By Sheila Tierney
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When the road in front of your property is being widened, truckloads of road base have been dumped there and heavy rain washes most of into your front yard, what do you do? We turned it into a clay lined pond. Ropes and hoses were laid on the ground on the approximate site of the new pond which was on a slope. Cars were parked, reversed, put in and out of garages, laundry was hung out etc. to make sure having a pond in this area wouldn't interfere with normal lifestyle.

A backhoe and bulldozer were brought in by a local contractor. The level of the land was taken and formwork was put up outside the work area to determine eventual height of wall on the downside. The road base (clay with some small stones) was pushed to one side, the hole was dug, soil compressed around the downside edge. The contractor then spread the road base inside the hole and compressed it. The backhoe was used in the middle and tidied up the hole with its bucket. When the operator was happy with the hole he put a spirit level on the top of the bucket and swung it around and around in circles to cut the wall level.

Because a fountain was needed a 2' square concrete paving slab was laid and levelled, a milk crate was put on top with one side cut away. A Hozelock 2000 pump was inserted in the crate and its lead run out to the power socket outside the pond. A hose was put on top of the pump, threaded through and inserted up the boy and girl under an umbrella fountain. Another fountain was placed on the edge and piped into to the underwater irrigation system controlled through a stopcock.

Oxygenators and marginals were planted and the pond filled with water from the creek. When the pond was filled there was only 2cm difference at one point and this was chosen as the overflow site. A trench was dug and 2" polythene pipe placed there and the front edge packed solidly. The pond was filled again and the overflow pipe adjusted until water flowed easily and came out the other end at the top of a bank where a stone waterfall had been built to channel the water down into a dam built into a valley. The overflow was then filled in, the soil was raked level and grass seed sown. Once the water had warmed up waterlilies, planted in large bowls, were placed around inside the pond.

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