Thursday, July 12, 2012

Burning Ring of Fire (aka The Tiki Pond Project)

I've mentioned a few times lately about the pond project we've been working on. Well, it's time to show it off! It's about 95% done, with only a few small things left to do, so here it is.

We had been talking about putting in a pond for years. We always wanted a water feature for our yard (I made a patio fountain last year, but that was a tiny project) and love fish and frogs, so figured we'd do it eventually. My son Jayson really started pestering for it this spring, so we got started on it Father's Day weekend.

We had a nice flat spot in our yard just below our existing patio area that was a good location. While it may look like the whole family helped, really it was just Jay and Jayson that did the digging- all by hand. Jayson really helped a lot and he deserves as much credit as anyone for getting it done.

Here it is all dug out. At this point we needed to put in a liner. Problem was, Jay did not have any sort of plan (which is typical, isn't it?) for the shape of the pond, and dug it out without planning based on available liner sizes. So we had to order one off the internet in a custom size after the hole was in the ground. You can only imagine what that might cost to ship, since it weighed almost 75lbs.... Thankfully we didn't have any rain before the liner arrived.

With the liner in, we had to build up the side with rocks to create the waterfall. That was more difficult that in might seem, because we don't have a lot of large rocks laying around. And they are surprisingly very expensive to buy from a landscape place. So we went down the road and asked a guy that has an excavating and topsoil business if we could have some off his refuse pile. He agreed and it worked out great, except for the 10-12 trips the boys had to take with my small car's trunk filled with rocks (#@#%!) The waterfall box and tubing we got for free from a guy Jay knows with a pond- he wasn't using it and gave it to us.

We added a small seating area with leftover pavers we had from the original patio. I also pulled some aquatic plants out of a nearby boggy area in our neighbor's field to get things started. The boys took a net down to a nearby farm pond and brought back some native fish as well.  A pond is not cheap to put in, but we tried to be as thrifty as possible (except for the liner deal!)

We ended up ordering a second pump for a fountain because we were having an algae problem. I guess this is common in new ponds, but once the pump with the fountain and UV light was running, it cleared up. We also got a truckload of river rock to fill in the area around the patio and pond. We added some landscaping plants that we divided from others in our yard, like hosta. And last week, the fabulous MaryDeluxe, a pond pro, came for a visit and brought us some water plants out of her pond. They all look great now!

I added a couple of tiki touches, like the torches and plastic flamingos. The new pump also came with an underwater light which we put a red lens on to look like a volcano. I think this really looks cool at night and will be on the hunt for some outdoor tiki statues now!


  1. The pond looks fantastic. I put one in at my last house, so I know how much work is involved. (And then a raccoon ate all my koi!)

    The tiki touches are really a lot of fun. I'm sure your family will really enjoy having the pond. It's so restful to sit out at night and listen to the waterfall.

  2. This is so awesome. I'm jealous. I hope that once we buy a house I'll get a swimming hole/pond in the back yard. I really want to get some fish too.

  3. Great job, lookin good!

  4. Looks great! Nice work fellas! Glad the plants have settled Sept that lemon balm plant will be huge.

    Sgt and I will be over for the Luau!

  5. Amazing work! I can just imagine how hard it was moving all those stones.