We were able to dig the entire hole with a shovel because the dirt here is sandy and easy to excavate. I
was worried that it would not hold the shape while we worked but luckily this was
not a problem. We draped old sheets over the side during the night for extra support and
protection from any rain.
We laid out the basic shape with a rope, making sure the
size and depth would accommodate our pond liner. We dug out our pond so it would have two
shelves built along the edges. The top shelf was used
for the flat stones described in a later step. Below that we carved another
shelf to support potted plants. Care must be taken to plan ahead and
carefully carve out the edges so that the shelves will be level and at the proper depth
once the pond is filled.
Some people recommend not to use plant shelves in the pond because they
help wildlife gain access to your fish. We added them anyway and have not had any
problems. We really could have used wider and deeper shelves. Some of our
marginal plants really increased in size and are now potted into larger
buckets. We should have built more areas to hold the larger pots we are now using.
Note how we used cinder blocks to support the dirt pile where we wanted the
waterfall. We used quite a few blocks which we covered with the excavated soil.
This helped prevent the dirt from settling and gave us a more secure waterfall
We retrieved some discarded carpeting at
our recycling center and used it to line the hole. We checked each piece
for staples or tacks and then cut them into strips to make it easier to go around the
curves that we dug out.
Here is Carl taking a break from a hard days work. We did the
construction during autumn to take advantage of the cooler temperatures.
The final size is about 22 feet by 12 feet.
We purchased a 20' x 30' rubber pond liner that is 45 mil thick, UV ray resistant and came
with a 20 year guarantee. A liner this size is extremely heavy so you'll want to plan on
having as many people as possible when you are ready to place the liner into the hole.