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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Water Gardens

Water garden construction is, in principle anyway, easy. It is simply a matter of digging a hole, dropping in an underliner, a liner and a re circulating pump and filling with water. Put in a few plants, fish, snails and such and its done. You have a functional water garden. How attractive it is, though, is another story – and that is where a lot of the work comes in.

The hole should be of a pleasing shape, geometric for a formal garden, natural for an informal. Depth is not terribly critical for over wintering fish because of the effective pond heaters which can be purchased. (As long as the water doesn’t freeze all the way down, and poisonous gasses can escape, the fish will be fine all winter.) But a pond that is three feet or more in any direction looks best with a depth of at least 18 inches. For larger ponds, some portion, especially in cold areas, should be 3 or 4′ deep. (My water garden is about 6 ft. on the long side and over two feet in depth at the deepest part. Vary the depth. A shallow section where the fish are easily visible and where you can feed them and watch them romping around is a pleasant feature.

Also, when digging the hole, build shelves into the sides. These are useful for placing margin plants and for hiding the liner and pump elements with river stones. Two shelves is ideal but one will work, especially on a small pool.

It is critical that the top edge of the hole be level all around. To check this, take a long, straight board and lay it across the pool with a level on it, or use a string with a line-level. Where it is low, build up with soil or lower where it is high. Getting this right will make it possible to fill the pool to the top with no portion of liner showing.

When the hole is dug, clean it of any protruding roots and large rocks, then place in the underliner. This can be an old carpet, a carpet liner or liner protection fabric, purchased from the suppliers. Make it as smooth and neat inside as possible, folding the material into pleats. Work from the inside to the outside, starting at one place and working around the sides in one direction. Leave a little extra over the edges and cut away the rest.

Next comes the liner. There are several material choices for the liner, my preference generally being 45 mil EPDM Pond Liner material. This is flexible, relatively easy to work with and is strong. 30 mil Butyl rubber Pond Liner is also good and is a little easier to work with. Lay the liner in as you did the underliner, working out the wrinkles, and folding over the excess. Leave about a ft. extra over the edge and trim away the rest. (A linoleum knife, if you can find one, works well. A utility knife is also fine.)

Once the liner is in place, mark the water level, fill it and let it sit several hours. There should be no drop in water level. If there is, go all along the sides and look for a low spot. Most likely that is where it is losing water. Holes are not common and should not occur if you have been reasonably careful.

Being possessed of abundant wisdom you no doubt acquired all the materials you would need for this project before beginning. Thus, you now find yourself surrounded by a ton of river rock and perhaps field stone of all sizes and shapes. River stone is rounded by the effect of water and looks right in water. Field stone is also a natural stone, weathered and smoothed and looks good around the outside of the pond.

You also have your pump near by. (The size of the pump you will need is a factor of the gallon capacity of the pond. Your supplier will tell you how to determine that and help you to select the right size.) (Or go to landscape-design-garden-plans.com).

Recirculating pumps draw water in through a filter and pump it back out, usually through plastic tubing which runs from the pump to outside the pond, usually to some sort of waterfall. From there it runs back into the pond, aerating the water and providing visual and audio pleasure. (Fish love this. You’ll often find them sporting in the water as it pours into the pond.) The filter can either be connected to the pump or you can use an external filter for easy cleaning.

Place the pump in the deepest portion of the pond, on the opposite end from where the water returns to the pond. Hopefully that will also be somewhere you can easily get at it. Run both the electric cord and the plastic return hose up the sides of the pond. Before you cut the hose, which carries the water from the pump to the waterfall, make sure it is in place with enough extra hose with the pump for easy lifting for cleaning. Since you don’t want to see the pump, place rocks on both sides of it, both just a little taller than the pump, and lay a rock over the top. Use the rest of your river stone and the field stone to lay into the sides and along the top for a natural look. Sand and or small rounded gravel can be poured over the bottom.

You next need to create the means by which the water is returned to the pool – a waterfall of some sort. This needn’t be elaborate and shouldn’t be out of proportion to the pond. Above all, make sure that where the water comes out of the tubing, no portion of it fails to make it back to the pond. If it does, the pond will slowly, but surely empty. This is why you left extra liner. Put extra liner behind and around the waterfall, all sloping to the pond. Water may escape and run under the bottom of the rocks but will still end up back in the pond. More than ninety percent of ‘leaks’ occur at the waterfall.

Build your flow-way or water fall over the liner and try to have the water drop from the lip of a smooth, flat stone into the pool, or to run over rounded rocks into the pool. Put attractive stones over the tubing, making sure not to crush it so much such that you get a spray of water instead of a flow.

