Okay, so Alissa wanted a bigger pond, with a waterfall, and I figured it should
have a pool above the waterfall so the water would gather some gravitational momentum
on its way over the brink. Besides, I had this grandiose vision of a long, meandering, babbling
brook... and I think Alissa did too. After much ambivalence, we started the project for real,
using a nice back hoe to rip up the grass & the clay on our little slope in the back yard.
I learned a little more about operating a backhoe that fine day. Stuff like,
hydraulics rule. Do not over-extend the bucket arm when dumping
laterally downslope, and always wear that seat belt in case you forget that last
little jewel. Yup. Learned alot, and got lucky, all in one day!
25 June, we started hand-shaping the pools. I built up the outsides of the pools and the spillway,
while Alissa cut shelves on the insides of the lower pool. She also solved the depth problem, plugging
the portal I'd dug to Nanking, China. We had to deepen the upper pool crater by about a foot, and excavate
a rectangular pit for the prefabricated waterfall box that came with the pond kit. Next day, the boulders arrived...
I think we received about 16 tons of rock. This was granite riprap, and it varied from
breadloaf-sized to gargantuan monsters of 400 pounds or more. Some was rose-colored,
some was a pretty, dark blue. The outer wall was easy compared to later lowering material into
the lower pool for the waterfall base. I nearly killed Alissa with one of these boulders (or maybe
I should say, she nearly killed me)! Probably would've been safer to have a beer-and-brats
barbeque with three or four muscle-bound dudes... oh, well. Next time! Then came the liner...
The liners, mostly rubber except for the babbling brook's spillway (vinyl), were heavy
and unwieldy. Eli and Taylor helped Alissa and I position them in the pools. I had to bond
the waterfall liner to the lower pool's liner, which is a complete pain! Whether we did it, or the
weather did it (I can't recall), some water settled in the bottom of the lower pool, which helped
to preserve Alissa's hard work of shelf-building. Mike Lee helped with digging a channel for the
return pipe, and Squeak helped out with the plumbing connections. Thanks, guys!
I was definitely losing steam after 3 weeks of spending my spare time on this project.
Alissa's brother offered his help, which freed me up from the niggling details of leveling
the flagstones on the waterfall. I shored up the inner retaining wall, while Alissa & Dan
sealed the base of the water feature. When the time came to begin filling the pools, Alissa
could hardly contain her enthusiasm. The heat of day transformed into a cool, overcast
afternoon. I kept placing rocks on the sides while Alissa & the boys had shoveled gravel.
When we fired up the skimmer, the powerful force of its pump lifted the whole box
from its berth. We had not properly rocked it in place. Dan & Alissa would take care of that
the following day. Alissa and the boys finished filling the "river beds" with river rock, and
Viola! A massive pond complex became fully functional, and the animals appeared!
Copyright 2011 EBBoykinJr
All Rights Reserved
Brown Benny, the 8th dwarf...