Well, I know DIY projects don’t always go as smoothly as planned, or envisioned, or dreamed up, but this one had some major bumps.
I am going to say we are finished! I am making that claim publicly. Woop, yes, for this season we are living with what we have, and I am happy for cool water to soak my feet, a small pond for my kids and dogs to play in, and the sound and sight of water in my garden.
Ocean started the hole, we finished it. We put down a pond liner, gravel, stones around the edge, filled it, and then realized that in our enthusiasm we made a major error. We got a bit to zealous and dug an awkward depth that was not quite shallow, and not deep enough to swim in. So everything came up, the hole was filled back in, and then everything set back in place again.
Done with that! Now it is shallow enough to walk in, and the dogs can lay down and cool off. BUT it is deep enough that my kids can float in their tubes.
The single stone edge wasn’t working, too much mud from the dogs and kids going in and out, so we made it a double row, with a patio and path area and it is working much better. Just seeded the seems so we will have grass growing around the rocks next spring.
Then came the ‘Waterfall Wars’. Holy bejeesus, just trickling water over stones into the pond, that’s it, that’s all I wanted. We put up and ripped out about three waterfall ideas, it isn’t what I really envisioned, there isn’t enough output or flow, and the rock ledges don’t come into the pond far enough. But after all of the bantering back and forth and the time we spent on this one little corner, it is good to go for the rest of the summer. Next year I will do something different. I think a babbling stream coming into the pond would be really cool!
The photo below was the first attempt, and it caused a huge uproar in our household. It was ripped out around sunset one night I hated it that much.
This is the one we will be living with until next year.
We bought and returned three pumps, and bio falls as well. This was truly trial and error. We settled on a smaller type pump for now so we don’t have ‘rapids’ going across the pond, and we decided to use a ‘spillway’ instead of a bio falls. Since we don’t have living plants or fish, we don’t need all of those expensive filters. The spillway is pretty cool and does distribute the water pretty well. I think If we do the creek into the pond next year, the spillway will create the ‘spring’ look coming out of the ground!
Ocean had so much fun with this project, she was out there keeping track of our progress all day. I think this was the happiest I have seen her in a long time!
Foaming the joints and packing them with gravel for a more natural look was Renn and Spores job. They were out there on maybe one of the hottest days of the summer, but never complained. Standing in cool water had to help!
And now we use it everyday. Every two to three days we empty the pond with our sump pump, and water all of our gardens. Then fill it back up with cold water. So far we are using less water to water than we did before, as we are only using what is in the pond, and of course our rain barrels.
Was it worth it? Yes, totally. It took longer than I wanted, and I think we still need to add some stones around the edges along the fence, but my kids and dogs are in it every day. My greatest pleasure was sitting at my kitchen table and watching rain drops come down on the water. I love that more than just about anything. So yes, totally worth it!
And the dogs love it, love it, love it!
Hope this helps if any of you are going to put in a dog pond! ~ Nancy
19 Comments Add yours
So awesome! It’s good to be a dawg:) (ok – your dog)
I can see you are already enjoying the pond, congratulations! 🙂
OH man I see one coming together here in Epping lol. JT needs to have a place of ZEN to chill so she can sooth those 7 1/2 year old tired legs from all her PLAY. I will soak my feet too as it does lower our body temp, I never feel the heat when I walk in the water along the coast.
Maybe after I trim back the garden flowers and before I shovel I can get the hole dug and spend the winter on the internet finding all that I would want ours to look like. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your project. I too love the way rain falls onto the surface of water just so calming. Enjoy the last of summer chillen by the pond!
Will be asking for your ‘expertise’ when we get ready for the front yard pond with a waterfall hopefully next year now that we have the front fully fenced.
Contrary to what Bill was saying when at your place earlier, the “duck pond” in the pasture is looking more and more like it will happen (Bill is now complaining about having to dump and refill the 2 kiddie pools each day – he gets to do it because I cannot lift the pool up enough to dump without creasing the plastic). Though I didn’t plan it like that will take whatever works to get the big pond where I can watch my ducks happily paddling about.
You know you are still welcome to a couple ducks to liven up your pond anytime (this is said with a grin because I can already hear your reply)
Enjoy your pond, it looked so great and inviting when we were there. 🙂
Wonderful!!!!! How heavenly that would be on a hot day!!!
Enjoy the last days of summer. Hope you guys are smoke free!!! Unfortunately, I’ll probably never have a pond because of Tulie’s need to pee in every body of water that she stands in. except for the bathtub when giving her a shower. Who knows she may pee then too and I just don’t notice!!!
Way to go, Nancy. It looks beautiful. Are your neighbors envious? I would be.
Very nice and apparent that the dogs are loving it! What a fantastic job you all did getting it constructed. Love the pictures of all the fun going on in the pond. Hugs and nose kisses
Those smiles say it all!
What a spectacular project. Epic wants to visit and I have “pond envy”! 😉
Really great looking pond! Only question, is the dogs nails an issue with the liner? I’m considering a dog pond, & wondering about the durability of the liner and what’s the best for A dog. I have 3 pups. P.s. Your little guys are adorable! =^_^=
we have gravel on the bottom, but the ‘pond skins’ are really durable, like car tire strength durable. I don’t think their nails would put a prick in it, and we moved those big stones in, slid them across and nothing. In hind sight, my husband said we just should have bough a galvanized horse trough and put that in as a liner. Maybe next year we will add an additional pool! 😉 Best of luck, Nancy
Hello Nancy, I found this post while searching for a way to transform a too-deep frog pond in our backyard into a nice wading pool for our 3 dogs. Everything you posted has shown me exactly how I want to do the bottom, but how are the pump recirculation hoses routed? Is there a low point pickup in the deep end of your pond? Thanks, Robert
Yes, but in the middle of the slightly deeper end. We put a small fountain head and stacked rocks around it. One of our dogs loves to stand in the fountain spray ❤ … Have fun!
I love your dog pond. How’s it holding up? Any hindsight ideas to improve? I’d love to build something like this for our two dogs to enjoy.
Saw another with concrete and built in pvc drain. Then you could clean it out easier. Any feedback would be appreciated.
a piper to drain and clean would be great and faster for sure – draining it with a sump-pump wasn’t bad and I could water our gardens so nothing was wasted really.
hindsight – I would have made it a slope with a much deeper end so my pups could learn how to swim at home
Have fun, I love the sound of water!