View Full Version : New Pond / Waterfall Photos

08-27-2009, 11:49 PM
It's always fun to share photos when you just finished a project. Here's one we just finished today....









08-27-2009, 11:52 PM
It's hard to imagine. But that whole area was pretty much just level and all lawn all the way to the fence before. We installed the flagstone patio, water feature, and all the plants.

It's about 3.5 deep in the middle and there are little coves down there at the 3' depth mark for fish to hide in. No fish yet. And the water wasn't clear yet when I took the photos either. But if you could see down to the bottom you'd see some neat hidden fish coves down there. We got predators like Blue Heron and Racoons around here that will eat fish if you don't give them a place to hide.

08-28-2009, 12:15 AM
very nice job, thanks for the pics.

08-29-2009, 08:14 AM
Not to be critical, but the joints on the patio leave a lot to be desired. I would have liked to have seen tighter joints and more uniform joints. some are large gaps and some are tight in these pics.

08-29-2009, 02:10 PM
I hear you. And I agree. But that's just common around here. There are two basic kinds of flagstone patios that are built around this area. You can either get an inexpensive flagstone patio built by a landscaper - not as tight joints; No cuts made; just installed fairly quick and cheap. Or you can get one done by a stone mason. Then each flagstone will be custom cut, super tight joints, laid on a bed of mortar and mortared in joints. The former will cost a homeowner maybe $10-$15 / sq. ft. The latter will cost a homeowner $40-$50 per sq. ft. So 95% of the people around here just opt. for an inexpensive one done by a landscaper. Most people don't want to pay the price to get it done really nice.

I'd be happy to take more time and do the flagstone patios with much tighter joints. Just nobody around here wants to spend that kind of money on them.

That stems from the fact that we don't really get to spend much time outdoors here in OR, compared to many other parts of the country.

Plus, it depends on the purpose. These people already have 2 HUGE decks in their yard. So they're not going to be spending any time on the small flagstone patio we made. It's mostly just for looks. Anyway, that's about your typical flagstone patio around these parts.

09-05-2009, 10:15 PM
I really like the patio. It gives a more naturalistic look and feel next to the pond. Tight fits and mortar look nice in a more formal setting. And like you said costs more. One question though did you use a base under the stone?

09-06-2009, 03:33 PM
Of course. We always install about a 4" base of gravel, compacted with a plate compactor. Then the flagstone goes in, and then we fill the joints with Gator Dust.

09-06-2009, 05:56 PM
Looks nice Jim! Did you leave enough in the budget for some lighting? :)


09-06-2009, 11:20 PM
Well, it wasn't me who was setting the budget. But no... there wasn't enough to do lighting.

There is going to be lighting. He was just going to do it himself. Unfortunately, we know how that will probably turn out. But anyway, that's how he wanted it.

09-07-2009, 08:11 AM
Looks good Jim. I like the concave columnar basalt pieces you tied into the edges of the patio. Great little bird baths.

09-07-2009, 08:37 AM
very nice work!

09-29-2009, 12:02 AM
great job man, you do very nice work.......only thing with me is, i like a very natural look, and the pond to me looks kinda manufactured.....although the whole job looks great together

09-29-2009, 12:43 AM
Thanks. I kinda agree. We're working on getting better at that. But we don't get too much experience doing them with ponds. 80-90% of the water features we build are pondless. So we only do one with an actual pond once in a while. I would have like to been on site more on this job too but it was a crazy busy week. So I can only maintain so much control over the project. But I agree with you. I think there were ways we could have made the pond more natural and will try to work on that with my guys more next time.

10-04-2009, 12:01 PM
What is gator dust. No one around here has heard of it. We use sand or crushed gravel.

10-04-2009, 12:11 PM
Why would you plant the cedar (or perhaps blue atlas can't tell by the photo) and red japanese maple against the fence??? There is no grow room at all.

10-04-2009, 04:57 PM
Two reasons;

1) When you are building a water feature where there is no natural decline (in this case it was all a flat area before we began (but it was where the customer wanted the water feature) and then you are basically 'building' a hill to facilitate the falls, then you need to add a natural backdrop. Otherwise you end up with the Mt. Vesuvius effect - which is where you just have a mountain coming out of the ground for no reason. It doesn't look natural. But if you hide that by planting trees and shrubs and grasses, etc. around it, then it doesn't look like a fake hill. It begins to look a little closer to being natural.

With no trees behind, you'd just be looking at a fence and a mound sticking up in front of it. It would look really bad.

2) That's not a cedar. It's a dwarf Mountain Hemlock. They grow about 1" a year. That tree is over 30 years old already. It was purposely chosen BECAUSE it won't outgrow the area. Same with the variety of Japanese maple there. It will grow to about 15' tall at the most here. And it has a growth rate of maybe 3-6" per year, which can be contained with about 15 minutes of pruning each year to whatever size you want to keep it at. They are both very small trees and will stay that way.

It's difficult to install natural looking water features in small 7,000 sq. ft. sub-division homes and make them look natural. Fences as backdrops are about the worst possible scenario for trying to build something natural. So it's tricky work trying to make it realistic. I've seen TONS of water features in yards like this that look horrible simple because the installer didn't consider how to make it look more natural.

10-04-2009, 06:46 PM
Some pictures of my first pond.

10-04-2009, 10:51 PM
This is the smallest pond and waterfall that I've built to date. Not much bigger than the space you dealt with. Pretty natural i must say...

10-07-2009, 11:39 PM
Was this a bid job or t and m. What was the final cost of the project
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11-24-2009, 11:23 PM
Looks very nice Jim,

Its also nice to hear you had such a good season. Keep up the good work.... and I hope that success continues into the Winter months for you and your company.

Micah Owner
Paradise Restored Landscaping