Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Fish Pond: The Dig

Last fall, I was fortunate to have my dad show up one day with a tractor. All the topsoil that had been stripped away in order to dig our basement and haul in the house was in a big pile at the south end of my yard. We had already rented a bobcat to do some landscaping and had done some sloping and leveling. However, the dirt was in a pile and winter approached.

If you knew my dad, you would know that taking a day to go landscape a yard would be considered "a day off" when there are too many other farm chores to be done. It was a surprise, and an honour, to see a tractor whistle past my kitchen window one morning (just a guess, but I think it has a bit to do with the two little helpers that he adores).

The house is on a hill and try as we might we ended up with a low spot on the south-facing slope. Luckily, the low spot was in the perfect place for a fish pond. In the last two weeks we had a few days of nice weather, so my boys and I have been busy with the ground work for a pond. In our first day of digging, we stripped the topsoil down to clay, except for a few places that were still frozen.

Those rocks spent the winter in that spot.
The ground was still completely frozen
 beneath them, while I was able to
 dig down to clay almost everywhere else.

child favourite!
The pond is deeper than these photos show. It got too cold and windy and I haven't made it back there to take a more recent picture. I'm excited to get back at it and show more pictures as we do the rock work, install the liner and (yay!) plant some pretty things. For now, it is snowing and miserable so we have turned our attention back to indoor projects.

hugging...not fighting...I had to get a picture

I intend to plant one of the shrubs that I recently ordered beside the pond, along with reed grass and ostriche plume astilbe. I also have a peony ordered--one of my favorite flowers. I'm looking forward to it warming up. Every day that we spend outside seems like a dream. Before I know it, it is time for lunch and a nap for the little one while 4 year old and I return outside to do more. We have explored the yard, played in the mud, checked on our trees and had all kinds of adventures. I can only hope that the 4 year old will remember this summer working in the yard and the part he played in digging the pond. Did you help in the garden as a kid, or do you have little helpers in your garden now?


  1. I like taking photos of the little people helping with outside projects, and then looking back - see how big the tree is now. I'll look forward to seeing the progress of your pond. They are such fantastic magnets for all sorts of wildlife.

    1. I feel the same about taking pictures. I remember my mom planting a spruce tree by the house and we had to be careful not to trample it when we were playing. Then I remember it getting taller than my it towers over the house and is taller than the tree that we used to think was so huge. Time marches on! Thanks for stopping by CJ :)