Barbara & Larry Earl
By Larry Earl - Click images to enlarge
We were married in 1986, and have been water gardening since 1992. Our first pond went well (for the most part!) It was made of concrete (2.5 cubic yards) and held roughly 1500 gallons. It was three feet deep at the deep end. All was fine for a while. I had built up the waterfall from the removed earth. I faced the front of it with boulders and a small pool that would trickle into the main pond. Then one day while we had the pump on, but were inside, Ol' Murphy got together with Mr. Gravity, and decided they'd settle the earth mound just a little more!
What I had was a sort of cement 'bowl' that I made on the top that would lead the water over the falls. But as the earth settled, this tipped back ever so slightly, and the water started running off the back side, down and around the mound. And, carrying the mud slide with it. We ended up with over a foot of lovely mud in the pond. This all happened in about an hour! The 'mound' was rebuilt, using concrete block construction on a firm foundation. We learned two lessons that day. Never leave the pump going unattended on a brand new pond, and don't trust an earth mound to stay put! Even though I thought I had compacted it well. I hope this story of our first pond experience will save a headache for someone else.
Since then we have moved out to the country. We have five acres which we are trying to create a park-like setting out of. Maybe not for us, but sometime in the future there will be huge mature trees. And we are being sure to plant Valley Oaks (Quercus lobata) every so often to help ensure that the garden will remain, after we are long gone. The Valley Oaks are a protected species around here.
We moved a manufactured home onto the land, which we are now living in. And lately we are devoting our spare time (what's that?) to digging a pond around our new home. It will be on three sides of the house. It will be roughly 1/2 acre in size, with a small island, for bonfires and maybe even campouts! This is the best way we can see to combat this heat of interior central California. But it's a 'dry' heat we hear. I don't think that matters after it hits that century mark! Pictures will appear here as progress is made.
I am also working on some hollow underwater fish-condos/sculptures for the pond. Like Mermaids and Manatees! And I hope to put in an underwater viewing window under our front porch! One of my college instructors once said that I really should be living in Disneyland. I fear he was right!