Thursday, July 02, 2009


Ever since I was a preteen one of my dreams has been to have my own natural, earth-bottom pond. It does not help that I've worked in a profession which involves instructing people on how to properly build garden ponds. Ergo, after all these years of living vicariously through other folks' pond projects, one of the selling points of my property was the fact that it had a stream which flows almost year-round through a deep ditch. Stream + ditch = potential pond! All work & no play makes me a dull boy. Like many others I need artistic projects to balance out the drudgery of the practical work which I do to the house & yard, so a pond was a perfect outlet.

Getting right into the project (with thanks to Matt for taking the picture). This is probably the least flattering pic I will ever dare to post here.

The current view from my front kitchen window.

Fresh dam that would do any beaver proud. There was already a small pond about 1/4 the size of this one. I expanded it dramatically by backfilling in the ditch with tightly shovel-compressed layers of rock & brick rubble, heavy clay mud and logs/branches. I created the spillway out of old slate roofing shingles I had laying around and will presently be planting the top and front of it with gracefully arching swamp grasses, irises, wild blueberries and other water-loving marginal plants. Once established, the root systems will penetrate deeply into the structure and help to hold it together after the branches & logs have rotted away within.

It is approximately 700-900 gallons.

There is a saying regarding frogs in professions involving the pond industry. "If you build it, they will come." (I think that phrase was originally used in the movie Field of Dreams.) This fellow is one of a dozen who are frequently found relaxing and watching for bugs from the edge of the water.

The frogs are extremely tame, often allowing people to approach to within two feet of them. While building their pond, I laid down a chimney brick I was using as a line guide for the spillway and when I turned around thirty seconds later this little guy was perched on it.

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