Contractor's Corner

Contractor’s Corner | The Path to Finding Peace

Carving out the perfect path to an oasis in close quarters

pond with plants and waterfall

A sea of perennials surrounds 60 tons of stone boulders and 5,000 ground covers. Mist and micro-irrigation cover the terrain and all pots.

When you’re at peace, you are engaged with life while also feeling relatively relaxed, calm and safe. You are protected from stress. Your immune system grows stronger. You become more resilient. Building a peaceful sanctuary was the end goal of this project.

waterfall koi fish pond

The cave is a poured concrete wall, and we had to build it in reverse due to the reach. We used 1/2-inch steel-plate caps to secure the waterfall liner and keep it from bulging.

We planted the seed for this project by showing the potential client one of my ponds. After all, my company has a mandate to never bid a project until a potential customer witnesses the effects of one of our ponds. (Wine helps, but water will suffice.)

When we got the go-ahead, we realized that this project had to be built in reverse. The reach was so close that the excavator cab missed the roof by about 6 inches every time it carried in a boulder to be set. There always seems to be only one way in on the great projects — the perfect path to an oasis.

The cave and waterfall boulders were installed first. All utilities for the pool cabana above the pond, including power, sewer, cable, phone and water, had to be moved more than 4 feet in order to build the pond.

We completed boring under the patio for drainage and irrigation. We used 1-inch-packed clay behind the liner to protect against the rock.

As a general rule, I believe that full-sun ponds tend to do much better if they turn over four times its volume per hour. Thus, the volume of this pond is 1,500 gallons, and its waterfall turns over 6,000 gallons per hour.

pond construction cave waterfall

The turnover rate is 7,500 gph with three separate drops that are viewable from multiple vantage points.

Some may not like the frame rocks over the cave area, but at 22 inches thick, 11 feet wide and 4 ½ feet deep, it was quite substantial for the first stone laid. It took 10 hours to lay this first stone, and with the liners trapped, we had one chance to get it right.

When the project was complete, it was like ringing a bell throughout the surrounding area, calling all who live above and below to come and relax.

It seems the path to peace is always a tough one. There is usually a narrow, crowded way to it. If you can’t find peace in nature yourself, call me. With enough money, I’ll make it for you!

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