TvE's Pond Page

Wood Construction

The picture on the left shows the wood construction of the retaining wall, the steps, and the fence. On the very left is the screened-in porch. In front of that I built a narrow planter for a series of hostas which is pretty much completed and planted at this point. The black tube which sticks out in front of the hosta bed is a drainage pipe which leads through the entire planter to the bottom of the retaining wall. Later the tube will extend through the patio and hopefully drain the water down the hill instead of letting it flow into our basement.
To the right of that, a series of shallow steps leads down into the garden. The grass between the beams will be removed and replaced with gravel. Then to the right comes the place for the pond. I had originally planned filling all this with dirt and creating a level gravel garden.
The right hand side is a low retaining wall on top of which I'm building a fence. The posts and rails are clearly visible in the picture on the right. Given my plans, I placed beams though the pond area to hold the right hand side wall and to prevent the whole construction from sliding down hill. Of course now that the plans changed and I wanted to fill the hole with water, these beams made things "interesting": I would have to build a pond with several cavities of varying depths between these beams... At first that seemed just fine but later I found out the hard way that it would make placing the liner fun!

This is the actual retaining wall seen from below. It consists of a total of 8 6"x6" beams stacked on top of each other. The lowest one is completely below the grade and rests on a concrete footer. I actually dug 2 feet deeper at the corners of the wall and filled the hole with more concrete. In order to hold the beams on top of each other, I used galvanized steel pipes which fit through a hole at the ends of each beam. You can see the top 3-4" of the pipe stick out in the two images -- one beam is still missing there. The pipes rest firmly (I hope) in the concrete below the bottom beam. Drilling the holes so that everything stacks nicely was quite entertaining. In addition to the pipes I drove galvanized spikes into the beams (after drilling a pilot hole). The top beam is fastened to the one below using lag screws fastened at a 45 degree angle from behind the retaining wall: I didn't want to see the heads of big spikes on the top beam...

A view into the deepest portion of the pond -- about 4ft deep. The big "cave" that is visible down in the deep part was occupied by a big rock which stuck out half way into the cavity which I wanted to fill with water... I had to remove it, which took me several hours of chiseling. I finally had to use a 1" masonry drill bit to make a row of holes into the rock so I could chop it into pieces. It pretty much ruined the drill bit, but was worth every dime!

Next: Construction of the fence.[JPEG] [GIF]

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Thorsten von Eicken