Posts Tagged ‘pond making’

6 Feb: ponding

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The pond materials arrived from The Pond Guy a day early.

Allan’s photo

We were determined to get the small pond done.

Snow had melted in Allan’s garden on the east side of the house.

Some plants have been laid flat.

Between the house and shed, snow still lingered, blanketing some of my plant sale plants. Even the plants without the protective white blanket appear to have survived the cold, down to 26 F at night.

I’d feel more secure if I had been able to fit all of them into the greenhouse.

I recently learned from Gardeners’ World that I could have put winter dormant plants under the greenhouse shelving. Too late for this year. Next year, that will make more room.

Snow still lay firmly over the back garden, despite sunshine.

I was pleased to find that my special Dan Hinkley plant that I bought at last summer’s Hardy Plant Weekend, now in a pot too heavy to move, seems ok with the cold. I had asked him what plant I should buy that would make other gardeners envy me and he said this one. (I should look up the name. The pond is distracting me.)

Also on the patio

I eagerly went to the little pond, only to find that the ground was frozen solid so that the edge could not be sculpted. Happily, after an hour indoors, the temperature warmed enough so that we were able to carve out the plant shelf edge in a different spot (the thawed side!) than I had planned. The frozen side will be the gentle slope that frogs (and I hope not raccoons) are said to like.

I almost forgot to be like Monty Don and use a board and level.

It was perfect.

I raked the snow from around the pond to avoid working on a mat of ice.

Allan was glad to have the Nora House driveway for laying out the underlayment and liner. Later, I saw a hint on Gardeners’ World: Monty said to lay out the liner in the sun for an hour to warm up. I don’t think that would have helped today. He uses a butyl liner. Our is heavy but not that heavy. (I think we could have bought butyl liner from Firestone…but Pond Guy has a good reputation so we went with his, which is, by the way, heavier and cheaper than Home Depot’s liners).

I was glad the underlayment is dark, not white.

Skooter helped (Allan’s photo)

We were able to run hoses from two faceted water barrels to fill it up.

After helping

I wanted to put rocks all around…but the temperature had dropped so much and dusk was fast approaching.

That’s as far as we got today.

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Friday, 25 January 2019

my buddies next door

My pond project began.  I was inspired to try it when Monty Don said on Gardeners’ World that even if you try something that doesn’t work, you have learned something.


I used rocks from the south side of the boat to fill in under the newly moved trough.



When I went in the house, I found a package hanging on the gate, and inside…

I still have not met Sara’s dog, Jet, and must remedy that.

Thank you, Sara.

I still don’t get why I have such nice friends, since I am not much of a social animal anymore!  These chocs truly made my day.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Allan went boating.  If you missed the reblog a couple of days ago, you can read all about his adventure right here.  He had a slightly touch and go navigational experience.

I moved and managed to divide into two pieces my grandmother’s “sweetheart” rose from the new pond area, to either side of the sundial….after sifting a load of compost for that spot…and two days later I moved the tiny roses further forward in case I ever put a small pond where the sundial is.

after removal of landscape fabric that had been under the sundial, back when it was at the edge of the garden bed

lovely compost


I got halfway through bin one of the compost area and then realized that the undoing of my scree garden in the future pond area was going to take me at least two days.  Too bad I did not decide to make the pond first…like two years ago.

The end part (there will be two sections) just involved the moving of some broken pottery, so that is where I started digging.


I will use the sand to build up low areas in the back garden beds.  In 2011, I built them up with Soil Energy mulch.  That does not work…it just sinks down over time.  I learned that any sort of raised berm needs to be made on something more solid, like brown sand.  In fact, Bob Nold suggested, in his book High and Dry, throwing in a ridge of rubble…too late for that.


The rock will be moved to the side of the Cat Memorial Garden, which I widened today.

I widened it even more the next day.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

view from the porch with Acanthus ‘Hollard’s Gold’

a further widened Cat Memorial Garden

We had pond inspectors (Sara and her mum Connie stopped by to see it).

Allan ran errands and fetched me some bags of plain garden soil for repotting my water plants.

In the course of building up a garden bed with sand dug out of the pond area, I also transplanted some lily bulbs to further back instead of close to the edge (where they have blocked the view into the bed).


Monday, 28 January 2019

The weather is what we call Junuary.

Another pond inspector came by…Ann Amato from Portland.

I showed her my good neighbors.

cool specs (Allan’s photos)

Skooter observed.

Ann’s travel buddy cat was intrigued. (Allan’s photos)


Allan helped to dig the big section of pond; I had finally gotten most of the rocks moved although we were still sifting little ones.

Because the pond will be L shaped, it has a land bridge between the two sections (which will also help me access the boat garden for weeding and deadheading).


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

We began with a trip to The Planter Box to get some more little pots for my plant sale and to see if they had a really really big piece of pond liner.  (No on the latter.)

hellebores for sale at The Planter Box

While dropping off a tax form at the Adrift Hotel (for our Shelburne job), we admired the pots there, which we believe are done by Lenane of Ocean Park and are changed out more often than our pots at the Shelburne.

Allan’s photos:


They are highly visible, right at the entrances to the lobby.

Back home, I refined the edges of the pond.

The round pond at the stern of the boat has sloping sides (at least one) to encourage frogs.  The other has steeper sides to discourage raccoons.

beds getting built up with sand

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Research convinced us that The Pond Guy was the best source for pond liner and underlayment and so we placed an order.  The eight yards of mulch is off the schedule now; all the extra winter money is going to the pond project.

While waiting a week for delivery, and with this being the last good weather day for a bit, I turned to turning and sifting compost and finished bin one…despite feeling a distinct lack of energy at the beginning.

I moved Gram’s sweetheart roses further forward…

Have gotten about four barrows from bin one!

bin one, empty!

with new bottom layer of cardboard and newspaper to keep weeds and hops out

At the end of November, all the bins were piled as high as the clothesline.  I love how fast decomposition goes.

Skooter’s favourite spot these days

My buddies next door each got an apple to eat.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Warm and sunny weather made for an unexpected compost turning day and opened the crocuses.

I got all of bin two sifted (which went on top of the sand in a garden bed) and shifted into bin one.

bin two

Rain is due and I am so very ready for some days of sitting down and watching Gardeners World on BritBox, to which I subscribed so that I can watch all of the 2018 season in order (and I think they will show 2019 pretty much soon after it shows in the UK).





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