Friday, September 24

Building a Pond: an alternative to gardening

The finished project.
Trying to keep a garden alive in the 105 degree summer heat is nearly impossible, especially when neither you nor your husband have a green thumb.

After a few months of coming home and seeing our pathetic weeds, we decided to do something to make our home have more ‘curbside appeal.’ That is when Ryan decided to build a pond. I was excited and all for it...until about a third of the way through building it when I realized just how much manual labor this was really going to be.

We started by digging our raised garden BY HAND. We fought through the roots and weeds that wanted to get in our way. There were over 25 wheel barrows full of dirt. It was insane! If we were to do it again, we definitely would have rented a mini back-hoe from Home Depot ($50 dollars a day).

After getting everything dug up, Ryan installed valve boxes to house the pumps. I am glad I married a handyman, I would not have known what to do. We had to buy the pump and filter, but we were able to make the bottom drains and water fall weir (by we, I mean Ryan).

Finally, it was time to put down the liner and start building our pond. Coming up with ideas on paper was the easy part, actually putting in the waterfall was not as easy as it seemed. We thought of plenty of ideas, but they all had at least one thing that would be trouble shooting. Our pond stayed green for about a month. We would go outside a couple of hours every day or two, but Texas was having the 110 degree weather spells, and it was just too hot. Our house was seriously the messiest one on the block, but we just couldn’t figure out what to do!

One weekend, Ryan and I went outside, and spent 10 hours each day and finally figured out what to do.

We went to buy some flat flagstone rocks, and we arranged them over 30 times, until we found the perfect way to do it! After setting it all up, we decorated it, but we just didn’t like it. The water wasn’t running well, and it just did not meet our expectations. All of the water was seeping into the cracks, only about a fourth was actually making it to the bottom of the fall.

After doing further research, we took everything down, and put in mortar to hold the rocks together.

After two days, when everything was dry, we put it together again, and we could not have been any
happier! It ran beautifully, and has such a wonderful, relaxing noise. Every night, my hubby and I go out there to relax and spend time together.

If you want to add a pond to your yard, our advice to you is:
  1. Before you start, know how much it’s going to cost you. Rock is anywhere from $.20/lb to $.50/lb, and you will need a lot of it. This is one place that Ryan and I failed. We did not budget more than $100 for rock, because who would think rock would be expensive?! Also, just the liner, pumps and filter depending on the size of your pond can be $300 to $1200.
  2. Make sure you have time set aside. Ours took us a month to do, and that is going outside everyday for a few hours.
  3. Have a truck to carry rocks in. 
  4. Be ready to spend every night outside listening to the peaceful sound of water flowing.
  5. Last but not least, be ready for a lot of visitors and compliments.

Ryan and Emily Fiscus
Two years ago, Ryan and I went out on our first disastrous, yet unforgettable, first date. Rather than us parting ways, we gave it another shot and are now newlyweds (just shy of being married six months). We keep falling more in love every day.  

We have beautiful home just south of the DFW metroplex and two very hyper three month old puppies that keep our lives interesting. We both stay busy during the week. Ryan is an HVAC technician working on owning the family business and I work as a school photographer, yet we still find time to update and ‘beautify’ our house. So far, we have done paint jobs, built fish tanks, made furniture and last but not least, built our beautiful pond.   

Life couldn’t be any better!

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