My pond and stream project.

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Thought I'd post some photos of my ongoing pond project. We've lived here nearly 35 years. We dug a pond very early on - we had successfully raised tadpoles in an aquarium tank with our son (then 4 years old) and let the froglets loose in the garden - but there were no ponds in the neighbourhood and we knew the frogs would be needing a mating pond in a year or two - so we built a small wildlife pond and marsh. It wasn't much, but the frogs seemed to like it and have returned every year since. But over the years, it had got more and more overgrown and, not to put too fine a point on it. SMELLY. This is what we were left with last year:
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It was definitely time for drastic action! I recruited a friend from the allotment, and we got stuck into it in November (well TBF - HE got stuck into it - he's a lot younger than me, and while I still do a fair bit of garden digging, this need someone with serious shovelling ability) - Andy dug this hole, mostly clay (the spoil over filled a medium sized skip) in two straight days, in the pouring rain. No that's what I call shovelling!:
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Andy had other jobs to do in December, so left me to think about what we were going to do with the hole! Bad mistake! - I've always wanted running water in the garden, so started looking for ideas on the internet - came across this forum and asked for advice on streams and water features. The excellent Addy (Addy1) casually suggested I consider making a bog filter so the moving water would do a useful job. So by the time Andy was on site again in January there was more digging to do! Also - I'd decided on a stream, and to facilitate that, the box hedge in the photos above (which was already well established when we came in 1984) needed to go - Oh - and there was a bit of flag stone re-laying to do as well:
 
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It wasn't long before we had the liner in and could do a test fill of the main pond. Fortumately, I had around 800 gallons of rainwater to hand in the ex-fruit juice concentrate tanks that I installed years ago to catch all the rainwater of our roof. You can just see one of the tanks top left of this photograph. The overflow from these tanks will also run into the pond via a 1.5 inch flexible pipe - there will be an overflow from the pond that runs under the path to a gully on the corner of the conservatory. Test fill was a success , and we had the forethough to put a couple of bags of sand up against the dividing wall in case the weight of water tried to push the loose laid wall under the liner over!
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A bit of dressing up and tidying, and it starts to look like a proper garden pond. The Jebao 3500L pump is in - covered by a pair of nested large aquatic planting baskets - another idea from the internet for preventing tadpoles getting dragged to their death in the pump by the fearsome currents! The paving stones are pointed in now - we had been going to loose lay them and sweep sharp sand and cement mix into the gaps - but after one of the smaller flags almost tipped me in while I was leaning over to check the water level, I decided pointing was a must :eek:
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Now to the bog filter - I'd had to think about this a lot over the holidays - All the excellent advice on this I had read envisaged the water being delivered direct from the pump via flexible pipe to a set of distribution pipes under the gravel - but I wanted a STREAM - and a stream that didn't end in a pond just seemed silly when there was a pond there. This is the solution I came up with. The small pre-formed pond is sitting INSIDE the single liner that underlies both the main pond and the filter. It has a bottom drain attached to a run of two inch solvent jointed waste pipe which has holes drilled in it. This pipe run is under the gravel. The mini-pond sits four or five inches higher that the water level of the bog filter, so any water delivered to it should, in theory , drain through the pipes by gravity and be forced out of the holes and filter up through the gravel. I had NO IDEA if it would actually work!
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So - the mini pond is currently fed directly from the pump because I haven't built the stream yet! - Crossed my fingers, turned the pump on, and it worked! - There is a good 12 inches of gravel in here (that's A LOT of gravel, and I had to barrow it from the nearest point that the dumpy bag could be dropped by the delivery wagon - a good 30 yards) - but as soon as the mini pond filled you could see the water coming up along the line of the buried pipe. There was then nowhere for it to go but through the over-spill back into the main pond. Ihad to tweak the flow a bit by drilling holes in the forward edge of the mini pond as it was filling faster than the bottom drain and pipe system could take it away - although a little overflow doesn't really matter, as long as the bulk of the water gets delivered through the pipes:
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....So - this is where I have got to. The pump has been running for a week now with no hitches. Next job is to dig the stream bed on the far side of the wall. I have to admit that I am as yet unclear as to how I am going to deliver the stream to the mini pond. The on;y really practical idea I have come up with is to buy a small pre-formed fibre glass or plastic cascade section that I can hook over the edge to carry the water across the path at the back of the pond and over the narrow strip of the gravel bed. I don't really like that idea as I have gone to so much effort to use real stone everywhere else - but that section needs to be removable in case adjustment to the gravel bed or mini-pond are needed in the future, so that may have to be the answer. Here's a couple of shots of the whole thing. I'll post some more photos of the stream construction as I get to grips with it.
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Well now, that is a huge difference, the first pond looks like a puddle in comparison to the new lovely pond. Those rocks are gorgeous by the way, I look forward to seeing it progress.
 
