Show me your edges!


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Hi Ponders!

Last year, we had to scurry to get a pond in to our new house before winter set in... the fishies needed a home for the winter. It's definitely not the hugest of ponds (a raised bog, flowing into a middle pond which then flows into a preform). Here's how it looked at the end of last year:

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All of the rocks were brought over from our previous house (not a small undertaking >.<), and because of time and resources, we had to fake the edges of the bog and middle pond using garden edging staked into the ground and wrapped with liner and Rock on a Roll.

What I have found, after about 6 months with this setup, is I'm constantly battling wicking up over the edge. Through capillary action, water will travel up through the liner creases, over the edging and down into the soil. That's ok, because I knew this was temporary, but now it is time to do the edges fo'realz. I have pulled up all of the edges and plan to remove the garden plastic edging, because IT'S TIME FOR MORE ROCKS!!!!

For context, here's a pic I snapped this morning. You can see all of the liner pulled up and fugly, just waiting to be lined with rocks!

2014-05-02 08.14.55.jpg


I don't have a ton of room up around the edges, so I'm looking for flatish, relatively narrow stones (probably 6"-10" max). I've seen some pallets of Pennsylvania field stone intended for walls, which I think will work. I'm thinking of doing maybe 2-3 layers of stones around the edge, with the lowest layer perhaps right at, or just below the water line with the liner wrapping around behind it and anchored by another course of stones on top.

I've found that those fieldstone pallets tend to have huge pieces on the bottom, and smaller pieces on top. While I can use a few of the largish ones for steps elsewhere, I'm a little worried I will have to buy more than I need to have enough of the smaller sizes (is it possible to custom order pallets that only have a particular size of rocks?). FYI - Long term, I will also redo the raised edges of the surrounding beds using matching rocks, but that's probably a project for another year as budget is a concern. Next year, the lower preform will be expanded and improved - bigger and deeper - so my rock-buying days are definitely not over.

So, if you have built up the edges of your pond with flatish stone, can I see? What kind of rocks did you use? If you have a similar setup as me, and didn't use flatish stone, i'd love to see that as well. I'm not wed to any particular idea yet, still just gathering information =)

Thank you!!
Michele
 
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Hi Michelle,

I love the shape of your pond and the bog. I'm also still working on the edges of my pond. So I can't offer any pictures yet.

I"m just wondering about the rock on a roll, due to mistakes I made while building my pond, I think I will have to use pieces of rock on a roll to hide the liner. Did you like the product? Was it okay looking?

Thanks,
Priscilla
 
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Hi Priscilla! (love your pond too, btw! I'm SOOOOOOOOO jealous that you are in the tropics!)

I really did like the RoaR (lol!). My only complaint is really with my particular application as the horizontal line that resulted from the way I installed it didn't look all that great. I will say, It is good for "tricking out" preformed ponds to make them look more like a concete basin than a piece of black plastic, and I fully intend to reuse my pieces to hide the black liner below where my rock edges will be placed.

I also had to piece the RoaR around the curves, which created seems I didn't really care for, but I found that if instead of cutting it, you kinked it up to make a curve, it made it look more like jagged rocks. Once the new rocks are in place with the rock on a roll below, I'll post some pictures!

For my ponds, I ended up cutting each roll in half the longway - my ponds are between 18 and 24 inches deep, so I found I didn't need the full 3 foot width to cover the edges.

Hope this helps!
 

callingcolleen1

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I have my liner on all my ponds build up and nailed down to landscaping ties, then I hid the landscaping ties by glueing rocks and then stuff the cracks with fresh moss before the "Great Stuff Big Gap filler" dried and cut off the excess. I need to get new moss and restuff the rocks cause some went missing and was turned into birds nests and stuff... It does works well and I used rocks that got from the river mostly. These pictures are from last year, will try later tonight and get new updated pictures from this year....
 
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As far as ordering pallets with only the size of stone you want usually does not happen or you have to pay a premium and then it is not worth it. Around my area the Pennsylvania field stone and garden tumbled stone are flat and fairly reasonable in price. Do not the let the larger ones scare you, the stone you are talking about break very easy with no need for special tools just a hammer. Here is a small pond I did before I redid it into one I have now. I used smaller, flat stone for the edge.

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Oh Boy, LOADS of inspiration, THANKS!

DoDad - very nicely done! Are the rocks mortared in? Mortaring is waaaaay outside my comfort zone, but you have a great look going. Definitely something to consider, especially for a walk-up edge.

Colleen, I adore the oasis you created! I am intrigued how you filled in with goopy stuff and then stuff with moss -- mortar scares me, but you've come up with a happy medium that this DIY gal can handle, I think! I also have to tell you i'm quite smitten with some of your pathway ideas. We've started cutting up trees into round "stepping stones" and intend to use them as a path around the pond. Did you have to seal them before laying? How long have they been down and how are they holding up? Are your paths just in dirt or are they set in concrete?

RobAmy, your pond totally has the look I was going for, but in a raised setting. When you say the rock can just be broken with a hammer, does that mean you can whack at it and they will split in 2? or do you crumble off pieces until you get a smaller stone? Is there any way to control the break?

Thanks, guys!!
 
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Some stone will crumble but the one you mentioned and the garden tumbled stone breaks very nice. You can control the break to a point. The easiest way is to put a strait edge under the stone (like a cement block or another stone) and hit it at that point. You can also score it with a skill saw with a masonry blade on it. Score it like a 1/4" deep and then hit it. There are other ways but you need special stone chisels which are expensive.

