Done -- Sort Of

This is pretty much how it looks as I initially completed it. Nearly every weekend we are home, I do something else. Lots of it isn't visible to anyone but myself, but I'm constantly tweaking and fixing.

Finished pond looking toward waterfall

View of finished pond toward waterfall

The hardest part of making it look finished is hiding the edges of the liner and under-liner. Hopefully, the ground cover around the edges, plus the plants that hang over the edges will eventually fill in the gaps behind the stones ringing the pond and make it look more natural. That will take time.

The pump and filter housings are horrible, black plastic eye-sores. I plan on building a small deck over the pump housing along the side of the patio (left foreground in picture on left), however, have no real plan for the filter above the basins at the opposite end (very top of picture on right). Water has to come out of the plastic tray, so there isn't a lot more I can do other than to put a large stone on top and pile dirt around it up to the level of the tray.

When I installed the plants around the edge, I also set up a drip system to keep them watered. We had had some cheap, plastic Malibu lighting set up quite a while ago. We shouldn't complain as it lasted more than 10 years, but we took the opportunity to get a new 300 watt transformer along with 10 lights on posts, 5 spotlights (aimed into the water to catch the fish swimming) and two cane-shaped lights that shine down from above the basins on top. The effect at night is quite nice.

finished basins

Finished basins with large stone in middle

In the picture at right you can see the flow of water from the filter housing at the top of the picture, down a cascade to the left, across the large, flat rock in the middle and then the final drop-off into the main pool in the foreground. Had we had a real slope in our backyard, I'd have put the filter at the top and used the real topology to make the cascade. The higher you pump the water, the smaller the water flow. My problem with the pump I have is that the water flows so rapidly in the main pond that I don't think I can grow water lilies or other plants that like slow-moving water. More height would have helped and we'd still have had enough flow to oxygenate the water properly.

Initially, I had water lettuce, water hyacinth, duckweed and parrot feather, along with the plants that remain. The water lettuce and hyacinth started turning brown in the Fall and died. The fish dug up the parrot feather I planted, but a few strands continue to survive near the waterfall, growing only in water. The duckweed was sucked into the pump and was such nuisance I got rid of it. Recently, I added some iris and hawthorne, so we'll see how they do. And I purchased another water hyacinth to see if it will make it.

To keep the floating plants from drifting into the pump, I put stoppers in both ends of clear plastic tubes and anchored both ends under the edging rocks, looping the tubes into the water. I put the plants inside the loops, so they stay anchored and the thin, clear plastic doesn't show very much. Harry uses a hula hoop for some of his, but I didn't have enough plants and the hoop showed too much. Maybe this Summer I'll have a large enough crop that I can graduate to hula hoops.