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Well now, that is a huge difference, the first pond looks like a puddle in comparison to the new lovely pond. Those rocks are gorgeous by the way, I look forward to seeing it progress.
Glad you like the stone. It's mostly broken york stone flags or road sets that were either in the garden when we came here 34 years ago or have been accumulated over the years. I have brought absolutely no stone onto the site for this job (which is fortunate, since york stone flags now cost in the region of £70 per square yard). the line of "soldiers" at the back were mainly in situ when we moved in, holding the soil back from the asbestos garage that the previous owners had, unbelievably, built across the front of the house. more or less where the pond is now . There are some beautiful slabs of rippled soft sandstone too that mostly came out of the hole - I'll be using those in the stream :)
 
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Glad you like the stone. It's mostly broken york stone flags or road sets that were either in the garden when we came here 34 years ago or have been accumulated over the years. I have brought absolutely no stone onto the site for this job (which is fortunate, since york stone flags now cost in the region of £70 per square yard). the line of "soldiers" at the back were mainly in situ when we moved in, holding the soil back from the asbestos garage that the previous owners had, unbelievably, built across the front of the house. more or less where the pond is now . There are some beautiful slabs of rippled soft sandstone too that mostly came out of the hole - I'll be using those in the stream :)
Amazing how the cost of rock went up over the years, I dug up plenty of rocks while digging my own pond, however I think of them as pale and anemic looking and wishing they were a lovely dark colour like yours instead. I also dug up a lot of rubbish such as bed springs, pottery and broken glass bottles etc, it turns out that back in the day people dug holes out back in the garden to dump unwanted household stuff as there was no trash pickup back then. I do have a few interesting things from the digging though, an ice block carrying hook and a wooden rain gutter.
 
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I really like the set up of the preform pond feeding the bog!
Thanks - I have to say I'm rather proud of that since it's the one part of the project that was entirely my own invention :) - I suppose somebody may have thought of it before, but if so but I'm not aware of so I will continue to be inordinately pleased with myself and the fact that it appears to be working (so far, at least).
 

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So very nice of you to say that @stevekind . Mine is just a simple pond w/various goldfish. Had to resort to netting it tho to keep out the heron.
 
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So very nice of you to say that @stevekind . Mine is just a simple pond w/various goldfish. Had to resort to netting it tho to keep out the heron.
Your pond is beautiful - the amount and variety of plants you have in it is impressive. We have started looking at plants - but February in the North of England is not a good time for planting! - Mid March is more appropriate.We have a dwarf juncus that we've saved in a tub from the marshy area of the old pond, and there is a march marigold in there somewhere if we can find it. The iris pseodocarpus that destroyed the old pond will definitely NOT be going into this one - we may try and keep it captive in a tub of it's own because it is very impressive when in bloom. I want Typha Minima and cotton grass, and a lily - which I've always wanted. but beyond that it's a learning curve.

Not going to be keeping fish - the first frog took up residence yesterday, and we're hoping for a lot more as the weather warms up. Hopefully they will be impressed by their new , spacious accommodation. ;) - There are grey heron in our area, but I think our garden is a bit too enclosed for them to come down to - I am hoping for dragonfly though. In the past we have occasionally seen them flying through, but the old pond didn't have a clear enough approach for them and they never landed or bred in it.

Tpmorrow is forecast heavy rain - Saturday gale force winds. Sunday, hopefully, I shall start work on the stream bed :)
 

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Have fun gathering plants and working on your stream. Ponds are always a work in progress. Seems tweaking is the fun part and keeps us busy. One thing about having even just a couple fish is they keep the skeeters gone. Even some tiny minnow type fish will do that and the heron may not be able to see or catch them.
 
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