Posts Tagged ‘koi pond’

down by the ceement pond

Monday, June 6th, 2011

No pond action in ages. The skeeterwater is now gone but the pond liner is still covered in dirt the rain washed down. Currently being vacuumed…

vacuuming the pond

Getting filled this week, mayhaps. Hmmm. Water or jello, whaddya think?


shades of deliverance

Friday, May 27th, 2011

So is the koi pond up and running yet? Uh… well, not quite yet. What we have right now is more of a festering swamp than a pond.

our lovely swamp

The crew pumped out most of the rainwater a few days ago but we still have this mosquito-friendly bit left to deal with. Better get on that. Before the hillbillies show up.

progress report: whoa, dude!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

So what’s new? Let’s see… feelings of inadequacy. Doubts we can live up to our unbelievably fabulous new patio. And ideas for ways to regain some of that white trash aesthetic we’re so accustomed to. Yup, the upper patio is pretty much done.


The boys from Land Design Associates weathered two damp, blustery days to make it happen. I love you guys. They raked out a thick layer of crushed stone base and stone dust, then tamped it down good…


They compacted the heck out of it…


FYI, that’s a screed board being dragged across the surface to make it smooth. Screed. Not scrod. Does not smell like fish.


And then the granite started to go down…


And then more (torrential downpour break!)…


And then just like that, all the stone was in. The seams were filled in with stone dust…


And the whole thing was swept clean. The rectangle by the railing will be the home of the corten steel grill/firepit. More on that another time…


With the patio essentially done, it was time to clean up the yard. The crew raked out the soil and graded the slope so that it wouldn’t be so steep around the pond’s edge…


And then our gorgeous, boulder-free soil was once again revealed.


So this is what we’re left with: a supa-dope patio that looks like it goes with the house and a clean slate for pond-side plants and lawn. (Click to biggify for the full dope…)


Before the crew cleared out of the back area, they brought in two 5′ granite steps for the top of the yard…


I’ve been picturing this little spot as the perfect shady vantage point from which to gaze upon our swank new kingdom from some yet-to-be-determined bench…


Funny. This spot is considerably higher than the pond but the camera just can’t capture that. What it also can’t capture is how psyched I am that the boys also added 4′ stone steps out front where that tree came down last week…


Thank you! New trees coming soon. Also coming soon: the lower patio. But for now, the machinery sleeps.


progress report: cap done!

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Yesterday the crew from Land Design Associates came and knocked that pond into shape, finishing off the wall with a granite cap. I’ll make this quick so we can get to the big reveal.

First, they trimmed back the liner, scalloping the edge like it was a giant rubber doily. I assume that’s so the mortar can adhere the cap stones to the cinder block, right?

the rubber liner gets trimmed back

There were clouds of stone dust…

pond capstone cutting

Much hefting, measuring, slathering of mortar and leveling…

pond capstone mortaring

And then…

pond cap done!


no really, it’s DONE!

Oooooooh! Aaaaaaaaaaaah! Now we let the mortar harden up and pretend like we’re not already lighting the grill and mixing up a pitcher of sangria.


tougher than it looks

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Pardon me for a few sick days. Back at it now — and lookie, we have achieved pond liner!

finished pond liner

The best part: Joe and David did it without a single excuse not to! Want to see how?

First the cat took one final roll in the sand. I don’t understand why she never used the pond as a giant litter box. I certainly would have. But for whatever reason, she didn’t…

one last roll in the sand

Our friend Joe has some experience in dealing with rubber so we took complete advantage of his expertise. First, he gave the sand a final rake, being sure to curve the sand up the walls slightly…

the sand gets one last raking over

Then he and David laid out a base layer of heavy-duty geotextile fabric across the bottom of the pond and up and over the walls. It had to be done in two sections to fit our wacky L-shape…

a base of GeoTex geotextile fabric

Next, they added a layer of felt (again in two sections) as extra protection for the rubber liner…

and then a layer of felt

The boys were careful to keep the corners and overlapping bits as neat as possible. With the geotex fabric and the felt in, it almost looks like they’re done. But no. Hard part still to come.

pond all geotexed and felted up

Next up: the .045″ EPDM Firestone PondGard rubber liner. Luckily our neighbor has a green, rock-free lawn where they were able to roll out the rubber and cut it into two sections. Thanks, neighbor!