Wear eye protection when breaking any stone. Be aware the chips can go into your pond also if you are breaking them close to it
 

callingcolleen1

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Thanks! Glad you liked my cobbled path.
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I started cobbling the path last year, and it works really good and is fast and easy to do. The path already was hard packed from years of walking on it, it used to be wood chips but I got tired of getting bags of wood chips that only last for a short while, then they break down. I collect a few rocks every day while walking the dogs at the river, and there is lots of rocks everywhere down there. I dig them in till they are flat and easy to walk on. This year they are still there and looking great! They went all winter and still look good, although a couple of the stones that I picked crumbled, think they were sandstone or something. It is easy to fix so not a problem. I have gathered many stones over the winter from this big pile down at the river, and there is lots more to pick from down there.

These pictures are from today. The first picture is the top pond and you can see that I need to finish that back edge this year. You can see that my ponds are build up with landscaping ties so the edges do not move and sink away. I will get some more Great Stuff. Big Gap filler, and finish that edge and then finish the rest of the cobble. It rained all night so the ground is wet, but the soil is very hard packed and no mud to worry about.
 
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Those stones are not mortared in but they are made o concrete
Oh Boy, LOADS of inspiration, THANKS!

DoDad - very nicely done! Are the rocks mortared in? Mortaring is waaaaay outside my comfort zone, but you have a great look going. Definitely something to consider, especially for a walk-up edge.

Colleen, I adore the oasis you created! I am intrigued how you filled in with goopy stuff and then stuff with moss -- mortar scares me, but you've come up with a happy medium that this DIY gal can handle, I think! I also have to tell you i'm quite smitten with some of your pathway ideas. We've started cutting up trees into round "stepping stones" and intend to use them as a path around the pond. Did you have to seal them before laying? How long have they been down and how are they holding up? Are your paths just in dirt or are they set in concrete?

RobAmy, your pond totally has the look I was going for, but in a raised setting. When you say the rock can just be broken with a hammer, does that mean you can whack at it and they will split in 2? or do you crumble off pieces until you get a smaller stone? Is there any way to control the break?

Thanks, guys!!
 
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Love thE look! Simple and elegant. Is it limestone?
Those stones are not mortared in but they are made o concrete
Ooop should have read farther lol! It looks great, and so much like real stone. I've heard of people getting large pieces of concrete that has been pulled up from patios etc. and they recycle them into a sandstone or flagstone patio style and stain them to look like it.
 
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Hi Priscilla! (love your pond too, btw! I'm SOOOOOOOOO jealous that you are in the tropics!)

I really did like the RoaR (lol!). My only complaint is really with my particular application as the horizontal line that resulted from the way I installed it didn't look all that great. I will say, It is good for "tricking out" preformed ponds to make them look more like a concete basin than a piece of black plastic, and I fully intend to reuse my pieces to hide the black liner below where my rock edges will be placed.

I also had to piece the RoaR around the curves, which created seems I didn't really care for, but I found that if instead of cutting it, you kinked it up to make a curve, it made it look more like jagged rocks. Once the new rocks are in place with the rock on a roll below, I'll post some pictures!

For my ponds, I ended up cutting each roll in half the longway - my ponds are between 18 and 24 inches deep, so I found I didn't need the full 3 foot width to cover the edges.

Hope this helps!
I was also wondering about your RR, I have a few small areas on my pond walls that I can't get rocks on because they wall is not slanted enough, maybe 2 foot square. I was hoping to put RR on like a wall paper in the trouble spots. Will it work for under water wall use not top edge? I thought I could glue it in place and rock the top edge.
 
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I was also wondering about your RR, I have a few small areas on my pond walls that I can't get rocks on because they wall is not slanted enough, maybe 2 foot square. I was hoping to put RR on like a wall paper in the trouble spots. Will it work for under water wall use not top edge? I thought I could glue it in place and rock the top edge.
RoaR is definitely OK for underwater use on the sides, but if memory serves, they advise not to glue it down -- something about it becoming a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria, maybe? Is there a way you can put it over the trouble spots with the top edge overlapping the edge of your pond, and then pile some rocks on top to hold it in place? The material is slightly stiff, so you'll have to manhandle the material to get it to make that 45 degree bend, but it's not hard by any means and if you get a few wrinkles in it, that just makes it look a little more like jagged stone.
 

addy1

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I cut mine in uneven edges wrinkled it, glued it down, algae dirt accumulates it looks totally natural later.
 
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I_M_Patiens

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Oops. pictures went without verbiage. First time... My ponds are surrounded by lumpy local rocks. I would love to use flat ones but they are few and far between. The larger photo is a close-up of the waterfall using the few flattish rocks I could find. My dogs frequently shove rocks into the pond inadvertently while looking for frogs to scare (bits of liner poking through). The lower pond was built into a hill in my backyard that was kind of sliding on to the deck. Solved a muddy problem quite well. :) The other pond is in the upper right hand corner of first photo.
 
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RoaR is definitely OK for underwater use on the sides, but if memory serves, they advise not to glue it down -- something about it becoming a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria, maybe? Is there a way you can put it over the trouble spots with the top edge overlapping the edge of your pond, and then pile some rocks on top to hold it in place? The material is slightly stiff, so you'll have to manhandle the material to get it to make that 45 degree bend, but it's not hard by any means and if you get a few wrinkles in it, that just makes it look a little more like jagged stone.
I will be looking into this. I want to put in on the stepping area and one very small square section of wall. I can tuck it behind the surrounding rocks. I will look into the bad bacteria issue.
 
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