As pond-builders and artists, we sometimes take on projects and later ask ourselves, “What on Earth did I get myself into?”
This was one of those builds.
I happened to be working on a smaller project helping a homeowner construct his own stream when he mentioned that his neighbor had a leaky water feature. So, later that day, I walked over to his neighbor’s yard and discovered a rather steep hill with what looked like stairs. Foamy stuff was coming out from all directions. The stream was a straight line into a pond, where the liner looked like Swiss cheese.
I approached the homeowner and asked if fish or plants had ever been a part of the leaking pond, and they said that they did not have much interest in either. They wanted something that required a little less work with a likeness to northern Minnesota. I explained what a pondless water feature was, emphasizing the ease of maintenance. They agreed to my sketch and quote, so the game was on!
I knew from the start that I wanted to get rid of most of the existing rock, as it was generally small, sharp and ugly. The waterfalls were all flagstone — you know, the stuff that is really easy to work with, but looks like nothing that would naturally occur in nature.
The larger rock I chose posed some big challenges, including the steepness of the hill and many obstacles in and around the site. With a lot of perseverance and a little luck, we eventually placed all the key stream boulders and outcroppings exactly where we wanted them.
I installed an adjustable Aquascape pump, which the customers now love to use as they sit on their stools drinking their favorite beverages. I carved out their existing hole to make room for the Aqua Blocks, added an autofill valve and did a little landscaping around the stream and pond to prevent erosion into the stream and basin.
Even with these challenges, this project has become my favorite water feature that I have built to date.