Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pond, Part 2

After letting the kids play in 100 gallons of water for an hour the tank did not settle.  We drained it and did some more scraping and chopping.  I cut out a chunk of Redbud root and some more of the larger root that Ron had chopped out.  I tried seating it several more times (I just tipped the empty tank up on the front of the site, it's not terribly heavy) and think I'm leaving it like it is.  The front and back are an inch higher than the center and sides.  This is a stock tank and meant to withstand horses and cows beating it up and ranchers not bothering to level their sites.  It won't leak.  Something else to consider when filling a storage basin that is at a higher elevation than the water source:  siphoning.  When you shut off the hose, you need to pull it out of the tank or the the water can back into your household plumbing.  I knew about this ahead of time, just warning y'all.

While on the water garden tour last weekend, we talked to several of the members and were offered water hyacinth, water lettuce, a rigid liner and waterfall, baby koi and a lotus for our garden!  These, in addition to the miniature and pygmy waterlilies, and house plants we chose at the plant exchange, confirm the generosity of club members!  I look forward to sharing our bounty in next year's exchange and being on the tour. 

Here is a photo of our patio pond.  The container is a 20 inch resin pot from Kmart that does not come with the hole pre-drilled.  I placed bricks inside to support the waterlily pots and the rain chain is from Target.  The chain looks like copper, but is not, it is painted.  I drilled the holes in the cups out with a 1/4 inch drill bit, the ones it had were impossibly small for it's function.  It replaced the downspout from the deck guttering and is very pleasant in the rain...when we get any.  The idea of the rain chain is Japanese, a Google search will turn up many lovely photos of them in different shapes and lots of information.  I thought they were getting more popular, but did not see any homes on the tour with them installed.  We may very well have seen the only ten without them!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


No, not a Doctor Who reference...this time!  We are building our second pond!  The first being a small patio pond in a 20 inch resin pot under a rain chain at the corner of our deck.  This pond is based in a 300-gallon Rubbermaid stock tank. 

We moved into this modest house almost a year ago and one of the first thoughts to cross my mind was "I can have a pond!"  My partner and I are avid water garden fans.  For many years we eagerly went on the Water Garden Society of Greater Kansas City's tours, taking hundreds of photos, asking questions and dreaming of what we wanted when we could finally dig in the Earth.  Almost as soon as we got settled in here, we joined the Society.  It was the first step almost everyone over the years said we needed to do.   Membership includes discounts at numerous local and not-too-distant merchants of rock, fish, plants and supplies, as well as the knowledge-base of past newsletters and the entire membership in their great generosity and fellowship.  Awful nice folks!

We rent our house and do not wish to risk the wrath of our manager by excavating the entire back yard.  The best solution we have thought of or heard from any of the hundreds of folks we've asked is this:  Buy a stock tank, preformed liner, or build a raised pond.  Of the three, we thought that the third, with tons of rock or timbers to buy and haul, would be the most expensive and labor-intensive.  We would like to finish it this summer.  Preformed liners tend to be too shallow for fish to live in in the winter, even with a heater, and too small for koi.  We want koi.  The stock tank is a solution we have seen before.  On the first Tour we went on, there was a home in my grandparent's old neighborhood South of Bannister Road that had at least 20 galvanized stock tanks in the back yard.  There were rocks cemented to some, some cascaded into others, some were still, some had fountain heads spraying water.  It was quite the sight.  I have photos of it, somewhere.

We bought the tank last week.  We started excavating a level site yesterday.

Part 2 to follow