Friday, 13 March 2009

Yet more ways to get big rocks into a pond!

Having successfully completed the beach and retaining wall end of the pond, we finally turned our minds to the waterfall end - something Himself had been trying to block out (...or should that be 'avoid'?) for quite some time!

As the pond is supposed to look like it's full of rocks which have been carried downstream from Mount Fuji in the spring snowmelt (yeah, yeah - I know....... over-active imagination going at full pelt again!), we needed a couple of big rocks to sit one either side of the waterfall stone to look like the waterfall had been created by the rocks forcing the water through the narrow gap between them - are you still with me or has my imagination gone too far this time?!

Himself and Calamity (one of Last-Born's vast entourage of admirers!) built two scaffold towers, one either side of the waterfall, and used some of the strongest timbers from our random collection of 'bits' to make the support between the towers for the chain hoist to be fastened to, to allow us to hoist the rocks out over the edge of the pond and lowered down to reach the shelf.

I was still having to be careful because of problems with the scar tissue from my surgery, so I settled for making sure the pond liner on the shelf was nice and flat with no sharp edges on the folds.

Like when we put the other big rocks into the pond, I was only allowed one shot at choosing the right ones - so the pressure was on! Rocks were looked at from all angles, rotated, stood on end, discarded, reclaimed, discarded again...........until Himself bellowed "JUST CHOOSE!....... They're going to be mostly covered with water anyway!"

This did rather focus my mind somewhat and two were chosen. Himself and Calamity manhandled the stones to almost at the pond's edge.

Himself then chisled the bottom of the rock to make it slightly angled so that it would lean back a little bit against the pond wall. Luckily sandstone (our local stone) is fairly soft and breaks easily, so it was quite a quick job to knock the appropriate amount off.

We then used levers to lift the rock up enough to get small beams underneath, which would allow us easy access for the strops. I am standing on the pond shelf, so you can see that the finished water depth will be right up at the top of my wellies! Later 'paddling' to put smaller stones in place proved that there was about 1cm clearance - so I had to be very careful not to 'slosh' or I got very soggy feet! ( I wasn't careful enough though........ I leant forward to place a stone and got a wellie full of water. Yuk!)

The two cross members in place and the strop ready to go round the stone.

Himself begining to make the 4 way loop round the rock ready for hoisting.

Himself ready to guide the rock out from under the scaffold to over the shelf, then down into position. I am hauling on the chain to lift the rock and Calamity is catching the chain to prevent chain grease from getting on everything!

The two rocks in place - the waterfall stone was still covered up at this point. We'd put several layers of assorted 'stuff' over it to protect it from mishap. Having broken one waterfall stone already, we weren't about to let it happen again!

Rocks in place, waterfall stone uncovered, water level back up to the correct height (or wellie depth!). Oh happy day!


Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

I love it.

You know, this is informative stuff for me, the reader.

Anyway, put your backs (lol) into it!

Have a great weekend.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

This whole escapade has somewhat of a Monty Python feel to it... I dunno why! Still looking forward to seeing the end product!!!

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I'm glad to see you've got the stones for the waterfall in. I like your imagination, I have a similar one. I love Himself's comment to just pick a stone because it'll be mostly covered with water anyway.

camellia said...

Still as impressive as ever. I wonder how many tonnes worth of stones you've moved around now...
Have a grat weekend!

Laura Marie said...

Hahaha....calamity :D love it mum :)


Ruth said...

Agreeing with 1st born - calamity is a great choice of blog land name :) x

Nutty Gnome said...

Thanks for all your comments everyone - they really make my day!

Rob - if you ever need a pond in your gorgeous garden ....we're the ones - and we'll bring our own trolley! Enjoy your weekend.

Monica - you are SO perceptive! You have NO idea how many Monty Python-esque comments have come out in the making of this garden - but, fortunately, not a single dead parrot!

Catherine - it's a good job it's my imagination and Himself's mathematical genius, we'd have been stuffed if it had been the other way round!!!

Camellia - we bought 9 tonnes of rock - ranging from the 4x1/4tonne rocks down to 12 bags of pea gravel and used well over half so far - but the amount of times each one has been moved from place to place as I've tried them out or just had to shift them because they were in the way again means that we have moved many, many tonnes over the past 2 years - and more to move this year!

Laura - glad you like Calamity, seemed appropriate somehow! love you xx :0

Ruth - how come you and Last-Born have changed birth places again - can't either of you remember who's oldest?!!! looking forward to seeing you next weekend, love you xx :)

Gem said...

It is looking realyy great and I am still very envious! I can't wait to see the finished product!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Gem - glad you like it! I had a nice weekend outside clearing up all the winter debris in preparation for this year's work - the bottom pond, the bottom of the stream and the tea house!

joey said...

A most productive weekend ~ constructing Mount Fuji is a major undertaking! I'm most impressed with your loved ones, following your dream :) (I always leave exhaused)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Joey - I have to confess to being tired today and Himself fell asleep in front of the tv lasr night! He is a star in his tolerance and forebearing of my 'little' ideas and, of course, in all his work to make them happen!I'm very lucky.

