๐ŸŒŠ Pond Fever II ๐Ÿ‘ทโ€โ™€๏ธ

There is a natural rock cave there in the distance, I thought it would be a good place for a pond.
Same picture different focus: A damsel fly my daughter rescued on a knott weed flower.
Digging the front section of a pond, intending a very shallow and easy reflection pond.
I was checking for room to put a bridge through in the future, and planning to put the pump in back.
I decided to use the soil to form an island, the gravel to make paths in the back, and continue to the rock cave to “save money” by having one pump instead of two.
It took a lot of digging, because stones were everywhere and I had to haul the gravel out of the site, which didn’t have space on the pathway, nor lawn. Rather than just dump it I put it into a looping pathway, which sometimes meant moving trees or piles of weeds ext.
I was going to skip shelves and have a very shallow pond, but shelves do provide more stability and room for plants… so I did more digging to get some shelves and reversed my plans to have the pump by the cave to instead have it by the path, which meant changing the slope to get deeper by the path.
The hay helped give some stability to the loose gravel.
I sized and folded the big liner to minimize where the folds would trap debris.
I poured some mortar I had laying around from a few years ago, it was very lumpy… but using some landscape edging helped me keep it straight and clean up the shape of the shelves. This bond board lets you use heavier stones in a more stable way.
I put an underlayment of old cardboard and hay under the liner, then the liner, than some old blankets, the started placing some rocks to put pressure against each other to provide stability.
I added more rocks, 100 hand loads at a time (maybe 10 small rocks, or 2 medium or 1 large), and made a heart shaped pond in the top right. I added pond foam for security as well as backfilling with tiny stones and gravel. The pond foam is difficult for me.
We got some Mondo Grass (yay) and I put in more rocks and more foam…
Working on moving the water feature pump over, routing the electrical under the path, routing 1″ tube to the hill and 1/2″ tubing to the small heart shaped pond.
Defined the shelves of the middle pond and poured mortar into the second section using landscaping edging again.
Placed cardboard and paper bag underlayment with some scrap foam from my daughter’s new desk (upcycled trash) and the liner, than an old gray blanket and started the rocks.
Dug a shallow trench hid the plumbing and electrical together, put batteries in the LEDs, set up a fog maker near the cave, routed the electrical and plumbing under the pathway, planted the avocado tree, moved the mondo grass over a bit and kept adding rocks and gravel into the lower and middle pond.

There were times I wanted to give up, but buying the supplies kept me going, I wanted to finish using the parts I already had and though it was a lot of work I didn’t want to leave it half done.

Today is Saturday, I hope to do an entire section tomorrow, the top section where the waterfall box will sit. I haven’t dug that, even though I did mortar a section, I need to dig the center out of the mortar, form a shape, place the liner and underlayment, place the water fall spillway, build a box around the spillway, check the waterflow of the top pond and the waterfall, and fill in a few gaps in the rocks of the middle pond.

I’d like to leave Monday for clean up and Tuesday to pick up my dad from the airport, but time will tell how long it will take me to place all the rocks…

I cut my wrist early on when a bucket of gravel slipped and the plastic rim caught me, it was okay, I mixed mortar without gloves, and smoothed gravel, tiny holes appeared on my hand, I put a lot of Vaseline on my hands since then and wore gloves the second mortar pour, it was okay, I fixed the pump of a different system and cut myself on that on my fingers, it was okay, but I don’t have time to stop and still make my deadline.

My kids drew on the wall with a metallic adult marker one day (and the both dogs), two days later with a black sharpie, and my son threw our cell phone into the koi pond… so there is a price to pay.

Overwhelmingly I enjoyed the work and found it more fun than lifting weights and more relaxing than watching movies. Usually I hate my own work, but I actually like the way my rock placement is coming out and I’m happy with it. I watched a lot of pond making videos and Japanese landscaping videos and researched Shinto and it’s influence on the meaning of the garden, when I was too tired to work I was reading or watching.

The world’s best Japanese garden outside of Japan, the gardener was stabbed out of racism and he vowed to never return.
A Japanese how to show, it shows many construction techniques I may try in the future, but I was watching to get an idea of how to do the pathway around the pond, which is small. In Japanese gardens the paths tend to curve, it was believed evil spirts walk straight lines, but in modern times it’s like an invitation to slow down.

To Be Continued…

โ›๏ธ

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