Romie and I have talked about putting a water feature in Max's Garden almost from day one, which was sometime in October of 2005, but we never could settle on just what to do. Then a couple of weeks ago, Kara and I were in Meijer and we saw these 3-foot diameter kiddie wading pools out in the garden center for a dollar. Kara thought that one could be sunk into the ground for a small garden pond. Brilliant!
Last night, while I was spending the evening with Kara, we went back to Meijer and I bought one of the dollar pools. Got a brown tarp, too, at Lowe's. We would use that to line the pool, which was a bright turquoise.
I had to move a few plants in the garden to make enough room for the pond and still be able to walk around it on the current path - Siberian Iris, Monarda punctata, Centaurea, and some Japanese Anemone. I got that done and the mulch scraped back so when Romie got home from work today, we could begin the digging.
I said 'we' but Romie dug the hole. I had put the wading pool upside down where I wanted it and spray painted around the rim so he'd know just where I wanted it to be dug. The soil out in this garden is pretty loamy, so it wasn't hard digging. Once that was done, he trimmed the tarp a bit ...
...then we wrapped the tarp around the pool and set it into the hole. It was situated a few inches above ground level so that there was a slight slope away from the edge all the way around. We then filled it with water.
We no sooner had it full when Luna and Sunny came to check it out. Luna seemed to approve the new watering hole. I would imagine that the birds will make use of it, too, as long as the cats are spending their time elsewhere.
We need to get some more rocks to put around it, so we'll be looking for field rock again. If we can't find enough flattish ones, we may need to make a visit to Beining's Nursery, where we can buy some for a minimal price.
I have a few plants growing in the ground that will also grow in water and I dug one of them - Corkscrew Rush (Juncus effusus 'Afro') - and repotted it into a solid black plastic pot in heavy clay. That's what one water pond website advised to do, and we sure have plenty of clay soil around here. Next spring, I'll put a couple more plants in the water, including water lilies. I'm looking for a small solar fountain now, so we can keep the water moving which will help reduce algae growth. I found this one for $44.96 and I think it will do the job.
This has been a pretty inexpensive project, so far:
Wading pool $1.00
Tarp liner $10.50