Liara Covert said...

Found your blog through Natural Moments at walking in stillness. As you imply, each human being is in process of building an invisible waterfall of renewing energy. As one frees oneself from psychological time, one dissolves the significance of past identity and renders the future irrelevant. All this brings a profound shift in consciousness. You evolve to sense magic exists between layers of energy. To sense gnomes, spirit and other creatures is just the tip of the iceberg. This is no dream. It might even be said that much of humanity has yet to awaken to what lies beyond the senses.

Natural Moments said...

Hi Gnome,

Looking at your pond project brings back the memories of when Stacey and I were in Winthrop, WA helping our landlords to put in their pond with a running stream. They even swim in theirs now. Its quite the event finding all of the rocks and moving them into the perceived perfect place.

Thanks for your comment at walking in stillness. Now that I am becoming more open with what I am experiencing through my blog, I am meeting many wonderful people like you from around the world.

I look forward to visiting your blog and your point of view in life once again very soon.


dowhatyoulove said...

Ponds like this can be a lot of work, but I think they are so beautiful when they are all put together. I love the big rocks, and how natural the ponds look with a really nice waterfall.

How nice of your family and friends to put so much work into it, thats a true blessing with that kind of work.

I look forward to visiting your blog again.


spookydragonfly said...

Regarding your comments about your imagination....where would we be without it?! I, too, have my imagination in full gear when where doing a project. Of course, the end result of my project never quite matches the image I'm hoping for. You really have great documention of this project!

Nutty Gnome said...

Welcome Liara and thank you for your perceptive comments. You've certainly given me something to think about.

Hello Bernie - and thank you for dropping in. I enjoyed reading your blog and hope you like mine too. I'm not sure my pond is quite big enough for swimming in - but there are a few carefully placed rocks to allow dangling of feet into the water!

Stacey - welcome!Yes, it is a lot of work, but worth it for the outcome. You're right, I am so blessed that the people I care about are prepared to work so hard so often with me - especially as, in the early stage, I was the only one who knew what I was trying to achieve!

Spooky - nice to see you again. I would be lost and bewildered without my imagination! Himself really struggles with imagination at times as he hasn't really got one (his words!) so has to make do with sharing mine - which, fortunately, is active enough for the both of us!

I am so pleased with how this is turning out as it does actually look quite like the picture I had in my head at the outset!

I'm glad you like the documentation - when I started taking photos of it all it was just for my own use and to remind me not to undertake such a huge project again (ha ha - I know full well I'll come up with another 'plan' and dive in feet first again, because that's me!).

It was First-Born who persuaded me to do a blog. I was convinced that no-one would be interested, so it is wonderful to see people returning time and again to see where we've got to - and I just love reading all the comments too. So thanks for your ongoing support - it is much appreciated!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Ruth, having built a few demo ponds in my day, I can really appreciate how much work you are putting into this. I love that you have documented it throughout the process.

Thanks for the lovely comment on the photography. I am glad that it in someway made your day a little brighter.


Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Jen - thanks for your lovely comments and for your fabby photos!

I am actually called Liz. Ruth is First-Born, but is named on my blog because she's been doing alll the techi stuff like the coloured borders and the header. This was all her idea!

VP said...

Blimey - what a project! It'll look stunning when you show us the final reveal I'm sure :)

I have to inform you that there's one thing worse than a welly full of water, it's a chest wader full of water - it's a very long story...

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Liz, my biggest apologies. So sorry for mixing up your name.

I had a customer for years that I called Bernice, turns out it wasn't her name at all......and I introduced her to everyone as Bernice.

I have made a note of it besides your blog name, this way hopefully I will remember to get it right next time.


Nutty Gnome said...

Hi VP - I'm glad you like it, but the final reveal won't be for some time yet .... because it's still ongoing! Himself is planning to start the tea house build at Easter, then there's the bottom pond, etc,etc - so maybe by the end of summer?!

I'm intigued by how you got chest waders full of water ...I've got time for a long story!

Jen - don't worry, you're not the first one to call me Ruth! I've asked Ruth to change that bit of the blog so that it's not so confusing for people!
Thanks for popping in.

Carolynn said...

Okay...I'm exhausted! ;o)

Nutty Gnome said...

Ha ha - you're welcome to come sit on my beach and recover then! :)

Greentwinsmummy said...

Hullo there :o)
wow this is going to look incredible when its done! I saw my pals wildlife pond for the first time a few months back,the most beautiful pond,you simply couldnt believe that it hadnt always been there it just looked so natural rather than *made*
I look forward to seeing your pond grow :o)
GTM x x x

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi GTM, good to see you!
I'm glad you like the pond and stuff - my bigs weren't much help, but they had a great time paddling in it the day we filled it up! It was great to see teenagers (15 and 18) playing like that. Long may it last! :)

Shady Gardener said...

I cannot believe the work that's happening over there... and how great it's looking!! I guess you can put up with a wet wellie?! :-)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Shady - wet wellies are just a minor inconvenience compared to getting on with my garden. I'd wade around in there if I thought it would speed things upa bit! :)