Frannie's Blog

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Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
I look for beauty and truth in everything. It's not always there of course but I try to find it or make it happen. I love people who make me laugh.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Waterfront Property

Last evening I was sitting by our pond, enjoying its zen-like serenity, and I thought, "here's a great show-and-tell opportunity for my blog." So here it is, my own first hand account of how to build a pond. (Or how we built OUR pond) There are lots of books and on-line advice on the subject as well. It would be good to consult them too if you decide to do it.

Like everything else location is the most important thing. As you can see our pond is small but can be seen from inside the house as well. The trees on one side afford afternoon shade. Too much sun (all-day) can cause problems with algae growth, though that hasn't been a big problem in this part of the country this summer so far. Also there's almost always a breeze where we sit.
The actual digging of the pond was quite easy; I did it after George removed the sod and discovered it was all sand so it cut like butter. Another factor influencing our choice of location was that it was the site of an evergrowing ant hill. The ants have subsequently relocated to the perimeter. Persistent little buggers.
When you dig a pond you should make it 30 to 36 inches deep with 'shelves' around the edge to support border plants. Waterlilies can be planted in the deep part and will overwinter, as will most of the fish. Unfortunately we have found a few dead frogs who didn't make it. (Frogs eat insects but we've seen a few eat a bee and get stung in the windpipe and die.) Toss in a few oxygenating plants like elodea and your pond will have a healthy ph balance. Oh yes, you must install a rubber/vinyl liner. The preformed ones don't go very deep so I'd advise a sheet. Make sure the liner overlaps the edge of the pond, hold it down with rocks and plant things around it.

From the road you can't see the pond as the land slopes down slightly. This is a huge safety plus. You don't want little kids wandering in out of curiosity.

It's important to have a power outlet near the pond so you don't need too much extension cord to reach the pump. The cord is dug under a shallow trench and camouflaged by rocks at the entry point. Also there's an indoor switch to control it, quite handy.

Here you can see the little filter which needs to be cleaned out occasionally. I'm hoping more plants will soon cover this inelegant piece of hardware.

This low-tech brass fish with plastic tubing through its belly makes a good splash and energizes the fish who like to swim against the current. We have to make sure the spout is always aimed into the pond, otherwise the water would be pumped out and bye-bye fishies.

This is not our pond. It was built by our next-door neighbour who took lessons and built this beautiful professional-looking pond complete with waterfall and a much bigger filtering system. Yes, he built his first. The sound of his waterfall was so enticing that we decided to start digging.

The waterfall babbles over the stones before continuing into the pond.

This pond is bigger, therefore the fish will grow bigger. These are the young ones from last year, already turned orange. Ours are still blackish and not as big. It's a mystery of nature how fish know how large to get, depending on the size of their pond.

Ponds can provide a lot of inspiration.


Ronna said...

I love your pond! Gorgeous!!

frannie said...

You're welcome to come for a sit (and visit the kittens too)

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

I love your pond and your lily pads. I have been trying to convince my husband to put in a pond but he is convinced our yard if too small for one. So I am showing him this nice smaller sized one and crossing my fingers!

How are the kittens...keeping you busy?

frannie said...

You don't need a huge property for a pond. Ours is only about 5'x6'. (the pond, that is!)

The kittens are a delight, climbing, bouncing, shredding...

Knatolee said...

These are great! Your brass fish is very cool and the painting is lovely.

frannie said...

My Dad bought that fish for us when we were in Chemainus & had our 1st pond, so it's a family entity.

(Glad to hear you're joining our hanging group next year.)

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