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