New Pond Porn

Or, What Happens When You Visit the Hardware Store, part 327.

I love backyard ponds. My in-laws had a small kidney-shaped pond as part of their landscaping near Williston for many years. My father-in-law has funny stories of watching raccoons fish for minnows right in their rural front yard. When they moved to south Florida we inherited the tiny pond. We sunk it in the tiny flowerbed behind our townhouse. I added a variety of native plants, fish, and snails to the pond and the pond became entirely self-regulating. Over the years I watched all kinds of life take advantage of that small amount of water. Rat snakes, skinks, geckos, leopard frogs, green tree frogs, dragonflies, and various birds all thrived around that little pond, and even the neighborhood armadillos used it for drinking water. It really increased the amount and variety of fauna in our tiny yard.

We of course dug up the pond and brought it with us, along with all of the plants and most of the fish and invertebrates. Other projects came first so the little plastic pond sat in the side yard filled with plants, fish, and a little pump to keep the water from stagnating. Finally last weekend it was time to start installing the pond! My valiant husband and boys wrestled the huge coquina rocks into place, dug the hole, sank the pond, and filled it all in. (This sounds easy but really took an entire afternoon of scraped hands, a pulled shoulder, and a whole lot of chilly damp sand.) The plan was to pump the water up the rock behind the pond where it would pool in a natural depression in the rock and then trickle down like a little waterfall.

Except the cute natural depression turned out to be riddled with holes.

So the menfolk decided to call it a day. My husband’s plan was to buy some kwik-crete and patch the holes, which he would tackle the very next weekend.

Saturday rolls around again, and we decide to go to the big chain hardware store. We walk into the garden department to look at pond pumps, and lo and behold… my daughter spots a gigantic pond form on sale for $74. It was easily twice the size of the small kidney-shaped pond with two shelves for plants and a curvy rectangular outline. Obviously, we bought the pond.

When we unloaded it in the driveway and my older son came out and saw it, all he said was, “Really, Dad?”

Sinking and leveling a pond that big was difficult. The boys had to start over twice to get the ground level high enough and the pond level. Finally it was done. We filled the pond, put the plants back, and turned the pump on.

My husband and I have big plan for this corner. We’ve been collecting bromeliads for over a year to tuck into all the nooks and crannies of the coquina, the ferns we had to move from this corner will get tucked between the rocks and the pond edges, and we’re planting more giant elephant ears and some clumping bamboo behind the big rocks. I can’t wait to see what this is going to look like in six months!

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