A Little Piece of Heaven at Home

Sue Scimeca
by Sue Scimeca
Photos showing us adding some landscaping and pond to our new home started in late September. When we moved in new construction meant the yard was just dirt and weeds . It took us three steps, spaced about 2-3 years apart to complete everything, and the pond was the last to be added. After 12 years of work the yard finally has become what we wanted and is our sanctuary from the world.
Before the work started it was a blank canvas
We had a existing patio that we decided we wanted to keep to help keep costs down, so we worked around it. I found a landscape plan online and used some of the ideas from it.
Half way through.
Its coming together and the work is half finished.
Here the pond is completed but no liner yet
The walls are up but the liner has not been added yet. We wanted a pond that was more formal looking and one that was raised for easier to maintain. Also one, that if we tire of keeping fish, could be easily converted into a planter or fire pit.
Looking into the half finished pond
We live in a very cold part of the country so the pond needed to be over 2 ft deep to keep it from completely freezing if we wanted to keep fish in it. The fish will remain all year outside in the pond, even through the winter under the ice. The ledge around the edge is for pond plants that need to be submerged. This is before the heavy duty liner is fitted in place.
New privacy fence added
We added a privacy fence on the south side of our patio to also help give us a little shade. The ornamental balls are made out of Copper and will weather with a soft green patina.
A view from our kitchen, now finished
Here the pond is, now completed with fish, pump, fountain and pond plants.
Our little resort... :-)
This is the view from the north side of the pond. It is hidden behind the plants and bushes. Everything is a perennial and returns every year to bloom. I had fun picking out what I wanted to plant. The awning was added to help with afternoon shade as it faces west. I wanted a pergola but it was just to expensive to build so we got this instead. Actually it is much better as we roll it up in the winter and it keeps it clean.
A overhead view
This gives you a idea of what it looks like from above.
Pond plants keep the water cool
We added pond plants to keep the water shaded in the summer. We need to keep it cool for the fish. Hot water carries less oxygen. Besides it softens the look of the pond and the fish love it. They even have spawned for me several times now. :-)
Long finned fancy Goldfish
The pond is not big enough for Koi so we bought about 3 small Petsmart Goldfish for 27 cents each to start with. They grew very quickly and are about 6 inches long now. We added more fish from friends and also bought Shibunkins to add some more color. We feed them several times a day in the summer, and not at all in the winter. They do just fine in the winter because they stop eating and their metabolism slows down to almost nothing. Spring comes and they are hungry as sharks again. :-)
Pretty as a picture
This is the view I have each summer. We love it.
Aging well
Here it is after about the second year. Its doing well and so are the fish. We have babies now. One problem was with a Blue Heron who got some of our fish, but now we net it over in the spring and fall to discourage them.
A uninvited guest
This female Mallard appeared one day with her mate and decided to take a dip in the "ducky Jacuzzi" she thought we built just for her. :-) We also had a Northern green frog live in our pond one year, until he got caught in the net for the Heron and died.
A summer view
Here it is a the height of summer. We really enjoy our yard now with the pond and its fish. The sound of water is soothing. It was well worth doing and fun to take care of.
Winter comes
and its just as beautiful then too....we just sit back and wait until the weather warms up and start again... No worry, the fish are fine. They don't need a heater to keep them "warm", only to keep a hole in the ice for gas exchange (O2) :-)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 12 questions
  • Frances Justice Frances Justice on Sep 30, 2016
    Do you have to remove the pond plants in the winter? Or do they just die off and you replace in spring?
  • Linda Linda on Jun 23, 2017

    you did an awesome job on your yard! Where did you get the awning? I could use this in my back yard. Thanks

  • Judy Judy on Jul 15, 2017

    Can I get the plans for this beautiful project? Step by step directions. Thank you

Join the conversation
3 of 141 comments
  • Pat Lence Pat Lence on Jun 30, 2017

    Looks Beautiful !!!

    • Sue Scimeca Sue Scimeca on Jul 01, 2017
      Thank you so much. We are so glad we did it as it gives us many hours of enjoyment.
  • Sandy Shimmin Sandy Shimmin on Sep 21, 2020

    Congratulations on your beautiful garden. I have a similar new raised pond with a leaky liner sheet. How did you line yours? Did you use a rigid liner or render the inside block work? Hoping to get this sorted and begin planting soon. Many thanks!