Monday, May 28, 2012

memorial weekend 2012 pond updates

Joel had some time to play on the tractor so we were working on some pond updates this weekend. When he did the last digging over a year ago with a backhoe, he ran out of time and wasn't able to move any of the clay piles around the pond. My nephew started moving one on the SE corner a week ago and Joel started working on it this weekend. The huge claypile was on the very edge of the pond so you couldn't access the water and we had a low area just East of there that needed filling in. So they began moving the clay pile to the area to the East ..under the big pine tree and south. This is very hard heavy clay so it was a lot of moving. There is also another clay pile North of there and several West of the pond.

The first photos show where he flattened out where the first Clay pile was, and you can see where it is being moved to, that area will still need to be levelled and any extra clay will be moved out of there when the levelling is done. There will be more digging out of the pond in this area eventually, probably later this summer, and then this area is destined to become a Japanese garden. We have a pine, an eastern hemlock, 2 russian olives and a weeping and a swamp willow in this area. This is the SE corner of the lower pond.

I have planted baby Jerusalem Artichoke hedge to HIDE the ugly travel trailer at the neighbors across the field, they pulled it back into the field right in the center of our view..yuk. I'm standing on the SW corner of the lower pond bank here, eventually the flat clay area will be dug back to the pine tree so the pond will be larger there (it was but the dig made it smaller, but deeper). The banks will also be graded and the swamp willows removed, so that there will be a gradual bank to the water's edge when we re dig.

The pond bank will be dug nearer the base of the trees and shrubs here (I'm standing on the East side of the south pond) and eventually this will be levelled and turned into a japanese style garden.

Thiis area below is a spot across a wetlands area on the NE side of the upper pond, that we leave shallow and with cattails for the red wing blackbirds and cover for the fish. It is my favorite place to sit and watch the wildlife.

The dock has an arbor over the end of it with baby "tickled pink" seedless grapes, baby woodbine vine and just popped up baby morning  glory vines as well as shrubs and flowers growing all along that North bank.

Here is the boardwalk and bridge leading to the tiny little island between the upper and lower ponds. The ponds are shaped like a wierd figure 8 with the island in the center. There is a pump north of the bridge with a pond filter and a waterfall on the island. I have just begun to plant baby perennials and shrubs and trees on the island this year. I have also begun to plant marginal perennials on both sides of the boardwalk at this end of the bridge.

You can KINDA see the waterfall where it goes into the water here (better photos to follow). I put in the baby Bloodgood Japanese maple along with a lot of other perennials, lemon balm, bleeding heart, hosta, a pink rose, miscanthus grass, artemesia, lambs ears, Gold  Coast Juniper, sedums, mosses, daylillies, and others. Also have planted baby Carmine cherry, goji berry, Aronia, and a Giant Breda Medlar on the island, some have frosted though so I am not sure they'll survive.

On the right at the edge of the photo is a bit of the Giant Breda Medlar baby tree showing, I'm on the island looking SE toward the yard where we are putting the clay piles to level a low area, and also where we are removing the clay, that area will be dug farther back.
Another view of the south pond, there are Hardy Lotus and water lilies planted all over the pond, but raising the water level "sunk" them below the surface, they'll be back in no time reaching for the sun.

In this view I'm standing on the island looking North at the north pond . That BLUE LINE you see on the bank is the hose that we used to raise the water level by a foot, it has since been removed. You can't see the waterfall here but it is on the other side of the rocks and will be visible in other photos. The island bench is behind me here. There are a lot of water lilies planted in this area but they sunk when the water level was raised a foot..they'll be back. The cloudiness of the water is caused from pumping all that water in over such a short period of time (neighbors are lowering the level of their pond for some construction and they were testing their pump so we got the water..woo hoo) Just N of the pond bank you can see where the trails begin through our North woods.

This is my favorite sitting place on the entire propoerty, I have partial shade from the aspen, I have privacy from everyone but the cars passing on the road on the far side of the field that we are reclaiming to woods.
My lawnswing is on the shallowest end of the wetlands area of the pond, where I can watch the redwing blackbird feeding their babies, the turtles and fish, listen to the bullfrogs and tree frogs, and be entertained by birds and critters. I sit here whenever I need to clear my mind, and swing.
On the far NE end of the pond you can see a mess. Joel put some clay pile dirt around the apple tree on the East side where our overflow raise the overflow level of the pond so we could get another foot of depth. And then when they brought our pond level up by pumping water into it last night, Joel went over to that side and found the lowest land spot and dug a v trench and put in an overflow of PVC pipe JUST about an inch or two above the water level, so we won't get flooding of the surrounding land. The clay was wet from an all day rain, so he was slipping and sliding with the tractor and made a mess, but we got the overflow in and will clean it up when it dries off. He is going to use the clay piles on that side of the pond to raise the soil level on the East side of the pond, and will regrade all of the banks on that side of the pond (and maybe do a little enlarging when we can get another backhoe rental under our belts).

