Frog on pond's edge

Frog on pond's edge
I love watching frogs enjoying my pond

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Plan before you dig


What better time than winter to start a landscaping project, why not a pond?
That's exactly what I was thinking several years back, as I gazed out my patio door onto my snow-covered backyard. I started to envision a pond with perhaps a waterfall...
I've never been much of a planner, I love to just jump in and start a project with just an idea in my head and make changes as I go. But, this time I knew I needed to take the time and really make a plan and after all, what else could I do during winter.
After deciding on where the pond would be and a good idea of the size, I needed to figure out just what materials I would need and where I could get the best deals.
Of course, the internet is full of so many ideas - Pinterest alone is a great source for ponds and water feature ideas. I built my first pond long before I knew about Pinterest or even before I started using Facebook, in fact, I still had a flip phone at the time! (did you know Pinterest has only been around since 2010?)
I spent a lot of time, a lot, looking at pond sites and purchased a book from a local garden center.
"How to build ponds and waterfalls and much more..." The complete guide by Jeffrey Reid, TetraPress. Great photos and helpful diagrams.
Here's a list of materials I came up with:
  • Pondliner
  • Underlayment fabric
  • Pump(s)
  • Sand
  • Slat, Gravel, stones, rocks, boulders...
  • Plants (in and around your pond)
You can easily spend a few thousands on just a small pond as I did.
I'll go through the items and describe what and where I purchased them as best I can remember:
  • The pond liner is probably the most import item, other than your pump. I found that Doctors Smith and Foster not only had the best prices at the time they also are a great resource for information. I purchased a Firestone 45 mil flexible EPDM rubber liner.
  • Underlayment fabric is a very good idea, it will help prevent stones and roots from puncturing your liner. I thought I purchased the fabric at drsfostersmith with the liner but could not find it again when I checked their site recently. There are many different sources available for the fabric, its basically very thick black felt. To save money you can also recycle just about anything for the underlayment; cardboard, carpeting, carpet padding, burlap, landscape fabric or any fabric and any combination of it. You basically want a nice padding under the liner.
  • Pond pump - do your research. You need to know how big your pond will be and how much water you will be moving, are you going to have a fountain spray or are you do want a waterfall? I went with a Max-Flo waterfall pump 600 #PT8232, again through drsfostersmith. I would check out Amazon for comparison. I don't think I had an Amazon account back then either!
  • Sand is another good idea for under the pond beneath the underlayment. 
  • Slat, gravel, stones, rocks, and boulders for landscaping in and around your pond.  
  • Plants in and around your pond.
List of links:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Winter


Can't do anything during our winter months in Wisconsin
 but enjoy the beauty of ice and snow.
I don't have fish in my ponds but I am concerned about the frogs,
so I plan to install a pond heater next year to keep it from freezing solid.