Summer is upon us and we’ve been turning our attention to the outdoors lately—prepping the backyard for pool parties and gatherings. The latest project came about when our neighbor had several large rocks he was getting rid of from his yard. We offered to take them off his hands which sparked the idea of building a rock pond.
We already have one lovely pond back there (the real reason we bought the house…)
But you can never have enough water features, so we picked a spot and started to plan it out. This underutilized patch of bark and random shrubbery was the perfect location:
Here it is from a distance:
Here are the rocks we inherited, and the overall layout and size we thought worked best after clearing out the bark.
Mission #1 was to figure out exactly how to build the pond. We did some research and tossed around ideas of using rubber liner, concrete and liquid rubber, or a plastic pre-molded pond. After weighing the options, we both decided a plastic pond was the easiest way to go (and cheaper, too).
A quick Google search brought up this pond at Lowe’s for $99 (no longer sold, but similar here):
It was the perfect size and shape for our space.
Then it was time to dig….
Not gonna lie, this part sucked. It was a painstaking process to dig everything out perfectly to the shape of the pond. The process was basically dig, test fit, dig, test fit, dig, test fit, dig test fit, repeated 300x for over two hours.
Lucky for us, we live in an area where the top layer of earth is just soft sand. We were also lucky that we didn’t run into any surprises… like roots or pipes. My shovel actually hit of one of our pool pipes but it was right on the edge of our pond area and just barely out of the way… whew! Make sure to consider what might be underground when planning.
Finally, we got that sucker in.
After cleaning it out and replacing the dirt/bark around the edges, we started filling up and arranging the rocks around the edges.
We quickly realized we didn’t have enough, so we went to the landscaping store the next day and bought an additional 160lbs of rocks. A rock pond is also not complete without a few things—a filter, a pump, and some plants.
I purchased this floating fountain from Lowe’s for $129.
The UV light inside the filter cleans algae and keeps the water aerated. It also has a fountain and LED lighting, and you can even change the water patterns.
My favorite part is the waterfall. For this, we picked up a simple pump at Lowe’s and 5 feet of clear hose for $45:
To build the waterfall, we stacked the largest rocks at the back of the pond and strategically fed the tube up and over, (hidden by the rocks so you can’t see it) keeping the pump submerged at the bottom.
For the finishing touches, I got a few water plants as well as a handful of other plants to landscape the surrounding area. And after two afternoons and about 7 hours of work, our pond oasis is complete!
Don’t mind our gator… he doesn’t bite (too hard).
Here’s a couple evening/night shots to show off the lighting: