Monday, 30 March 2009

Building the waterfall and stream last!

I'm bone tired, I've got mysterious bruises all over my legs, my hands don't want to work properly and my get-up-and-go has completely scarpered. It must be Monday morning!

Why do I never learn? Why don't I stop shifting soil, moving rocks or whatever half an hour before exhaustion sets in, rather than just after?!Why do I continue to delude myself that I have the fitness and energy levels of a 22 year old when every Monday my body tells me otherwise?!

ANYWAY! Enough of feeling sorry for myself - it was totally self-inflicted and does not deserve sympathy, SO, back to last summer.......waterfall and stream building, yeah! The summer of '08 was not the best British summer we've ever had! It tipped it down a lot of the time - but there were some good days and we grabbed them with both hands.

Before the waterfall stone could be put in place I had to dig out the stream route so that Himself could see the angle the stone needed to be set at in the pond side. My red sweatshirt is on the main island stone. The stream will curve round behind the island before curving back towards the right to flow down to the bottom pond.

Himself was allowed to build ONE straight wall in the pond - which was to be under the waterfall stone and, therefore, completely hidden!

The water in the pond was held back by one of our chunky wooden beams which was long enough to reach right across the pond and to have the butyl liner and fleece liner draped back over it. The light grey fabric is the fleece liner. It was all kept in place by a couple of random bits of stone carefully plonked on top!

Himself had replaced the original waterfall stone after it had broken in two after being accidentaly dropped when being moved. The photo below shows the original stone, with its nice curved shape - but, apparently, it was a pig to place and get level........ Hmm, was the breakage really an accident?!!

There are no photos of Himself laying the new waterfall stone as I was off doing something else at the time, so wasn't around to take photos!

Once the stone was levelled to Himself's wonderfully perfectionist standards and satisfaction, it had to be tested to check that the water would flow evenly over all its width. Himself and the ever magnificent Pete roughly laid both liners down the stream bed and into the bottom pond, which was then filled by hosepipe until there was enough water to be pumped up to the fill the top pond whilst still leaving a decent level in the bottom pond. (You can tell from the description who worked out all the technical details like flow rate etc - and it wasn't me!)

The new posh German pump was turned on and we stood with baited breath as the top pond water level slowly rose and began to trickle smoothly and SO evenly over the waterfall and into the stream bed. Shouts of joy (me!) and amazement (Himself!) could be heard across Chesterfield.
Pete just laughed at us!

The water looks brackish because it had been sitting in the pond for several weeks with no filter system and there is reflected light from all the trees that surround it, but it wasn't quite as bad as it looks in the photo - honest!

The water then burbled, gurgled and flowed its way merrily down the proto-stream until it finally fell into the bottom pond for the very first time. I was well giddy by this point and nearly toppled into the bottom pond in my excitement!

Another excellent weekend's work!


gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I bet you are glad to have gotten more done! It's always a little nerve wracking to see if the pump will work. You're getting there, won't be long til your relaxing by your dream pond!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Catherine - I dream of relaxing on the veranda of the tea house ( gin and tonic in hand)whilst I plan my next 'little' project! I can hear Himself groan from here!!!

Anonymous said...

Its fun watching it all come along from across the world. I can remember when I was working on the pond in Winthrop. There were thousands of rocks to work with, but each seemed to know where it wanted to be set into the scene.

Have you got dozens of plants and vegetation thought out for both inside and outside the pond? It's like building an entire world from scratch.

camellia said...

Admittedly, it has a way to go before it'll outwit the Niagara, but what an achivement! And I do understand you joy (and forgetting the back, the arms and the rest of an aching body). Well done, eagerly waiting for the next step.

Nancy said...

There is nothing better than the sound of water flowing. Congrats on a job well done!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Like all gardeners, you probably keep working until your task is done OR it's dark! Sorry, I didn't realize we're in "real time" now--somehow I thought the pond was already finished. Good progress, though!!!!

Anonymous said...

What an adventure! Ponds can seem to take for ever, and then one day, poof its done! And before you know it you will be planting all sorts of wonderful things around it, and filling it with fish!

Nutty Gnome said...

Bernie - you're right, some stones just call out to be set in certain positions to be 'right'!

I've got some planting done, but I've got loads of plants outside my back door waiting to be planted once the tea house is built - I'm a bit worried that the taller bamboos and grasses might get clonked by wooden beams and boards as we build, so I'm keeping them safely out of harms way - even if it does mean a walk through a jungle to the back door!

Camellia - ha ha, Niagra it ain't! but I suspect we have nearly as many stones!!!

Nancy - you're so right about the sound of running water. It's so soothing to the senses. Glad you like where we've got to so far - I can now see the end in sight. Not bad for a little job I thought would take a few weeks three years ago!!!

Hi Monica - sorry for the confusion. The top pond and most of the stream is finished. The moans were in 'real time' for all the preparatory work for the tea house that we did this weekend - shifting barrow loads of top soil and subsoil from where it'd been dumped when we dug the pond out! One day we'll learn NOT to put stuff where we'll only need to move again in the future!

Stacey - I've just been reading your post on meditating at waterfalls - wonderful! I'm hoping my garden will give me the same kind of serenity. I've got plants in and around the pond now, but I'm holding off on the waterlillies and fish until the tea house is done - the front legs of the tea house will stand on the bottom of the pond to support the veranda which will project out over it. I can't wait!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I hear you, about stopping before exhastion sets in. I guess it is just in us gardeners to ignore the tiredness, and push through it. After all, tomorrow is another day right?


Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Jen - yes, you're right about tomorrow being another day, but Mondays continue to follow Sundays and it can be soooo hard to get out of bed some Monday mornings!

We're out for a meal with friends next Sunday evening, so I won't get chance to wear myself out - unless I end up trying to cram the same amount of work into the shorter hours!!!

HappyMouffetard said...

Wow, here's to hoping that one day you'll actually get to sit down and relax in your garden!

joey said...

Yes, another excellent weekend's work! I would be giddy also ... By the time I finish reading your posts, I'm huffing & puffing and massaging my joints :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi HM - I know what you mean about relaxing in the garden - one day! We did have our first picnic lunch in the garden on Sunday, does that count?!

Hi Joey - my family do laugh at me for my exuberance at times, but the joy of the first water down the stream was too much to contain!

I have to confess that, what with the clocks going forward AND all the hard labour at the weekend, I have struggled with my energy levels a bit this week - still, I'll have recovered by Saturday!

Gem said...

Oh - water is flowing - that is very exciting!! It is looking very special.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Gem, nice to see you again - I'm glad things are improving for you at home. It's good to see new shoots emerging from the fire damaged ground.

I was VERY excited when the water started flowing - ridiculously excited really, but hey...!

Thanks - I think it's looking very special, but it is my baby - so it's great to hear that someone else thinks so too!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Sure you'll be knackered on monday but think of the health benefits!

Actually, the true benefit is that it is immensely satisfying when you complete stuff like this as a DIY project.


O.I.M said...

Hi Nutty. I like how you refer to your garden adventures as "little" projects. I too have flowing water in my yard. it starts flowing every time I turn the hose on. not nearly as ambitious as your efforts I'm afraid ;) seriously, though, I can't wait to see how it all turned out. good work. if you're going to dream, dream big!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Rob - the health benefits seem to be that I'm knackered on a Monday! BUT you're right - I'm also slimmer and fitter and immensely satisfied by what we're achieving here and by the fact that it does look like the completed picture that was in my head in the begining!

Hi Irena - oh, I dream big! Poor old Himself despairs of me - I come up with all these ideas and gallop ahead to start them without actually thinking through the consequences or how we're going to be able to achieve them - work schedules and technical details, Bhah! My eternal optimism carries me along in the firm belief that we'll do it - and it seems to have worked so far!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw your post on "Wicked Gardener" and thought I would check out your blog. All I can say about that pond is tht you deserve a medal. Just looking at the pictures of your hard work make sme tired. Hope you get to enjoy sitting by your pond very soon.


Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Jake and welcome! Thanks for the virtual medal - much appreciated!

I'm hoping to have the lower part of the stream, the waterfall into the bottom pond, the bottom pond itself AND the tea house completed this summer - ever the optimist, me!

Please feel free to keep popping in to check on progress - I'm not yet into 'real time' on the blog. I'm still on last summer's work at the moment.

Gardeness said...

That's quite the project, but it looks great! I bet you love having such a major portion done, and look forward to days out in such a lovely space.

Wicked Gardener said...

Hey Nutty! Thanks for stopping by the blog. I've added you to my "regulars" so you'll see me back again!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Gardeness and welcome. Glad you like the japanese garden. It is good that most of it is done - but there's still a way to go this year before I'll get the chance to just enjoy the space! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now though! (ever the optomist!)

Welcome to you too Wicked Gardener! I really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for your comment and I'll look forward to seeing you again soon!

Keepsake Cakes said...

Oh what a sweet momma you are! I will delete your comment from my blog so that your secret is safe!
oh and I saw you have Mrs. Robinson Presents on your reading list. Victoria and I are best pals we met at school and she is such a wonderful friend!

Chelsea Ann

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Chelsea Ann, thanks for that!
I love the Mrs Robinson Presents blog, it's so sweet and gentle. What a coincidence about her being your best friend - she seems so lovely via her posts!