Sunday, May 9, 2010

In Which the Pond Finally Freaking Works

Duck stands proudly astride functioning waterfall above (mostly) level pond

You may remember that we had a great deal of difficulty finishing off the pond. We dug it, sanded it, carpeted it, lined it, and filled it, only to discover that when the water was at the very edge on the east side, it was still 10 inches from the top on the west side. It seems we have a little sloping problem, which we had somehow never noticed before.

Fixing the problem necessitated building a levee on the low side, draining the pond, removing the rocks, shifting the liner, and re-filling the pond. This took a while, but this weekend we finally got it done and miraculously level-ish.

Let's pause a moment to bask in it: ahhhhhh...

Isn't it nice? And the soft splashing sounds all moist and cool and fertile. And it's BIG.

We've even put in our first water plant, a dark indigo Louisiana iris called 'Full Eclipse.'

(See bottom right of pic below.)

Louisiana iris in the pot in the bottom right corner

As you can see, however, the whole thing still isn't done. Matt got the waterfall running again this morning, and he began placing rocks around the edge, but we have a LOT of rockwork left to do/buy.

The really difficult bit is figuring out how to get the horizontal rocks on top of the levees to stay put. Since they're sitting on top of rubber liner, I don't think mortar or glue will work. My folks were in town today, and Dad (the engineer) recommended that we rest long, narrow rocks on the underwater ledges, and set the horizontal rocks on top of them. You obviously wouldn't want to step on this arrangement, but that's probably as secure was we're going to get. I wish I knew how other pond makers solve this problem.

You can see around the waterfall that Matt had kind of tentatively begun doing that. But of course, it will require buying one whole hell of a lot more rock. Not a project we will be finalizing anytime soon. But really, what is "final,"anyway? Nothing's ever done until it's dead, right? By which measure, our entire property is positively luminous with green and vibrant life.

Vertical rocks resting on the underwater ledge; horizontal rocks resting upon them

But even in its infant state, I think this pond contains much awesomeness, and I'm just itching to get some waterlilies and a lotus or two--oooh! and a Thalia!--to provide even more awesomeness.

On other topics, I'm throwing in some more pix of oak-leaf hydrangeas because I've waited so long for these to bloom, and they look so very pretty. In the picture below, you can see the difference between the (unnamed) Peckerwood cultivar on the left and the (unnamed) Great Outdoors cultivar on the right. HUGE difference. Caveat emptor.

Cultivar from Peckerwood on left; from Great Outdoors on right

And one more pic, just for the sheer joie de vivre of the thing. You may be wondering, "what's with all the fuzzy ivory stuff behind the flowers?" Interestingly, those are the actual fertile flowers. The showy bits that look like flowers are infertile pseudo-flowers with bracts instead of petals. Bizarre arrangement--not sure where Mother Nature was going with that one, but I suppose there must be some good reason for it.

So much pretty...


Katie said...

Whoa! The pond looks so awesome! And didn't Walt Whitman keep revising Leaves of Grass, even after it had been published? Good luck with the next phase(s).

Bob said...

I had the rock problem with ours when we built it. I was lucky and found the perfect solution. Use the expandable foam. Put a layer on the liner and smear the rock into it until it's in place. Let dry and it is rock solid. [pun intended] I even used it to glue rocks to the side of the liner to cover some exposed places. Going on eight years and they are still there. One word of caution, don't get the foam on clothes as it never comes out. What am I saying, it's impossible to use with out getting it on your clothes. Wear old clothes you work in. It's some serious sticky stuff.

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