Over the years, my pond has been one of the most beautiful places in my garden. When it was first conceived, it was just a small pond with a black liner. It was outlined with irregularly shaped rocks, giving it an informal look. But I never really liked it that way. Black widow spiders found that the crevices made the perfect spot for a home. The liner was hard to clean. And the informal shape and style didn't fit with the rest of my garden.
So, I enlisted the help of my son, and we dug the pond larger and deeper. For the first few years, it was the place where people gravitated to. Sounds from the fountain soothed thoughts, and cleared minds. Fish swimming to and fro brought joy. Children found pleasure in feeding the fish. They would come willingly, with their little mouths wide open (the fish, not the children).
Just as I believe all gardens should have roses, I think all gardens should have a water feature. Unfortunately, I think I might break my own rule. Or put a water feature elsewhere.
You see, late this past autumn, we realized the worst had happened. The pond has sprung a leak. There was a crack in the cement.
Out went the fish, to the big pond. Out went the water. And repair supplies were bought. But it didn't get repaired. Instead, the hustle and bustle of the holidays took over all our free time. The weather hasn't been cooperative for pond repairs, either.
And so it has sat empty, sad, and lonely. And I have contemplated the pond's future.
I have contemplated the best way to repair it. And I have contemplated whether it will need repairs in the future. I have contemplated whether I want something that needs repairs every several years in my garden. And I have contemplated what my garden would look like without it. Now, that's a lot of contemplation!
My garden won't be the same without the pond, that I know. No sound of water running. No fish swimming. No children gently sliding their little hands into the water, hoping to touch a golden scale.
But something else could be easier to maintain. And I'm beginning to understand how important that quality is in a large garden as one gets older.
So will I bid a fond farewell to my pond? I haven't quite decided. But I am certainly giving it a lot of consideration.
If your pond went on the blink, would you repair it, or replace it?
It's worth repairing and still have the chance to watch fishes swimming than letting dry~!ReplyDelete
It's pretty, but as you say it's a lot of work too. Whatever you decide we'll be following.ReplyDelete
I have a small pond and have been thinking of converting it to a fountain instead. I do love water plants though so it's not an easy decision.
I hope I'll never break one of my legs and people around me start bothering if keeping me or not... Repairing a leak every now and then doesn't sound like suppressing a well made and tended pond, I think. And yours is beautiful.ReplyDelete
I vote for the 'save the pond' party!
I went through this dilemma when we moved. There was a small pond in my last garden, and I really enjoyed it. What I DIDN'T enjoy was the maintenance and the seemingly-constant troubleshooting that seems to come with having a garden pond. Though my husband pushed for one at this house, I have resisted. Our current garden doesn't really NEED a pond, and I don't have a place from the house to enjoy it, in addition to a logical place in the design to view it outdoors (a necessary consideration, in my mind, for putting in a pond in the first place.)ReplyDelete
For YOUR dilemma, I'd keep the pond. Removing it will be a HUGE undertaking ... one that seems unnecessary in the face of a small leak. If you can find the crack that's causing the leak, a bit of hydraulic cement should solve your problem. Your words tell us that your pond is still a source of pleasure ... I vote to repair it.
Dear Holley, if you would have just written the text I might have agreed with you that if the pond is too much maintenance, you should just get rid of it. But you posted also the photos. Since I am a visual person, they did me in and I wanted to scream "no, don't do it". You pond is incredible lovely in your garden and it fits so well! So I think if I were you I would ask myself if the repair work is too much for you, can you hire it out and keep the lovely pond? At the end, when it comes to decisions like this, it only can be a very personal one, but if there is any chance you can restore this beautiful pond I would keep it! Hope, you come to the right decision for YOU!ReplyDelete
Since it is a lot of work to repair it, that is your call. I must say it is so beautiful and so attractive and soothing to visitors it would be grand to keep it, but easy for me to say, since I don't have to do the work :)ReplyDelete
Could you hire someone to fix it, in a way that will be guaranteed for 5 or 10 or more years? It is a lovely garden feature.
