Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ding, Dong the Pond is Gone!

You remember the pond ... that cool oasis that I dug in 2007 so that Mitchell would have a nice place to recuperate from knee replacement surgery.  The place he could not get to because he was not allowed to walk on grass for three months.  That place. 
Pond - July 2009
When it was first created, there was a crabapple tree nearby that provided shade for a glider so that one had a place to sit and enjoy the fish and the water lilies. 

Over time, blight killed the tree leaving the glider in hot sun all day.  The pond did not really get enough light to sustain the water lilies. 

And, a neighborhood blue heron and I developed a co-dependent relationship:  he would eat the fish and I would buy more ... he would eat the fish and I would .... well, you get the picture. 

Last fall I decided to end my enabling and force Mr. Heron to go elsewhere to dine, so I stopped buying fish. By spring the pond looked pretty bad and I decided that its time had come - and gone.  
Full of winter debris and no breakfast for Mr. Heron.

So, in April I pumped out the water [a great fertilizer for the perennials] and dug up the liner to put in the annual neighborhood clean up.  [We live in a great county.  So far this month they have provided free pick up of yard waste and anything else one might want to sit at the curb, including appliances, and a free electronics recycling day.  They will do it again in the fall.]
See the stones stacked against the fence in the background?
It took me one whole weekend to move all those stones and pull out the liner.  (I paid for 1,000 pounds of stone in 2007.  I moved them twice that year, and twice again this year.  Old math says that is two tons!  No wonder my poor body was exhausted when I finished.]  
Half filled - another weekend to do this. 
Next I re-filled the hole.  The ground in our area is heavy clay.  When I dug the hole originally, I piled it all against the back fence behind the compost pile.  So .... i just put it back.  Since it's so thick and heavy it will make a fine base for the "patio" to come. 
When it was nearly full, I started leveling the area and got some paver base and some paver sand from Big Blue Box.  Also, a nifty plastic edging that i buried, but which gave me a square to work with. 
You can see the black edging when I started.  This is all dirt, watered in well and waiting for paver base.
And then the fun began.  I took the stones that were once the surround for the pond.  [You saw them last piled against the fence.]  I turned them into a [mostly] flat pad to hold the glider and a pair of tables. 
It was fun figuring out what stone would fit in next ... until I got to the middle.  Then it got very difficult! And, the tan sand below is another paver sand that I poured on top.  I watered it in several times and swept it until all the little nooks and crannies were filled and level. 
Everything is set and ready for the glider. 
Next, I re-set some large pavers between the sidewalk and the new pad - again, they were left over from the previous sitting area.   
A place for an early morning cup of tea, or an adult drink in the afternoon.
And, finally I replanted perennials around the back (day lilies and lavender) and groundcover in the front.  Voila! a new sitting area.  This time it faces east and is shaded by the shed in the afternoons.  The view is straight down the main garden, but thru the middle of it.

Next time ... What happened to the old seating area?  and, i'll show you the view.