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Water Gardens: Above Ground/Walled in ponds

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jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 2, 2010
3:58 AM

Post #7418575

I am looking to build an above ground pond with a retaining wall around it. Does anyone have any plans or information on this? I have posted some other ideas in threads, and it looks like this would be a good opton for my yard. The yard is low, and would flood if put directly in ground.

Thanks : )

Jennifer
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

January 2, 2010
4:26 AM

Post #7418609

I hope some of the folks that I've see post their fantastic raised ponds jump in here. My only input would be about the water heating up in zone 8b because the sides would be exposed to the hot summer air temps. That's not a reason not to build one. It just means you have to take into consideration insulating the sides a bit and/or, if possible, offering some shade from the hot afternoon sun. Water temps over 85 are a stressor to fish, even goldies and over 90 for extended periods death can occur. So if the pond isn't going to be real deep then some insulating should be done.

Found the perfect thread. It's all about raised ponds.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/870256/
jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 2, 2010
5:49 AM

Post #7418776

Thanks : )

You've been very helpful. Happy new year!!
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

January 2, 2010
5:47 PM

Post #7420099

Happy New Year To You!

When you begin construction please start a thread of your progress with pictures. We all learn from each other here. That's what makes DG so special.

breeindy

breeindy
north coast nsw
Australia

January 2, 2010
8:58 PM

Post #7420610

Heres my raised concrete pond just finished, its not planted or cleaned up yet. My bfs a builder with a few employees though and they had to make up all the form work and build a wooden crane on the back of the ute to lift it in once the bottom was poured. Took a bit but worth it when we swim in it. hehe! The fish hassel you in there sucking your feet. ha!

This message was edited Jan 2, 2010 4:59 PM

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jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 3, 2010
4:27 AM

Post #7421919

I think I have a plan. I am going to do a small frog pond, 50 gallons. There liner is (total) about 24" deep, with a ledge about 16" down which runs around the edge. It will probably be filled about 18-20" deep.

I found some large stepping stones, that when stacked 4 tall, support the pond under the ledge perfectly. The bottom of the pond will sit ground level(ish).

I will then put a retaining wall around the whole thing. I figure 50 gallons of water weighs 500 ponds, and that should be able to be kept in place by the retianing wall and sand around the bottom. Plus, I am not going to fill it to the max, so it will probably only be about 400 pounds.

Does this sound feasible? This is a picture of the liner which is about $25.00 at Lowes (on sale yay!).

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mothermole
Deer Park, IL
(Zone 5b)

January 3, 2010
7:31 AM

Post #7422287

That to me is a pre-form (your picture). A liner would be a piece of flexible black rubber-like material. It doesn't matter though for construction. The curves to this pre-form make it a little more tricky to place bricks around but very doable. These frogs-are you supplying them to the pond or were you hoping "if you build it, they will come" situation? Frogs did "find" their way to my pond through purchase and in the wild but my pond is in the ground. Does it ever freeze in your zone? I wonder what would happen to the frogs if the temps went down that far and they couldn't get out of the pond to seek shelter (if that is even necessary . . .). Someone here will know that answer.

BTW: Great score on the pre-form-that price can't be beat!
jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 3, 2010
11:26 PM

Post #7424434

Oh, I thought that was just a "preform liner". Se how much I have to learn :P

There is a creek about 1/4 mile from my house. I will probably get some tadpoles from there.

It does freeze here, but the water will not freeze over. Maybe very shallow water in a puddle or something, but anything over maybe 2" wouldn't freeze.

As far as them getting out . . . I am going to make a little ramp from another cheap "prefrom" I found at Lowes for $5.00. It is supposed to be for a waterfall, but it will be perfect to fit from the side down to the bottom to let the little guys climb out. Plus, they will have a place to hide underwater. It has been freezing here the last few nights, and the tadpoles in the creek near here are fine, and they are in about 4" of water. I know inground is warmer, but I think they will be fine.

Thanks for the imput :)
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

January 3, 2010
11:49 PM

Post #7424511

You're off and running jlp222 . You may decide to fill the pond to the top. Plants and decorative rocks placed along the top edges can really make a jewell out of a frog pond. Plants can drape over the edge into the water. That will attract a lot of frogs.
jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 3, 2010
11:54 PM

Post #7424530

More questions (sorry!)