EPDM rubber liner gets trimmed to fit

As they did with the geotex fabric, Joe and David fit the rubber over the tops of the walls with plenty of overlap…

liner gets positioned so that it overlaps the wall

The steel bridge supports were slipped into their grooves atop felt in the hopes of protecting the rubber liner…

steel bridge supports are set in felt atop the rubber

As you’d imagine, it’s hard to be precise with a rubber liner. It’s bulky, awkward stuff to work with when you have squared up walls and corners to contend with rather than an organic shape. There was also the matter of seaming together the two pieces of liner without it looking like a hack job…

rubber is carefully dealt with on cantankerous corners

Thank god they managed the corners and seams with a great amount of care. And colorful language.

neat and tidy seams

The overlapping seams were joined by cleaning the surface area, then brushing on Carlisle Low-VOC primer.

Carlisle Low-VOC Primer adheres the liner to the seam tape

The primer softens the EPDM enough for 3″ peel-and-stick seam tape to fully adhere the rubber together. On top of the 3″ stuff, the boys cleaned and primed the surface again and applied 6″ uncured rubber tape that comes in this crazy, super-sticky roll…

super sticky peel-and-stick 6" uncured rubber tops off the seams

The binoculars in the background were not used to see what the sunbathing coeds down the street were up to. That would be unseamly, right?

the boys finish off the seams

So now the two-pieces of liner are fused into one L-shaped piece of leak-free liner. Knock on wubber. It rained yesterday and I see no leaks.

pond liner — finished and rained on

The water, bridges and plants should be enough to mask whatever imperfections are sure to keep David awake at night. Looks fine to me. Jim Egan and his crew should be here some time this week to deal with plumbing the pond, capping the walls with stone and finishing up the patios. Can I get a whoop-whoop?!

oops, not gneiss?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

You may or may not find this amusing. Remember how late last year David and I deliberated over the choice of stone for the patios and pond surround? We went with a very light, clean-looking granite…

grey granite closeup

At the time, we just assumed it hailed from somewhere nearby. Perhaps The Granite State, New Hampshire? It could also have come from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and New York, which all have granite quarries.

Igneousramuses, we should have thought to ask.

So would you like to venture where our very affordable granite was born? Go ahead, click to biggify…

our stone is from china, what the?!

CHINA. Doh! It was shipped from the other side of the planet and it’s still more affordable than local granite. How do they do that? Argh.

Will it look fabulous when the patio’s all done? Yup. Will we feel just a little bit guilty for being planet killers? Yup. At least until we polish off the first pitcher of celebratory margaritas. Schistheads.

Here, listen to this with me and maybe we’ll both feel better. (circa 1961 and part of the COMPLETELY GENIUS Ballads for the Age of Science record collection I found for Bix)

number four

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

pile of pond liner

Wednesday morning. 6 a.m.

50% chance of precipitation, which is 50% decent excuse. Pond liner guy shows up and leaves the pond liner and felt in a pile out back. Thanks pond liner guy.

Looks like David and Joe will be installing this themselves.

even readier

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Tuesday the boys from Land Design Associates swung by with yet more stone for the two patios…

arriving with more stone

It waits in the wings, so to speak, until the pond liner is in…

and even more stone

Before they left, they rolled back the thermal blankets…

rolling up blankets

First time in four months that we can see the ground…

clear upper patio, ready to go

Relieved to know it’s still there.

prepping the pond

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

May 2. Much like the robins in springtime, the heavy machinery returns to the garden…

the big machinery arrives

We have machinery here so often that apparently the cat is no longer terrified of it.

Pond liner guy says he needs more sand on the bottom of the pond. And this morning he got more sand on the bottom of the pond. Sand was carted up the hill, as well as the granite slabs that will be used to cap the pond wall…

granite slabs arrive

The boys raked out about an inch of clean sand on the bottom of the pond, curving it slightly up the walls so there will be less of an angle for the rubber liner…

pond prep... AGAIN

That sandy bottom is now like buttah. Buttah!

sand added to the pond bottom

Pond liner guy is expected at about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Shall we open the wagering on his next excuse for not being able to begin?

third time’s a charm

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Pond liner guy shows up again for the third time this week. Now he claims there’s not enough sand in the bottom of the pond and he can’t put in the liner. Again. Why he failed to notice that at the beginning of the week so that someone could prep the pond god only knows. You irk me, pond liner guy.