Dave’s dad likes ponds. He put a pond in the backyard of the house where Dave grew up.
We got a small man-made pond when we bought our house. It was at the edge of a slate patio in the back yard, ringed with a kind of perplexing boxwood hedge that blocks the view of the pond from the house. The pond is a graceful figure eight shape. It has aqua concrete walls, cracked now. It was lined with black plastic, held at the edges with loosely placed (unstable) slate tiles. It’s funny, looks like I didn’t photograph it except from afar (see left).
The pond was the project Dave spent the winter planning. In the early spring, Dave pulled up the black pond liner, finding several garter snakes nestled into the cracks in the cement underneath the liner. We suppose they overwintered there…!
Under the black liner was a clear indication that the pond had previously been fed by a spring coming out a few feet north of it. The spring came out of a pipe, from somewhere near our foundation (or from the other side of our foundation).
If we reinstated the flow through the pond, instead of a stagnant pool full of water striders, leaves, and a few frogs, we could have something more lively and fresh. And, we’d get to engineer a waterfall.
The planning began. Dave’s dad Nate, similarly inspired, booked a trip to visit from out east. Dave worked to get the end of the spring pipe excavated so that the pond work could begin in earnest once Nate arrived.
Nate and Dave chipped away the concrete edge where they wanted the waterfall and created the waterfall and streambed using pond liner, river rocks, and rocks from the garden. They endured a false start where they filled the pond and it started leaking back up along the piping, re-designed the flow into the pond, replaced the liner, and finally got to enjoy the waterfall after three days work and many trips to the hardware store. My contribution was putting in my calla lily and voodoo lily bulbs near the spillway. Otherwise, I did other weeding and garden work while Nate and Dave reconfigured the pond and the liner and the piping..
We watched the water flow into the pond this afternoon with our neighbors, and then once the pond had filled, we watched the overflow start to spill down the waterfall. There’s still work to be done – pond lining to trim, slate to arrange at the edges, landscaping to do, mulch to spread, and weeds to pull, but it’s flowing nicely across the pond and down the rocks and then back into its old streambed. Cool!