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Friday, 7 February 2014

Trouble in Paradise



What trouble I hear you asking. Trouble of the worst kind....Pond trouble. Oh, ?...what`s wrong with the pond? HOLES IN THE LINER trouble. Now if you have a small pond, you`ll be thinking - cant be that bad, can it? Well the short answer is YES it`s BIG trouble, cause my pond is the size of a small dam and FULL TO THE GILLS of fish and aquatic plants, concrete beach, wooden jetty and massive sandstone rocks all around! This is what it used to look like.........

 
The pond is now about sixteen years old and the liner is on the way out. I have done some remarkable repairs over the last few years but now we have so many issues that it`s time to plan how we are going to fix this problem, hopefully permanently.
After extensive research, it amounts to this - new liner with possible future problems OR concrete. The liner is the cheapest solution, but will still cost over $2000! Concrete on the other hand is more expensive but more permanent, without the ongoing issues we have had with a liner.
So, I have just completed my absolutely last repair job on the pond, having to let the water levels drop very low to do this. Many of the established plants on the outside of the pond and liner are finding ways to get their thirsty roots in! This is when I knew it`s cover it in, OR fix it up, time.
 
 
So, what to do. It looks like we have to take it all apart and start again. NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT, but it looks like that's how we will be breaking our backs this autumn.
There is a tonne of silt on the bottom of the pond, super heavy plants that have grown up and over the original baskets they were planted in, an over abundance of koi fish of all sizes. The wooden jetty, set in pots full of concrete around the jetty feet and a concrete shallow beach area where the kids used to catch tadpoles when they were little, are going to be a challenge. All of this has got to come out! Then we have to somehow stockpile the fish and plants somewhere else for a few weeks while the work is done. (should be interesting catching them)
That`s a lot of work before the hard work begins! No wonder we have put it off for as long as possible. My backs aching just thinking about it!
 
So I guess I`ll start pruning plants back and work out a plan of attack. There are many prized plants around the pond that will need to be protected like the Weeping Japanese Maple. I always get a bit anxious when concrete trucks, pumps and workmen traipse about the site without any thought to the years of growth on the surrounding site. I`m pretty sure I will be hovering anxiously when the time comes, trying to protect plants I cant remove. Will keep you posted when we make a move on the pond in cooler weather.....