Here is another view from beside my swing. I have planted baby trees and shrubs and flower and groundcovers all along this north bank, but they are hard to see from here. You can see the clay pile that Joel started moving yesterday, on the far bank, he cut more than half the height off of it already but it has a lot yet to be done.

In this photo now you can see the waterfall on the island, you can see part of the south pond (I'm standing on the North pond North bank looking South). You can see where the one clay pile on the SE was removed and partially levelled where Joel intends to dig out more of the pond and you can see the clay pile that he is working on digging out to the left beyond the end of the dock and NE of the island. You can see a few of the baby trees planted along the north bank of the north pond in the foreground.

Baby grapes, woodbine vines, morning glories will be going up over this arbor soon, above the photos out of site is a bluebird house (swallows are nesting in it).

Slip Slidy Clay the very very edge of the left side of the photo is the LOW spot on the waters edge. After raising the water level by a foot yesterday we located the lowest spot and Joel went over there with the tractor, slipping on clay, and dug a V into that area and laid PVC pipe for an overflow about 2" above where the water level is now, so that it won't flood. Obviously he couldn't do any more work other than getting the pipe in and covering it cause the clay was so wet from lots of rain that day. EVENTUALLY, when it dries out enough, he'll take the tractor back over there and he'll finish taking down that clay pile on the right side, spread it over the low area to level it and bring in more fill if necessary to get a nicely landscaped bank there (not sure if he plans to dig more there in the future to enlarge the pond to the east but he likely does. He will eventually get it all landscaped, levelled and we'll get the gardens planted. Just 2 days ago this was mown lawn..yukko..not now.
This is the far East end of the North pond, which used to overflow just THIS SIDE of the apple tree leaving the roots of the apple tree flooded when the water was high. Saturday night Joel brought clay from the piles and filled in this area around the apple tree and along the ditch (beyond the clay fill) and also this raised our water level area of the pond so that it would not overflow here. After raising the water level yesterday, we found the NEW LOW area and it is just about the far right hand side of the photo, looking hard you can see the new white pvc pipe that was just buried there last night about 2" above the water level. This will be the NEW overflow pipe to the pond (to the ditch beyond) and it will allow the water level to go only 2" higher than it is now before it will overflow into the ditch (we need to screen that pipe to keep our fish in but right now no water is flowing through it.)
You can see ONE of the baby bushes that are planted along the pond edge (a red barberry) but there are lots of baby shrubs and trees planted all along the entire North bank and also along the woods edge here, including roses, apricot trees, heartnut trees, maples, alberta spruce, white pine, white spruce, box elder, junipers, etc etc..and there are also dozens of marginal plants and perennials and even some fruit crop babies like elderberries growing along the edges. Eventually we'll get the banks all graded and gardens planted esp the Japenese Garden that Joel really wants to have in his view from his house. This apple tree is an unnamed self seeded early yellow apple (we'll have to think of a name for it)..very good if eaten fresh and early, not a good keeper.

Here you can get a small glimpse of the baby perennials we have planted on the bank edge, and there are some siberian iris out in the water as well as some sterile lytrum in magenta pink and lots of water lilies that sunk below the surface when the water level was raised last night.

Looking back at the best seat on the property. You can see that eventually there will be trees all around this seat and lots of flowering perennials and food bearing crops.
Here is the view from the best seat on the property. I'll be 61 in less than a month, sometimes I wonder if the construction of this pond, the planting of the gardens, etc. will ever be done in my lifetime, but if not, Joel will continue to enjoy it. Still in the plans, finish the digging and landscaping, put in a flowing artesian well (maybe this year) and eventually have real fish besides the hundreds of goldfish in the pond now..and then ..just enjoy.


  1. Joel had some time to play on the tractor so we were working on some pond updates this weekend. When he did the last digging over a year ago Online Nursery

  2. It is great post and truly helping for pond proprietors. Items are dependable and you must keep your pond keep up. All the support fits in with review and cure of breaks and is impossible safely without Pond Liner Repair by Pond Pro 2000