Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Evolution of a Pond, Part 3

Fall 2007

The perennials look bigger, and the pond plants are quite big. The waterfall still has only tiny plants in it, though.

Umbrella plants grow way too fast. But water gardening is so easy that I can't believe I never tried it before.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Evolution of a Pond, Part 2 When You've Got a Lemon...

May 2006

I found a contractor to knock the bottom out of the pool. We added a lot of fill dirt, and for the last six inches, we used premium soil. I planted perennials in the bare space and covered everything with mulch.

Next the existing waterfall by the "wading pool area" had to be changed so it faced the soon-to-be-pond. Previously it had opened out to the swimming pool proper. It was a mortared water fall, so the pond contractor had to chisel the rocks apart and re-build it.

Lastly, the little pool had to be drained and cleaned up. A silicone compound was applied to the plaster to seal it off. That was done so that algae would be less likely to grow.

When the surface was ready, the pond was stocked with plants and a dozen mosquito fish.

Read my article Water Gardening: 6 Reasons to Add a Pond to Your Back Yard

May 2006

The next thing to do was to fill the pool in and find someone to build me a pond. I asked around among various swimming pool contractors, and found one who would do it for a moderate price although I hated having to absorb even this much.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Evolution of a Pond, Part 1

April 2006
Marital break-up, dreams soured, ambitious project gone bad.

Although the design of this small semi-DIY swimming pool was good in concept, the implementation didn’t work out very well. The preceding very dry year likely caused the ground to shift during the many months of construction, resulting in noticeable water loss due to the leaks in the stream bed of the big waterfall and hidden leaks in the smaller waterfall.

The designer of this system couldn’t decide whether he wanted a pool or a pond. Surfaces were all gunite and plaster, and the supports in the middle of the pool were meant to hold a pier or bridge eventually, giving the pool a “rustic look” that didn’t exactly go with the look of clear, chlorinated pool water. There was even a small, old-fashioned dog house ready to be perched at the end of the pier, assuming the pier was ever finished. The smaller pool area that looks like a kid’s wading pool was supposed to be a bog area with plants and a small circulating pump.

I couldn’t run the pool pump very much because of the leaks, so every week or two, I’d throw Pool Shock into the water. Upon consultation with an expert in pool leaks, it became obvious that I was going to be out considerably more money and time to locate and fix the leaks in the waterfalls and stream bed.

I can’t find the best words to convey the sense of disappointment and loss over the failure of such a big project as this pool. The sense of loss collided like so many accelerated particles with the many turbulent emotions surrounding the divorce. After crying for a day or so, though, I resolved to move on. Not necessarily to have every issue resolved, but just to make myself ready for the next steps.

After some prayer and thought, I decided to fill in my pool with dirt.

How was the only question.