want one!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lori said...

Oh, I like how he used that big flat rock in the front. It makes the whole thing look more natural. And it's gonna make a good place to sit and watch the fish. :)

Man, I really need to get off my butt and finish my own pond, but I'm really rethinking my prefab liner. Did you have problems with your old liner right away?

Cindy, MCOK said...

MT, I hope it will be as lovely in reality as it is in my head! I wish I could get some plants from you, too! I know what you mean about so many options. I probably should live with it a while before changing anything.

Gail, I'm thinking my planting scheme will be green and white to make it a very cool and inviting oasis.

Leslie, you could try a half barrel container water garden. It would certainly be easy maintenance!

Carol, you've got room in your garden, from what I remember. Go for it!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Lori, the liner stayed fairly level for the first 3 years, maybe longer. Houston area soil is notorious for its shifting and settling tendencies, and I suspect those are to blame for the heaving. That's not as much of a problem in Austin, is it? The other thing I didn't like about the rigid liner was how hard it was to camouflage the edges. I could never get the rocks arranged or plants around it to where it looked natural. I may have been expecting too much of it, though!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

The rocks are beautiful & the whole thing looks so good already. You do have a dilemma with the patio. Could you stain the concrete to better blend with the path & pond, or is the problem the squareness? If it's the shape, you could try to camoflage it by clustering pots in curves around the edges.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

It looks very nice, MCOK. I'm gonna love seeing it el finito. I don't know about the paths. I'm sure you'll get it all figured out.~~Dee

Lori said...

Cindy, you just solved my big nasty design problem for me!

I have really bad shifting clay soil too, and was also stymied about how to hide the edges of a prefab liner and worried about shifting, but felt that I needed the prefab for stability because about half of it is going to be surrounded by dirt going into a hill behind it, and the other half is probably going to be bricked in. As I was looking through your new pond construction pictures, I realized that if I use both a prefab liner and a regular liner, I can make the pond deeper, blend away the edges and make a natural waterfall, and create more stability for the walls all at the same time!

Thanks for this series of pond posts! I'm all excited about my project again for the first time in months. :D