FOUNTAINS & BIRDBATHS
Living in an apartment in the city,
one would think there would hardly be room for a pond. But with
a little imagination and a lot of effort it was possible to capture
that feeling. The sound of running water soothes the soul and now
I have that essence in my very own yard.
My apartment building has approx. 6'x
14' of yard area. In that space, I have not only installed a submerged
pond but proudly display a four tiered fountain and two tiered fountain
and two birdbaths.
The hardest part about starting the
project was getting the permission of the landlord to uproot a small
tree and dig up four feet of dirt to install the pond. A pre formed
(65 gallon) pond was purchased.
The pond was laid upon the dirt, where
it was to be installed, and the staked around the perimeter so one
knew where to start digging. The pond has two shallow planting shelves,
one at each end, which needed to be formed into the dirt to support
their bottoms. This took a bit of trial and error to get a snug
fit. You have to remember once the pond is filled with water the
weight of these shelves would crush if not supported properly. A
layer of sand should be added on top of the dirt before inserting
the pond. Otherwise the pond can shift if you should happen to overflow.
Trust me, I found out the hard way.
With the most of the hard work over,
I needed to decide how it was to be landscaped. I wanted to have
a water fall towards the back of the pond as well as a frog spewing
the water back into the middle. Those who know me know I have to
have my frogs.
Next came the foliage in and around
the pond, trying to keep a natural looking setting. Horsetails [
equisetum hyemale ] and moss outside the pond were chosen for their
durability. Water Hyacinths [ eichornia crassipes] and Water Lettuce
[ pistia stratioes ] make nice water toppings and for pond surface
and provide shelter as well as a source of food for the fish. These
plants are seasonal. And for a color splash, a water lily was added.
The colors of the plants accent the red rocked water fall.
The links below are sites to help
you find some of the supplies needed - reformed ponds, pumps, fish
and plants. Try your local hardware like a Home Depot store or it's
equal, for your bricks and rocks. I saved a bit of money by getting
the decorative rocks at a local distributor of bricks, sand and
blocks. These places are usually located near the train tracks to
save costs of transporting to local stores.
Tropical Water Lily
The lawn had suffered from the process
of digging and trampling so I decided to roll out a new one. After
all, the appearance had to keep up with the glamour of the new pond.
Now all needed was adding fish. Goldfish
and Koi are among the dirtiest of all fish. They need to be in a
heavy filtered system in order to keep their feces from polluting
the water. They leave a high ammonia in your pond so the proper
filtration system is mandatory. Also found out the hard way when
I awoke to the lovely flourishing pond of Koi - all floating on
their backs. They literally drowned in their own waste and a costly
mistake you should avoid making. A biological power filter, that
recirculates clean water back into the pond, was quickly installed.
This works wonderfully and helps keep the water crystal clear.
With time the other water projects
of fountains and bird baths were added to
the yard until it reached its capacity. Many times I've glanced
out the window to see the neighbors giving a first hand tour of
the garden to their friends. It also attracts a wide variety of
animals from birds to squirrels to raccoons and more.
Copyright 1996-2005 Nancy Bearnth