Building pond in Israel by a Granny!


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Hello Pond folks,

I've recently joined this forum, and very happy to have found such a knowledgeable community. I'm relatively new to all things pond related. I did have a small garden pond some 15 years ago, which was meant to become the bio filter for a much larger pond. The larger pond has ended up being a work in progress since then; I dug down to about 20 cm and hit rock. It was clear that it would be a much bigger project than I had bargained for.

And so, for 15 years, we had this huge shallow hole in the middle of the yard, while an entire garden grew up around it: paths, stepping stones, fruit trees, and rock gardens. And there, smack in the middle of it all was a 4 meter by 5 meter hole... And so things remained as the kids grew up and moved out to start their own families. After many adventures, I retired to start a publishing business with my husband.

And then the pandemic hit... And suddenly doing something about that whopping big hole in the garden began to seem like a really good lockdown project!

And so, here we are!

Pond and Intake bay.jpg


The hole is now 5.5 meters by 6.5 meters, with a projected average depth of about 30 cm and a deeper zone about 90 cm deep.

And have I mentioned the bit about rocks? Well, it's not solid rock...More like layers and layers of sedimentary limestone, which splinters into gravel and various boulders. My goal now is to enlarge the deep zone by another meter all around, dig down another 20 cm in the shallow zones to create shelves, and build up the grade on both sides of where the falls will go. I'll also be creating an overflow stream that allows excess rain water to flow into the garden. This is because in Israel we get rain for only a couple of months out of the year, but then it comes down in torrents.

And here's a photo of some of the rocks that have come out of the excavation. Have I mentioned that I'm digging into rock, not soil? All this is getting done by one 60 year-old grandma with a pickaxe!

rock-pile.jpg



Looking forward to learning from you folks with more expensive with what is already threatening to be a very addictive hobby!

Grannie get your jackhammer!
 
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Kudos to you, for sure; Looks like it's going to be a pond haven, or fish heaven, or...someplace you can sit back and wait for your grandkids to bring you another lemonade!

Keep the pics coming!

Boss has already welcomed ya, here's one from the crew! :D :D :D :oops: :D :D ;) :cool:
 

TheFishGuy

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Welcome to the forum! very nice start you have, make sure to keep us updated throughought the process!
 
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If you pulled out those two rocks on the left side of the photo by hand and by yourself ? we got our selves one badazz granny. welcome to the site . I am surprised you are going deeper than 3 feet at the deepest . I can understand going deeper on the other end especially in such a hot climate.
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Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful welcome!

Today was the first sunny day we've had in a while, so I made good use of the time to get a bit more pickaxe work done. Still quite a ways to go, but here are some photos of the progress so far... First, as I was working on the deep end, I found a whopping great rock at the bottom, and decided to see if I could dig it out. After all, one can never have too many rocks, right?

Big rock copy.jpg


And so I dug. And dug. And dug some more. Well, it turns out that this thing is humongous! My husband likes to joke that one of these days I'm going to pull out a rock and the whole hillside is going to come down. Well, this just might be that rock! I've got no idea how far down this thing goes, nor how far it stretches out on either side. Sing it with me "How deep is your rock? How deep is yooour rooock, I really need to knooow..." (Oh great, now I've got an ear worm...)

So, after chiseling around that thing for a bit, taking out bucket after bucket of gravel, I decided to turn my attention to a smaller rock just above it. Took a bit of pickaxe work, but with the help of the crow bar, I managed to liberate it.

todays-rock_8Feb22.jpg


Also managed to widen the deep end by another 40 cm and dump the resultant gravel up around the stream bed.


pond-progress2_8Feb22.jpg


And so, as the sun sets into the Mediterranean sea, I count it a good day's progress.

end-of-work_feet-up.jpg


Cheers!
 

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TheFishGuy

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Its fun to see someone doing a pond build in the midddle of winter! usually we have to wait to psring and summer to see them.
 
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Its fun to see someone doing a pond build in the midddle of winter! usually we have to wait to psring and summer to see them.
Hopefully by spring, this thing will be lined, rocked in, and filled. Going to be a bit of a race to get it done, but we kind of have to work in winter here, as summer heat is a killer. I fully intend to spend the summer sitting in the deep end of this thing surrounded by goldfish!

Another motivating factor to get it all done by springtime is that in April we'll have the whole family coming for the holidays plus assorted friends from overseas (assuming no new variants to close the airways). All of which means I'll need to have all that rock cleared up, and the garden useable for the grandlings. Er...right. No pressure!

But really, I'm finding all of this great fun, even when I'm sore all over from all the digging. Just can't wait to be able to sit on the porch and watch the sunset over the pond!
 
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Kudos to you, for sure; Looks like it's going to be a pond haven, or fish heaven, or...someplace you can sit back and wait for your grandkids to bring you another lemonade!

Keep the pics coming!

Boss has already welcomed ya, here's one from the crew! :D :D :D :oops: :D :D ;) :cool:

Sure looking forward to that lemonade... Well, actually, make it an arak over ice, or maybe a good peaty single malt. Need to educate the grandkids about single malt, after all!
 
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I've been in construction my entire life. a boulder thats to big to get out of the hole finds a new deep end very close to the boulder and the boulder gets rolled into the new deeper area and LEFT THERE. BUT BECAREFUL the ground doesnt give way and your in the area
 
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Sure looking forward to that lemonade... Well, actually, make it an arak over ice, or maybe a good peaty single malt. Need to educate the grandkids about single malt, after all!
do spend a bit of time roaming the hallowed halls of GPF as you'll want full knowledge of what can/might/will happen when you get your water in. I sense your 'haste' and worry that green water is going to knock all the enthusiasm out of you and the project! Just get an idea so you know what to do such that you minimize this event, which happens to all ponds initially.
 

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and I dont know if people have advocated for it yet, but now is the perfect time to add a bog and get rid of all worries of green water, a dirty pond, or needing more space to add plants!

@addy1 has a great thread on bog building
 
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and I dont know if people have advocated for it yet, but now is the perfect time to add a bog and get rid of all worries of green water, a dirty pond, or needing more space to add plants!

@addy1 has a great thread on bog building
go FishGuy, go Fishguy, go FishGuy...!!!! :cool:
 

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