Create a Small Water Feature and Add Curb Appeal to Your Front Garden!
There's nothing more calming than the tranquil sound of water trickling from a DIY pond water feature and I can't think of a better way to great guests to the house than having one right by the front door!
Now that Spring is here, it's a great time to start thinking about adding some curb appeal by installing a pond. Ready-made ponds are a great convenience. Here's one we installed on one side of our front walkway.
It is a simple and straightforward task to add a ridgid liner to the garden, but there are other considerations when the liner is going to be up against the edge of a walkway (as ours was). We ran into several challenges.
When we first installed our liner it was with the recognition that one day we would be installing new paving stones. We actually ended up doubling our work because of that; we had to re-support the pond when we updated the walkway. This is how the walkway looked before we installed the new pavers. As you can see the liner is level and sits on top of the stone slab.
To dress is up, we bought natural flagstone and placed it all around the edges of the liner to hide it.
Be sure to buy different thicknesses so you're able to stack it up to different levels since you'll have higher gaps in the back and side than the front where it meets up with the walkway!
Before we updated the walkway with new pavers, it looked quaint but there was still lots of room for improvement. We knew we could do even better!
Notice that the stone around the edge looks a little skimpy? That's because we didn't buy enough initially. It's sometimes hard to judge how much you'll need until you've got the stone on site! Oh well, just be prepared to take another trip back to the stone yard.
When we finally got around to updating the walkway from concrete slabs to pavers (before and after shown below) we wanted to be able to easily pull the liner out of the hole so we could power wash it each Spring and then put it back, ready to fill with clean water.
Easy upkeep and maintenance is always an important factor to us. Our biggest challenge was figuring out how to remove the liner without disturbing the base underneath our pavers and having it all crumble into the pond each time we lifted it out.
My husband and I put our heads together and came up with a brilliant idea using some concrete blocks, construction adhesive and some metal edging that we had left over from installing our walkway. Head to our blog for the detailed instructions and pictures (where you see our logo below this post) and it will all make sense!
Since our liner was already installed in the old walkway, our first step was to set up string lines so we could determine the finished level of the new walkway and where we needed to place concrete blocks to fall just under the lip of the liner.
When setting up the string, it's important to establish a slope AWAY from the house. You don't want to get into a situation where if the pond ever leaked, the water could potentially end up leaking through the foundation! Ours is positioned by the garage and properly sloped so we've taken adequate precautions :)
Once grade was established, we dry fit the concrete blocks around the front edge of the pond where it was going to intersect the walkway. We needed to stack the blocks two-high as shown above in order to get the height we needed. We kept taking the liner out and putting it back in as we dry fit the stones to ensure it would sit level once the stones were in place. You might have to add some sand into the bottom of the hole at this point to make sure the liner nestles properly.
The process will look like a mess in the interim, but you will end up with a pond similar to the one below! How's that for curb appeal?
I should mention that we ran electrical to the pond (rated and weather protected for outdoor use) so we could install a pump. If you don't have circulating water, your beautiful pond will just be a breeding ground for mosquitos!
To finish off the vignette, I also built the trellises shown below.
Of course, once we got started we couldn't stop at just the front of the house. We headed into the backyard and landscaped that too!
Head on over to Birdz of a Feather for the full tutorial and pictures on how to complete the water feature shown today. For upcoming home and garden projects, follow us on Birdz of a Feather.
If you subscribe, we'll have an upcoming post on how to create another soothing water feature - this time, for the backyard; sneak peak below) :)
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Are you ready to attempt a water feature in your own garden?
- Pond liner (Nursery)
- Flagstone (Stone yard)
- Pond pump (Nursery)
- Pond plants (Nursery)