Sunday, 1 February 2009

How to do things in the wrong order!

Having filled the pond up, we had a few minor(!) crises when we realised that:
1. we hadn't dug the stream out properly

2. we hadn't put the waterfall stone in

3. Himself was convinced the side walls of the pond were about to collapse at any minute

4. we had got a large amount of water lapping up against where we needed to work

NOT one of our better moments!

Himself had an "it's all doomed" moment and I had a major hissy fit, resulting in a brief but loud rant at poor old Himself along the totally non-PC lines of "thick people build ponds, it's can't be SO difficult, what IS your problem?!!!". I did apologise very profusely later on.

I then set about emptying the pond with a trug and chucking all the water on the veg patch. Himself, being the more sensible less volatile one, built a temporary holding tank on the lawn and drained the water into that instead until the water level was down to shelf level.

We bought some plastic coated corrugated panels (meant for roofs, I think), cut them to size, used a plank to fold the liners over and clear where we needed to work then put the pond sized panels in place and back-filled with soil.

Himself working a panel into place near the mouth of where the stream will be.

The plank holding the liners out of the way.

Himself then built a wall to rest the waterfall stone securely on. The poor love tried so hard to put straight lines into the pond, all of which I refused to have and promptly removed on the grounds that natural ponds don't have straight lines. His wall was the only straight bit in the whole pond - and it got covered up once the mortar was dry - but he was happy because he knows it's there!

I got busy digging out the route for the stream. The group of rocks in front of me with my red sweatshirt on are the island. The stream route meanders between the island and all the other rocks behind me. No straight lines for me!

The Nutty Gnome mid-action.

Himself putting the waterfall stone in place. We had aquired the stone from a friend's garden. It looked great because it had been shaped by something/someone to have a gentle sloping curve in the middle - ideal for water to trickle over and look like it had worn the stone away over the millenia. It was taken in and out several times to get the height and levels perfect. Unfortunately, on one move, it was accidentally dropped and cracked in half down the middle. Himself was mortified.

I went to the local stone yard and scrambled about on their rejects pile until I found the perfect new waterfall stone - for a quid! (A quid is £1 or approximately $1.60). Bargain!


gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I like your idea about the panel. We also did things in the wrong order. There are a few things I wish we did differently, mostly the waterfall. I think you'll be glad you went back and fixed what you didn't like now rather than later. I'm looking forward to seeing your finished pond (I bet you are too.).

Shady Gardener said...

Thank heavens you two were able to fix. Hopefully soon it will be finished and we can ALL enjoy! :-)
I'm admiring both your tenacity!!!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Catherine, hi Shady. Yes I'm very glad we went back and sorted things out too- we've realised from our house renovations that we always do things better second time around as we've learnt from our mistakes so, hopefully, everything should go a lot more smoothly when we do the bottom pond!

Shirley Landis VanScoyk said...

Nutty! Nice to meet you! And aren't you up early or up late? I did want a pond, but now I remember why - we are adding a 2500 ft addition to our farm house for my son and his family to live in - that's enough renovation for a while - I shall visit your blog again, because I want to see fish swimming in that pond!!! I am putting you in my blog list - feel free to put me in yours!

Shirley Landis VanScoyk said...

Ah - that is the Rodeo Princess, up there in her real world identity!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Shirley, good to meet you.I'd already added you to my list - fell in love with your blog!
It's 14.05 here - and it's snowing!!
Given the choice of my pond or your HUGE extension I think I'll stick with my pond - although having your family so close will be wonderful.
Please keep visiting - I will get to the point where I have fish!

Philip Bewley said...

Oh my goodness, I am so impressed by your efforts! I admire how you do not let a set back get you down but you keep on going! The "all is doomed" comment made me laugh because I have been in situations like these, which we laugh hilariously about later. It does not seem funny at the time, though. The waterfall stone! Oh my, it broke, but you found another! I think there are some great things to learn from in your experience. To do something big, like a Japanese pond with curvy lines take real effort. I admire how you have moved all these huge rocks, and when thing go not as they should you let off steam and keep on going. It has been a pleasure to follow the progress of your garden. Thank you so much for sharing it!
Very warm regards,

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Philip,
thank you for your lovely comments and I'm so glad you like what we're doing. It has been hard work - FAR harder than I ever envisaged, but I have loved it - even when I've blown my top! I can't wait for it to warm up/dry up a bit so that I can crack on with it again!