It is a good idea to look at natural water features, streams and such, or at pictures of them to get stone placement right. Nature has a wonderful way of distributing stones along and within a stream or pond and an imitation of that, as much as possible, will give you the best look.

Garden Paths

Landscape gardening may follow along very formal lines or along informal lines. The first would have straight paths, straight rows in stiff beds, everything, as the name tells, perfectly formal. The other method is, of course, the exact opposite.

The formal arrangement is likely to look too stiff; the informal, too fussy, too wiggly. As far as paths go, keep this in mind, that a path should always lead to somewhere and to direct one to a definite place. Now, straight, even paths are not unpleasing if the effect is to be that of a formal garden. To avoid an abrupt curve and a whirligig effect in a curved path, t is far better to stick to straight paths unless you can make a really beautiful curve.

Garden paths may be of gravel, of stepping stones, of dirt, or of grass. One sees grass paths in some very lovely gardens. They may not work well in small gardens with limited garden areas that they are re-spaded each season. Of course, a gravel path makes a fine appearance, but again you may not have gravel at your command. Stepping stones, plain or decorated with a picture, suite your garden as well. To place stepping stones, dig out the path for two feet, then put in six inches of stone or clinker. Over this, pack in the dirt, rounding it slightly toward the center of the path. They form convenient places for water to stand. The under layer of stone makes a natural drainage system.

Gardening is limited only by your imagination. There’re so many things you can do with the garden. Besides garden paths, trees and flower beds, wind chimes brings relaxation and joy to your garden as well. In a nice summer morning, listening to your wind chimes while you garden. To hang wind chimes from the top of your porch, you can use a simple C shaped hook or any type hook that screws into the ceiling.

Info of Stone Garden Benches

Stone garden benches are one of the more sturdy types of garden benches found. They are usually made from carved stone, cast stones or stone slabs, and do not require much maintenance other than an occasional dusting. Though stone garden benches are considered to be one of the most durable garden benches, it is not a very comfortable type of a garden bench as the seat is as hard as a stone! If you do think of buying a stone garden bench, it is advisable to get a bench of the right size for your use. This is because a four-foot bench may only seat a person comfortably, and two people adequately if they don’t mind sitting close to each other! Those who are just friends had better go in for a five-foot stone bench to avoid any unnecessary complications that may arise.

Depending on the stone used for the garden bench, the rate of the bench will vary. A marble stone bench costs more than a granite stone bench but the life of both types of stone benches is about the same. The choice in buying the right type of stone bench lies in the hands of the buyer. As far as possible, buy from local stone bench stores. If you see a bench you like in the catalog from another place, it would better to ask the local furniture or garden supply if they can order the bench, and thus save on the shipping costs. Who knows, the local store may deal with the same wholesalers and order the bench for you!

Wooden Garden Shed

  1. To store small hand-held and large garden tools; manual and electrical
  2. A place to park the lawn mower, tiller, and other large gardening equipment
  3. Storing vegetables
  4. Cutting, planting, and transplanting plants
  5. Tool repairs

Many people prefer wooden constructed garden sheds rather than vinyl, resin, plastic, and various metal type sheds. It may be more expensive up-front, but lumber seems to have a longer life and therefore is less expensive. Wood is also easier to repair. The other types of sheds would need to be discarded and a new one purchased.

Plan before you start building. There are important considerations which need attention. Decide if you would like to build it or hire a contractor. Do you wish to assemble a shed kit or build it from scratch?

There is a wide variety of wooden type garden sheds which may be ordered from local sources or from online. Note any additional items which may be needed. These items may be concrete blocks, tools and other hardware accessories.

Manufactured sheds can be erected in a few hours or over a weekend. The do it yourself shed may also take the same amount of time or longer. There are variables for both situations.

If you’re anything like me I did window shopping, comparative price shopping, and talked to my friends and neighbors who had garden sheds for their opinions and experiences. Then I made my decision. In case you are curious, we decided to build a wooden shed as it could be designed and customized to meet our requirements.

Before you setup this is a list to review:

  1. Location
  2. Size
  3. Utility outlets (if electric and plumbing are to be installed)
  4. Local residential building codes, licenses, and permits
  5. Zoning requirements
  6. Location of underground cables
  7. Neighborhood restrictions
  8. Building inspections

The location of the shed needs to be in a clearing within short access to the garden areas and pathways for loading and unloading heavy gardening supplies. The size of this structure is determined by the tools and garden equipment which will be stored.

It is also critical to check overhead, underground, and around the placement of the proposed site. Are there any trees, shrubbery, or overhead wiring which may interfere with the structure? Before digging locate any underground cables, plumbing, or electrical wires.

Water and electrical utilities may or may not be essential. But if it is, planning is critical.