Contractor’s Corner | A Pond of One’s Own

By April Dugan

Published on November 30, 2022

April Dugan pond
Bill harvested several spectacular rocks that have flat planes as well as mountain like ridges to create a stunningly simple waterfall.

Contractor outfits front yard with large-rock pondscape

Building a water feature at your own home can be a bit overwhelming. You really want to incorporate all your favorite things from all the ponds you’ve ever built into one crazy piece of artwork; however, we wanted our pond to be simple and somewhat affordable. To contrast with the pond immediately next to it, which has small rock, a biofalls and a skimmer, we wanted to showcase what an average homeowner could do with an average-sized pond with large rock construction, an intake and wetland.

A unique wetland

We built the wetland a bit deep with 18 inches of water on top of the AquaBlox, allowing us to grow tropical waterlilies. From our front door, you walk across three 24-by-18-inch stepping stones. I truly love being able to walk across the wetland multiple times a day, and the delivery truck drivers love to see the fish!

The wetland area has a few things that make it unique. We have a 3-by-6-foot bog garden, where we are able to experiment with orchids, carnivorous plants, moss and cranberries. We also have a shallow shelf where I can grow a myriad of miniature waterlilies. On the left-hand edge of the wetland, I added some pockets in the rocks where smaller plants could grow in a protected environment and not be lost in the pond. 

Boulder selection

Evening ambience: we end our busy days with the peace and tranquility of the pond.

We have tons of boulders in New Hampshire, so we harvested them onsite. Bill Demers, who helped with the build, found a couple of spectacular rocks that had flat planes as well as sweeping, mountain-like ridges.  The effect of the six or so boulders that make up the waterfall is simple and stunningly natural. 

Similarly, the rock work in the pond created pockets where hyacinth and other plants could be grown and not swept into the intake. At just over 4 feet deep, the pond leaves plenty of room for fish. Upper shelves were designed to hold lotus pots.

The intake is simple, with more pockets in the edgework for planting, leaving the middle of the intake clear for cleaning debris from the pond.  The best part of this build was being able to build slowly — sometimes adding just a rock or two at the end of the day with Bill and Jacob.

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Designer/ Installer: April Dugan
Project Location: Andover, New Hampshire
Size: 11’x16’, 4’x6’ intake, 9’x12’ wetland, 3’x6’ bog
Components: Aquasurge 2000, Aquasurge 4000-8000
Time to complete: 90 man hours
Crew: Bill and Jacob Demers



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