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Ponds and Waterfalls Add Interest

Updated on February 4, 2015
Backyard Waterfall
Backyard Waterfall

Ponds and Waterfalls Became My Passion!

This lens shares my story of why I built my first pond and how I began building ponds for my friends.

Since I don't live by or on the water, I decided to bring the water to me. As I was building my first backyard Koi Pond, my PASSION was discovered. I learned that by altering the formation of rock, creating spill ways and waterfall levels, the sound of the water changed.

The width and height of a waterfall had different sounds. The water bubbling from a pot sounded entirely different. The ripples over stone in a creek changed with various sized stones. It was like being in control of nature somehow and connected me to my heart center.

The photos in this lens are some of ponds and waterfalls that I personally created and built for friends.

It is uplifting to provide people a space where they could relax and enjoy the sight and sounds of nature.

Koi Pond Completed - My FIRST Pond

Garden Pond
Garden Pond

My First Pond

How It All Began

It all began after my husband and I built a log house. It was quite an adventure that I will cover in another lens sometime. With large equipment we built a retaining wall with very large rocks and boulders. The remaining rocks were piled behind the house against the hillside. After the house was completed there was no longer room around the house for large machinery to move this huge pile of boulders. It was then I decided I would build a waterfall with them and a pond at the base.

The following summer I became obsessed with digging this hole as a means of working through the grief of losing my mother. Keeping in mind that no machinery could reach behind the house, that left manpower. I began digging through rocky soil with a pick and shovel. By the time I was finished I had a hole 16' X 20' and 3' deep.

It was a trial and error process. Local pond suppliers were very helpful in teaching me how the piping and filtration was to work. Liner was selected and PVC pipe with drilled holes was laid in a lattice formation at the bottom for filtering the water. A 6-inch layer of pea gravel covered the piping.

It required some creative ingenuity to mold the liner over and around the pile of rocks to form a waterfall. On top of this liner more rocks were strategically placed so that water could create falls from one level to the next and end with a solid sheet of water flowing into the pond. My passion was discovered! Working with the natural sound of falling water and placing rocks to alter the sound was mesmerizing. I fell in love with building ponds and waterfalls.

Koi Pond - Another View of the Same Pond

Outdoor Sitting Area
Outdoor Sitting Area
Koi Pond
Koi Pond

Pond Number Two

Koi Pond

Now my passion was growing and I HAD to build another pond. It was necessary for me to have a deeper pond to house my Koi as the herons find them a delicacy.

This was dug 5 feet deep with steep sides to prevent the heron from gaining any foot hold, therefore, protecting my precious Koi.

To add some interest to this pond I created a stream so the water circulates down the waterfall and stream, into the pond.

This time I experimented with a different filtering system that was embedded in the waterfall filter. The pump was a waterfall pump.

Pond Predators

There are many techniques to preventing heron from eating the pond fish. I chose one which was recommended by many people in Amazon and that was to place a floating alligator head in the pond. It is a natural predator of the heron which must be instinctive as we have no alligators in the northwest.

For 2 years there were no herons hunting my pond which was unusual as there are many in our area. Therefore, I was sure the alligator was playing an effective role in protecting my fish.

Lo and behold this has been proven untrue. As you can see the heron not only made friends with the alligator, but began feasting on my pond fish.

I love the ecology of my backyard hideaway and the cycle of nature that exists in it. It's difficult to see my fish become fodder for the wildlife but I guess herons have to eat too.

Pond Predators
Pond Predators
Pond Predators
Pond Predators
Small Fish Pond
Small Fish Pond

Ponds For Family

Running Out of Room

My passion outgrew the room on our property for more ponds. The obvious next step was to offer my services to others who loved ponds as much as I.

My daughter was my first experiment for building a pond for someone else.

She still loves her little pond and the children from the day care down the street take field trips to see her fish.

How To Build a Backyard Pond

This is an excellent video on how to build a pond. Although they prefer specific brands of equipment, know there are many brands available in your own area or online that can fill your particular needs and budget. It includes step by step instructions which I feel anyone could follow and complete a backyard garden pond. Good luck!

How to Build a Backyard Pond

Pondless Waterfall - Waterfall Without the Maintenance of a Pond

Pondless Waterfall
Pondless Waterfall

My younger daughter decided to add a water feature to her newly landscaped back yard. However she had no desire to maintain a pond and care for fish.

An alternative is a pondless waterfall. The water is circulated from a container that is underground and covered by rock. This was my first experience in creating this type of feature and it was very rewarding.

The natural sound of water is enjoyed and the water seems to simply go into the ground. It is relatively maintenance free.

It remains a beautiful feature in her yard and is enjoyed and admired to all who visit her.

Very practical for busy people

Double Waterfall - More Friend Requests

Garden Pond with Double Waterfalol
Garden Pond with Double Waterfalol

The friends who wanted me to create this water feature wanted one in the middle of their driveway turnaround. It was visible from their front room window and they enjoy the falling water sound.

This beautiful water feature adds a dimension to their country location and the electric lights they wired to highlight it added evening hours to the enjoyment.

Converted Grape Arbor - Shaded Pond Under Arbor

Backyard Pond and Waterfall
Backyard Pond and Waterfall

Word quickly spread through my friends and family that I was available to extend my creativity for building ponds. They paid for the supplies and I was rewarded by being able to experience my own passion.

One challenge of having a pond is preventing the growth of algae which blooms when the sun hits the water. In this space, being in the shade, this problem was eliminated. UV lights and/or chemicals can be used to prevent or eliminate algae. This water feature was placed under an old arbor prevented the problem altogether.

This was an enjoyable project.

Being beside the patio in this backyard, provides much interest as well as enjoyment to sitting and eating outside.

Backyard Pond - The Largest Pond

DIY Garden Pond
DIY Garden Pond

These friends wanted a small pond. In the middle of the process they decided they wanted one twice the size. However, when it was completed they were twice as happy. (smile) The stone over which the waterfall flows weighed 500 pounds. Of course I hired a machine operator to install it.

They did, however, find the waterfall too LOUD. I did install a control on the hose so the speed of the water could be adjusted thereby enabling them to change the flow and sound of the water.

As the foliage grows and fills in it will be an awesome oasis.

By the time I finished this pond it became clear that my passion for building ponds was becoming more WORK than I had anticipated or wanted so I declared this pond to be my last. Although I am not offering my services to build more ponds, I remain available to consulting for maintenance of the existing ones I built for my friends and family.

Would you like a backyard water feature?

See results

Large Pond For The More Adventurous!

This kit is really the best kit for your money and it has everything you need. The instructions are well written and easy to understand and all the components that are included in the kit are matched perfectly for this size pond. Save your time researching. You will love your results.

They have excellent customer service!

New Amazon - Small Koi Pond Kit For Any Skill Level

HALF OFF PONDS Hybrid 3000 Complete Water Garden and Pond Kit with 15 Foot x 20 Foot EPDM Rubber Liner - SC0
HALF OFF PONDS Hybrid 3000 Complete Water Garden and Pond Kit with 15 Foot x 20 Foot EPDM Rubber Liner - SC0
This supplier is great. They ship VERY quickly, have fantastic customer service

Small Pondless Waterfall Kit

If you do not wish the maintenance required of a pond or you are concerned about safety, this is the option for you. This kit supplies everything you need to build your own pondless waterfall. Just add a shovel and labor to dig the hole and you are in business. I personally dug the holes for my ponds by hand. Good exercise!


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