I’m in love! We now have our long-awaited garden pond that totally transforms our backyard! An amazing pond designer drew up the plan several months ago and we waited patiently. Our installation date on their schedule finally arrived and I’m bursting with joy over the new addition to our household!
The super-talented crew turned our hot mess of patchy grass, weeds, and beat-up sidewalk into a beautiful garden pond that’s the focal point of the backyard. That’s Muffy in the lower left corner of the picture below – she’s one of three feral kitties that we feed.
Goodbye weeds and grass. Hello beautiful water garden!
I work for the company, Aquascape Inc., that installed my pond so I completely trusted them with this project. Brian Helfrich, the guy without a hat in the picture below, is Vice President of Aquascape Construction – our installation division. He’s a creative genius when it comes to working with water and envisioning how a water feature can work into the landscape. He came to our house in April to draw up the design. I told him to do whatever he wanted.
Building the Garden Pond
A few weeks ago, the crew arrived early in the morning and started digging the hole. It took them two hours to completely excavate the pond area and remove the grass.
Shelves are created when excavating the pond and can be used to place aquatic plants at various depths. Adding shelves to the pond also creates more stable walls for the structure.
The biological filter, also known as the BioFalls, is the start of the waterfall and is positioned directly under my bridal wreath bushes. The skimmer, which you see to the right in the photo, isn’t yet placed but it was located across the pond, opposite the BioFalls. This creates a sweeping effect of water across the pond which helps with aeration and filtration. The pump is placed in the skimmer and feeds water through underground flexible pipe that leads to the biological filter. The pumped water pushes up through the biological filter, thereby creating the waterfalls.
Dirt from the pond is used to create a berm on one side of the hole. The berm creates the necessary height for the waterfall.
Once the pond is fully excavated, an underlayment is positioned to hug the shelves and cover the entire bottom of the pond. The underlayment protects the liner from getting punctured by any sharp rocks in the dirt.
With the underlayment in place, the guys can spread the fish-safe EPDM liner.
With the liner in place, it’s time to rock in the pond. One and a-half tons of granite rock was used on my pond. This is when the magic happens! Rock placement can make or break the look of the pond. The goal is to use a variety of sizes to create a natural look. Large, medium, and small – along with smaller river rocks for the very bottom.
Before the guys place the rock, they wash them in a holding tank. My grandson stopped by after his nap to watch the crew finish up. He loves the pond!
After the rock is placed in the pond, the waterfall is constructed. At this point, it’s really hard to wait for the guys to complete the job. Along with the pond, Brian’s landscape plan calls for a deck to be built to the left of the pond so that it covers the sidewalk and looks like it’s hanging over the side of the pond just slightly.
It took about 8 hours for the Aquascape Construction crew to transform our backyard with an amazing ecosystem pond. Ecosystem – meaning that it’s a naturally balanced, low-maintenance pond with fish and plants.
I made sure I had their favorite beer on hand at the end of the day. They deserved way more than that, though! They’re not just pond builders … they’re truly artists!
Enjoying the New Pond
After the guys left, I sat with my feet in the pond staring at the waterfall for about an hour. It was hard to fully take in what had just happened. Flower beds and plantings are pretty, but there’s just something so special about a garden pond. The sound of the waterfall is soothing and watching the fish swim about is so relaxing. I felt like I had just been given a wonderful gift.
Hubby and his friend started installing the deck a week after the pond went in. We still need to stain it and once it’s done, I’ll reveal that part of our backyard transformation.
The south end of the pond has a pebble beach for the kiddos. The water here is about two inches deep and has a tiny waterfall of its own.
I started adding aquatic plants to the pond to assist with filtration of the water. Aquatic Forget-Me-Not is at the top of the photo. If you look carefully you’ll see its tiny flowers. The plant beneath that is a houseplant that craves moist soil so I planted it at the edge of the pond and it’s doing beautifully. Water Lettuce is in the lower right corner. It floats on the surface of the pond with its roots dangling in the water. The fish like to nibble on the roots.
I love my new garden pond! I’ve been busy planting around it. The goal is to soften the rocks with greenery and color. I’ll share more about that on another day – along with pictures of the fish.
Here’s the original drawing of the backyard transformation plan. Next on the list is creating a pea gravel patio with a pergola over it. I hope to get that done next month.
If you’ve considered adding a pond, waterfall, or fountain to your yard – I encourage you not to wait. You deserve to enjoy it now! And if you need a good professional to install it, you can use the Aquascape pond builder locator to find one in your area.
And if you have any questions about the pond, just post it below!