Sunday, October 13, 2013

DIY: Pond and Landscaping on a Budget



Showing the falls area of the pond and the stream to the left
     My husband and I did not have the money to sink into materials for a pond or to hire someone to build it, but we both dreamed of having a pond with a waterfall, water plants and fish so we began thinking about how to make that happen. Over the course of 12 years we designed and built five ponds. This was the last one we had built.

     On a tight budget, watching video after video of people buying stone and having it hauled in by the truck load, we felt a little bummed. How would we get the stone we needed? One-by-one was the answer. I don't mean just buying one stone at a time, but picking-up one stone at a time. There is always construction going on somewhere and often people who are digging out a hill to extend their yard, digging out a new driveway,/patio/room addition will have a bunch of stones mixed in the dirt mounds. We found and gathered our stones through family and friends who did not mind us collecting them. It took some work, but it was well worth it and a lot of fun picking them out and then fitting them together.

     For this pond we used a vinyl pond liner for the top part (creek and falls area) and a preformed plastic basin for the pond itself, but for other ponds we used everything from a $25.00 plastic preformed pond to a kiddie-pool. There was no need for any cement because as I mentioned by fitting the stones together like a puzzle they did not move.

     The most expensive part is a pond liner. We decided the size of our pond by the size of the pond liner we could afford. Pumps are another expense but you can get a decent one for under $100.00. Over time we added plants, a bag of lava rock here-and-there and some flowers. It was time well spent as we got a lot of joy out of what we created. We had many relaxing evenings listening to the water and feeding the Koi.




We had purchased a couple of bags of lava rock at a time. Each time we got another bag our landscaped area could be expanded. Above is another small pond that we made from a plastic pond form ($25.00 at a pet store). We removed the small pump from this pond. It was the first one we had built and realized that the plants had grown so much that they were oxygenating the water and had taken the place of the pond pump. Our Hosta liked being near the pond so much it became a giant.

To see your pond sustain itself through four seasons without any help or maintenance from you is amazing and wonderful.

Sorry about my blurred dog in the pic above, the little stinker. The pavers in this pic were bought on clearanace at Lowe's Home Improvement Center for under a dollar each.

We transplanted this tree from the woods behind my brother's house. My brother has so many mature trees and pine trees that this little guy wasn't growing all that much and likes his new spot.

Another one of my dogs got in the pic. They like to drink out of the small pond.

This shows how much the plants had taken over the small pond. It is truly beautiful with it's natural look.



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