Waterfall into pond starting point


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Hi everyone
I need some help on where to start my waterfall into my pond. This will all be a new build. I am including a picture. In the first picture i am stand where the pond will be. The second the pond will be to the left of the patio. It is 17ft to the big rock and approximately a 40 degrees incline. I would prefer not to go all the way to the top of the hill by the rock because that is alot of material and more importantly a-lot of rock i would need. I want it to look natural yet don’t know how to do that if i start in the middle of the hill. I have googled my heart out for pictures but have found nothing. Anyone have any ideas or pictures?
 

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brokensword

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Hi everyone
I need some help on where to start my waterfall into my pond. This will all be a new build. I am including a picture. In the first picture i am stand where the pond will be. The second the pond will be to the left of the patio. It is 17ft to the big rock and approximately a 40 degrees incline. I would prefer not to go all the way to the top of the hill by the rock because that is alot of material and more importantly a-lot of rock i would need. I want it to look natural yet don’t know how to do that if i start in the middle of the hill. I have googled my heart out for pictures but have found nothing. Anyone have any ideas or pictures?
imo, this is a personal choice type thing; what looks good to you might look bad to me, you know? Were it mine, I'd take some pics and put them into a drawing program and sort of mock it up, with various ideas/starting points. If you find something online you like, try to mimic it as much as you can. But this is coming from someone who built his pond INSIDE a structure, so anything can be built if you can visualize it. Imo, you want to make it sprawling as that would be more natural. Streams seldom are 'straight', so consider some meandering path. Rocks around the pond should not just 'ring the rosey' but have outcrops that extend into your yard a bit. Same goes for the landscape and that will do more good than you can currently imagine toward making your new pond area look natural.

Just my couple of pesos.
 

Jhn

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I would have the waterfall facing the patio, honestly 17’ is not that far for the length/width of a pond. Bigger is always better with ponds, especially if you want to keep koi.
 
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imo, this is a personal choice type thing; what looks good to you might look bad to me, you know? Were it mine, I'd take some pics and put them into a drawing program and sort of mock it up, with various ideas/starting points. If you find something online you like, try to mimic it as much as you can. But this is coming from someone who built his pond INSIDE a structure, so anything can be built if you can visualize it. Imo, you want to make it sprawling as that would be more natural. Streams seldom are 'straight', so consider some meandering path. Rocks around the pond should not just 'ring the rosey' but have outcrops that extend into your yard a bit. Same goes for the landscape and that will do more good than you can currently imagine toward making your new pond area look natural.

Just my couple of pesos.
I do plan on twists and turns so that will result in the steam probably being closer to 20-25 feet from top to bottom of hill. I would need quite a few large rocks for that and also the difficulty of place the on top of the hill. We have access to a small backhoe to assist but it would be a little precarious placing the larger rocks/boulders on top of the hill. This is why i was hoping some had pictures or ideas for keeping it natural looking but also starting partway down the hill
 
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My pond is a few feet from deck and my yard slopes away downhill from my house. At first I had a waterfall facing the deck..and after a year I just couldn’t do it anymore. It looked so unnatural and fake. Water flowing uphill? Nah. So I made it (and a few others) facing the hill. Can I see it sitting on my deck? kinda…if I’m sitting right on the edge or standing at the railing. And it looks like a stream is flowing out from underneath the deck. A few years later I added a second pond to the left of the old pond. And naturally there’s a drop off. So now I can see that waterfall from my house. So in my opinion I valued a natural/realistic setting over aesthetics.
 
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I guess what im trying to get help with is starting the waterfall/stream partway up the hill but in a way that looks natural for
 
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You also want to go INSIDE the house and see what you see from there. You want your waterfall visible from as many viewing points as possible and you'll be looking at it from inside the house as well.

There should be nothing precarious about placing rocks on an incline if you understand the principle. Pond builders in our area LOVE a slope - most of the time they're trying to figure out how to create a waterfall on a perfectly flat back yard.

If you haven't already, check out Team Aquascape on YouTube - they've got so much great content on pond building in all different sorts of situations. There are lots of others other there posting content as well - they're giving you all the tips and tricks you'll need, but you'll want to spend some time studying what they do. They use the same simple concepts over and over again and yet every single build is different based on what they're working with. The Pond Digger is another great source on YouTube for DIY builds.

Honestly from your photos it's hard to tell how big the slope is - it doesn't appear to be a 40 degree slope, but you're there so you would know that better than anyone looking at a picture.

The long and short of it is there is no one single spot that would work best - there are dozens of ways you could build a pond and waterfall in that location.
 
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I would go to the top and use the large rock as one side of the fall. and then find another rock for the other side. What you are making is a stream with steps that will create a small waterfall. You probably don't need a backhoe but it depends on how hard the digging is. I did something very similar but it was 45 feet long and I dug it by hand. Here are two pictures of how it started. If you need it I can find a video of when it was finished. The important thing is to make the sides deep enough that the water doesn't run over. Not real deep though but maybe 8". Also, make it wider than you want it to be because when you put in rock it will narrow quickly. You will need a lot of rock to make it look right. Check out craigslist or take a ride in the country or visit some farms.
 