What marginal plants grow well for you? I see Iris listed as a marginal/bog plant, but from the plant files, they don't need to be overwatered. Am I missing something? I know cattails, and some ferns work too. I would like to have some Iris for a little color.

Thanks :)

Jennifer
jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 3, 2010
11:58 PM

Post #7424548

I found this while Googling:

http://www.plantideas.com/bog/

Great list of bog/marginal plants.
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

January 4, 2010
3:34 AM

Post #7425226

That's a wonderful link and well worth taking the time to read. When you choose your marginals remember the size of your frog pond in relation to the size of the plant. Cattails are nice. There is a dwarf form - Typha laxmannii. You can also consider a Dwarf Cyprus for an upright plant - Cyperus alternifolius var. Gracilis. Both are nice and just right for a small water feature. They can be placed on the plant shelf and managed nicely in a small pot.
http://www.pondplants.com/aisle50.html

Please try one of the miniature waterlilies. I recommend "Indiana". It's a perfect size for a small water feature. http://texaswaterlilies.com/Hardywaterliliesorderpage.htm
Place that in the center of the deepest part. It will eventually cover part of the surface area of the pond. You'll have beautiful flowers from spring till the first freeze and great frog habitat. All will require annual dividing and repotting in your long growing season climate.
jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 4, 2010
3:48 AM

Post #7425266

Oh my gosh, look how cute the miniature cattails are! It might be nice to have the dwarf in the back, then the miniature closer to the water. Hmmmm, awesome website, I definitely bookmarked it. Thank you SO much for all of your help :)

breeindy

breeindy
north coast nsw
Australia

January 4, 2010
10:47 AM

Post #7425888

Here is it formed up...

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breeindy

breeindy
north coast nsw
Australia

January 4, 2010
10:48 AM

Post #7425890

putting the middle form work in to do the sides..

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FrillyLily
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

January 10, 2010
10:33 PM

Post #7449653

I put part of mine in the ground, and then built up some also

this is in a raised bed

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HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 15, 2010
2:56 AM

Post #7463101

jlp, I had trouble keeping frogs in my raised pond. Originally it sat on my brick patio and I put a few frogs in with plenty of things for them to sit on. They would get out and never went back in. Of course my raised pond was different than what you are putting in. I also used a pre-formed liner and it worked very well for many years. Then eventually it did get a small leak at one of the shelves. That is almost always where they get them. You must make sure that there is good filling under the shelves to support them. We built a box pond and filled in with sand and mulch to support the liner. We ran out of sand and finished up with some mulch and I think that over several years the mulch broke down just enough to allow the shelf to crack. Two years ago we rehabed the pond, removing the pre-formed liner and used a vinyl liner. We also moved it to a different location right next to the above ground pool and decks.
Really funny thing was we have a few tree frogs living in our above ground swimming pool. I kept taking them out and putting them in the raised pond sitting right next to the pool. Thinking that they could come and go as they pleased but even they wouldn't stay in it. They kept going back to the pool.
Snapples suggestion to have plants that will drape over the edge is a very good one. That may just be enough to give your frogs a pathway in and out of the pond.
I'm really looking forward to seeing your pond when it is finished. Holly

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jlp222
Hammond, LA
(Zone 8b)

January 16, 2010
12:51 AM

Post #7465584

Holly, I really like the look of the last picture you posted. I bet it was much cheaper and easier than using decorative brick all the way around. Hmmmmm...

Also, what are the tall plants with the purple flowers in the front? Very pretty!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 16, 2010
3:20 AM

Post #7465971

That's Pickerel very fast growing and multiplies quickly. Blooms for most of the summer.
We really wanted a pond but weren't ready to put in the large in ground pond we wanted. This was the first of the small ponds we built. It's really nice as you can drain it and move it. Not that it isn't heavily constructed but it can be moved. You can see more pics and description if you follow the link Snapple provided in the second posting.
I don't have access to many of my pictures right now. But I did find this closer look at the pickerel.

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TXdoodlebug
San Antonio, TX

February 5, 2010
3:43 AM

Post #7531114

Here is mine - I don't know if this might help but I wanted raised beds too. The water is supposed to trickle down but presently having trouble with two walls, two pumps - difficult to set the water to trickle and not pour. Maybe this year.

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