Overwhelmed by my plan!

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I previously posted at the end of an old post (https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/is-it-safe-to-use-concrete-in-a-koi-pond.10423/#post-400464) ----many thanks to LisaK1 and Poconojoe for help!

I'm trying to plan my first pond that didn't start with a hard pond liner. I have plenty of rodents, roots, and other odd things (like garbage) in my soil (I think my yard was the homestead garbage dump) so I was going to put a cement lining, then underlayment then pond liner, but think after LisaK1's comments, I'm set on a metal mesh base (to keep rodents out), then underlayment, then liner. But I'm still really unsure about setting the rocks around the pond.

I shopped for stones today and couldn't find any I liked that are rounded. I had this dream of flat stones with rounded edges. The only rounded stones were big and round, and I think they will overwhelm my pond. So if I use flat but jagged edged stones, I need to know they won't move. I think I'm going to use rock-on-a-roll, so that'll take the pressure off, but is there any reason not to mortar the stones in place if they feel wobbly? I have a big dog and who knows what he will do... Does everyone feel you can really securely set your stones without mortar/cement? I love the idea of being able to change my mind and move them, but don't love the idea of pieces getting knocked in by my dog and tearing the liner. (How sturdy is rock-on-a-roll??)

I'm overwhelmed by all the decisions, and most must be made in advance. I will only have one more pond in my life. I'm trying so hard not to screw this up....

Thanks for listening!

Ann
 
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@Dogcatlady - don't apologize for asking questions in advance! So much better than getting the job done and then realizing you've made mistakes and need help fixing them.

I'm guessing you're asking about mortaring the stones around the edge of the pond since you're concerned about the dog knocking them in. There's absolutely no problem with doing that other than, as you mentioned, you won't be able to move them around once they're in place.

Here's a good starting place - if you haven't already found the Pond Digger on YouTube, take some time to watch this series on building a pond. He covers all aspects of pond building, including different edge techniques:

 
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I think I have a plan! I was wasting hours on pinterest looking at stone work for ponds and paths, and found some photos I am in love with. I really like mosaics and mixed media. This photo has a brick mini retaining wall in the back:
upload_2019-1-5_22-2-51.png

and stones elsewhere. Love it! Then I found this:
upload_2019-1-5_22-2-7.png


I wasn't planning on doing anything that formal, but this photo really speaks to me.
I think I'll have a mini-retaining wall alongside the waterfall from the bog to the lily pond, and mis/match stones around the perimeter. I found a ton more pics on pinterest with mosaic use on paths, and tiny plants, and I think I'll use a little bit of everyting (though I may stick to one color so it doesn't look too crazy). If I keep the perimeter flat like the photo above, I don't have to cement, and I can alter endlessly and add mosaics and other stones, etc. I'm really excited about it now!

Can't wait to start!
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome!
 
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I wouldn't use mortar , I would simply lay them on the ground. Are you talking about the edging to hide the liner? If so then you don't want them to be sticking up in the air which means you will need to find flatter stones. A lot depends on the look that you are going for. If you want a natural look the bricks or pavers are out of the question. Also be sure that you don't cut the liner short. It's better to leave a lot of extra (a few feet) and bury it under the rocks and dirt. As far as rodents go I wouldn't expect a ground hog or chipmunk to be an issue because they would have to have a reason to dig under a pond. If they did then I would put a barrier around the edge and not at the bottom.
 

addy1

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Dig down a shallow shelf around the pond, 3 ish inches, with the liner coming up and out of the pond. Lay rocks on it in the water, more rocks working up and out of the water onto land. The edge/liner is hidden beautifully.
 

sissy

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I do like that one in the second pic but if you get any kind of flooding rains it could be a problem with the fish being washed out .You also have to consider weather into the factor when building a pond .Surprises are not fun
 
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