Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Pond Rebuild Report

Every year I pick one or two projects to do around the house (and by "to do" I usually mean "pay someone else to do," although there are no end of things I do myself). This year it was the bedroom closet, which I posted about earlier, and the garden pond.

I actually built the pond myself, about 15 years ago when I first moved into the house. It was a pretty good job, if I say so myself, but it wasn't perfect, and man-made ponds don't last forever. It had already started going downhill in the last few years (the plastic liner was starting to crack, the water lilies had seriously taken over, and it was filled with sludge at the bottom) but last year's knee issue made it even harder to keep up with it, and pushed it passed the point of no return.

In theory, I could have rebuilt it myself, but A) the knee is still messed up, and not up to the task and B) OMG, those rocks are heavy! So I got a couple of stellar recommendations for a guy named Pat Ryan, a stone worker, and he spent five days taking the entire pond apart and putting it back together again. The end result was beyond my wildest dreams, and I consider it to be an investment in my mental health, because the sound of the waterfall is so lovely.

Here's a glimpse at the process.

This was what it looked like when we started. Not terrible, but clearly overgrown. That's Pat in the corner, planning what he's going to do.
What it looked like with the water and fish out. UGH.
 This was not a job for the weak of heart (or muscles). At this point, I was REALLY glad I'd decided to have someone else do it.

Emptying the last bits.

The few fish that were left were rescued and put into this big tub to wait for the pond to be done. The frogs evacuated on their own, and I'm still waiting for them to come back.

And so it begins.
 The old pond used a filter and fountain combo that sat inside the pond and were a pain to keep clean. Pat decided to build me a waterfall instead, to aerate the water better, with an external filter that will require a lot less maintenance.

Test fill to make sure it didn't leak.

Fountain in, plants back, almost done!

Pat was absolutely meticulous, even going so far as to build a surround to disguise the electrical post.

I treated myself to some new fish!

Here's the finished project. Isn't it amazing? I need to figure out how to upload a video, so you can hear the fountain. I love this so much. What do you think?

Ta da!!!!


  1. Very nicely done! I hope the (some) frogs return soon! Frogs are great!

    1. I love my frogs. I talked to them all the time. I hope they come back soon too!

  2. That's gorgeous! We're considering a pond in our yard and it's always nice to see people enjoying theirs.

  3. For some things enthusiastic amateur work is fine, but I think you were wise to call in the pro. Not only does it spare your body wear and tear, but pros know all the big and little stuff that makes for a successful, long lasting and great looking end product.

    Wishing you and the amphibians much enjoyment at your pond.