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SarahT

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Start the water fall anywhere on the slope, and plant shrubs above and to the sides of the start of the waterfall. Most streams start with a spring in the hillside, not at the top of the hill. Then, for a natural looking stream, go up to the start with a hose and see where the water goes, and adjust where the waterfall starts so it flows to the pond. Streams change course and direction when they run into something they need to go around, and plants grow next to streams, so can hide a lot of liner without lots of big heavy rocks. You can simulate approximately where you'll put big rocks and curves in your stream by using a small trash can with a few rocks in it as a test. Regrade the slope a little for your aesthetic pleasure, extending the regrading efforts a few feet on either side so it fits in (you won't need rocks for that). I have a weakness for bridges, and upslope seating areas, so maybe that fits your dream. Share pictures as you go along, and have fun.
 
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The first trick with waterfalls is to start at the bottom and work your way up.build around your rocks not make your rocks fit the build.
The second tip is foam foam and more foam. When you create your pooling areas you'll want to keep the water from running under the rocks. Foaming under around between the rocks will direct the water where you want it. Place a new piece of rubber over the whole area and you can limit how much water that will seep out even more.
Very rarely which most are guilty of is to make a perfectly flat wide falls . Rarely is that the case in nature and the very first thing we see and if its a sheet of water immediately its looking man made. Having water come off a flat rock but drops and is squeezed into a channel is what looks natural. The water is split by a couple rocks forcing the water off to the sides. Looks natural .
All to often we see what looks more like a set of stairs for waterfalls. Where each fall is the same width height and looking at you straight on.
YOU DONT NECESSARILY NEED BIG BOULDERS though in my opinion look the best. You can take a rock thats say 12x18x4 inches turn it so its standing on edge . Stand it up so its on the 12 inch wide and now you have a 18 inch tall boulder. Be creative with your plantings or have another rock with similar shape stand up in to that rock. Building rock walls are very expensive they are hard and slow to cut they require expensive diamond saw blades or are very time consuming trying to finish the puzzle what rock will meet up with another. Color shape and size all matter rock laying is an art.
Having the side boulders as big as you can make them is the most successful in a natural looking stream falls. Also you want to have those side in the shape of a U tha falls dropping at the bottom / or back of the U. This also helps control splashing and water loss.
Lastly don't be afraid to have one or more of the falls be completely turned so you only see the sides of the falls. This shows the curve the flow even more so then a straight on flow.
And like @Lisak1 said always keep in mind your sitting area at the patio and from where in the house will see how much and where.
 
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Heres a bunch of videos i collected of some impressive builds. On page two there's one of a pondless waterfall that is a great example of how to do it

 
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Wow! Those are some big waterfalls/streams. What i am hoping for is someone to show me some pictures of a waterfall that starts 3/4 of the way up the hill to the big rock but makes it look like it is from the top of the hill and not just exploding out of the ground for no reason. I feel like I should be able to disguise its starting point but am bot quite able to visualize it.
also if i didnt put rocks on all the liner edges what would anchor it
 
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The first trick with waterfalls is to start at the bottom and work your way up.build around your rocks not make your rocks fit the build.
The second tip is foam foam and more foam. When you create your pooling areas you'll want to keep the water from running under the rocks. Foaming under around between the rocks will direct the water where you want it. Place a new piece of rubber over the whole area and you can limit how much water that will seep out even more.
Very rarely which most are guilty of is to make a perfectly flat wide falls . Rarely is that the case in nature and the very first thing we see and if its a sheet of water immediately its looking man made. Having water come off a flat rock but drops and is squeezed into a channel is what looks natural. The water is split by a couple rocks forcing the water off to the sides. Looks natural .
All to often we see what looks more like a set of stairs for waterfalls. Where each fall is the same width height and looking at you straight on.
YOU DONT NECESSARILY NEED BIG BOULDERS though in my opinion look the best. You can take a rock thats say 12x18x4 inches turn it so its standing on edge . Stand it up so its on the 12 inch wide and now you have a 18 inch tall boulder. Be creative with your plantings or have another rock with similar shape stand up in to that rock. Building rock walls are very expensive they are hard and slow to cut they require expensive diamond saw blades or are very time consuming trying to finish the puzzle what rock will meet up with another. Color shape and size all matter rock laying is an art.
Having the side boulders as big as you can make them is the most successful in a natural looking stream falls. Also you want to have those side in the shape of a U tha falls dropping at the bottom / or back of the U. This also helps control splashing and water loss.
Lastly don't be afraid to have one or more of the falls be completely turned so you only see the sides of the falls. This shows the curve the flow even more so then a straight on flow.
And like @Lisak1 said always keep in mind your sitting area at the patio and from where in the house will see how much and where.
I like the look of the bigger boulders also but my backhoe is limited to about 500 lbs. also Not quite sure I understand your shape of a U.
 
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I like the look of the bigger boulders also but my backhoe is limited to about 500 lbs. also Not quite sure I understand your shape of a U.
Also what do you mean place a new piece of rubber over the whole area? How would that work?
 
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brokensword

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maybe not in your 'vision' but were it mine and I wanted a unique and easy way to disguise the falls/river beginning, I'd create a hole in your hill and put the plumbing underground. It'll look like you have a natural spring that flows downhill to your pond. I'd not put a lot of boulders initially, in this case. Think 'hobbit hole' sort of beginning.

Just an idea!!
 
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Build your pond . Let the bug bite you then youll wish that stream was 75 feet long. Build it in stages. I built mine over 4 years .
 
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Waterfalls and streams are not hard once you know the tricks but without seeing how the tricks are done it can be beyond stressful trying to getget things to work and look natural. I suggest watching Atlantis water gardens. Aquascape , team aquascape, john g modern design, and tussy landscaping. Water the videos you can pick up a trick from almost every video.
 

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