Hi Holley, I haven’t got a pond, or a water feature either, but I would love to have one – if my garden had been a bit bigger. But I do appreciate making changes in the garden that also takes into account future maintenance work. I have had to redesign my garden quite drastically over the years, to suit my health situation, and I can foresee future things being taken out or changed to accommodate my ever changing circumstances.ReplyDelete
I think it is wise of you to think of how much work something like a pond will be for you, I am sure you would much rather deadhead roses all day than muck about with a pond – just like me! Other people would probably rather watch paint dry than dead head roses – we have all different priorities. On the other hand, if a pond was properly repaired I also think it could last you for 10-15 years before it needed any more work, so it might seem drastic to chuck it out when it obviously is giving you all a lot of pleasure!
I am looking forward to seeing your decision :-)
I bid farewell to mine a few years back. Not because it was leaking or in bad repair but the work got to be too much. My husband's six, 10 inch long and very fat goldfish moved indoors to an aquarium. They seem happy, but I miss the pond. My husband never took care of it so I removed it. The koi pond at the farm takes care of my desire for ponds. Not my work!ReplyDelete
I love your pond, it looks great. I think great gardens don't really need ponds. If I found myself constantly thinking of getting rid of something or keeping it, that would usually mean for me, that it's had it's day.ReplyDelete
We like your pond Holley and we hope you'll repair it and keep it. Or even 'replace' it, with another pond!ReplyDelete
Seriously though, only you can gauge how much maintenance you are able to give if it does leak again in the future. or if you genuinely feel the need to move on with not having a pond anymore. I'm sure whatever you decide on it will be good.
On the technical side, if the concrete base or shell of the pond only has minor cracks appearing in time (not large gaps etc), there is a pond waterproofing/sealant you can paint on the concrete directly that is basically a liquid rubber. Not only will it completely make the pond waterproof (hence getting rid of a pond liner that is prone to leaking or tearing) but will also flex and adjust to any minor cracking that can appear on time on the concrete base. And you can paint on this liquid rubber yourself. One of the ones available in the UK is called Impermax, worth checking if that's available in the US or if it comes under a different brand. Hope this helps :)
HI There, Whatever you do, I'm sure it will work out BEST for you... I would love a pond --but it is WORK for sure... AND-as I get older, I need less WORK.... haReplyDelete
Hmmm... if the aggravation and cost of the maintenance were less than the pleasure received, I'd keep it. But if it were the other way around, I'd scrap it. The answer lies in which side the scales tip to. Only you can answer this one!ReplyDelete
OH MY! This is such a hard one. Your pond is beautiful. And to hear you talk about all of the wonderful memories that surround it is so heart warming. I can see why this is so difficult for you. Whatever is best for your life is what you should do. You will have an outstanding garden with or without the pond. All the best!ReplyDelete
Holley, I have a pond and the same problem. I understand you well.ReplyDelete
Last summer I cleaned the liner and didn't see the hole in it. So now the water level is lower than before. But I can't say farewell to my pond. I decided to change the liner although this is a very hard work. And think it'll be the last work I do with my pond.
been there done that. We found the bullrushes had chewed thru the concrete. The Ungardener redid the whole lining with liquid bitumen, after repairing the hole. So far, so good! Our next garden will most definitely have a pond, but smaller, and we are still discussing/arguing the details.ReplyDelete
If it is too much work, think laterally. A bubbling fountain for the birds? A shallow saucer on the ground for lizards? A bird bath? Every garden needs water for wildlife.
We are currently skimming out summer's hot layer of green algae, and buckets of take over the world oxygenating plant. But we love the waterfall and watching the birds and dragonflies.
I love looking at other people's ponds but can't commit to maintaining one myself so I understand your dilemma. Having said that, lotus flowers are one of my fantasy plants, I remember yours from a previous post, so I have to vote to keep the pond and save the lotus flowers.ReplyDelete
I would repair it! (you asked the question!)ReplyDelete
Something as lovely as your pond will be missed in your garden. Just my 5c worth.
I would repair mine for sure but it is not a cement pond. Mine is an irregular shape with a liner...If you are worried about the pond leaking again perhaps make a dry pond with gravel in the old pond, then a beautiful urn that bubbles water up through it as the focal point of the gravel area...easy to maintain with some plants around it and the sound of water...something easy to do in your climate...just a thought.ReplyDelete
I understand the hard choices. I never put one in for the exact reasons you mention. We keep getting older and I keep changing for that with as little upkeep as I can manage. I don't later want to be overwhelmed with what I have here to take care of. Your gardens are lovely and still will be without the pond.ReplyDelete
Cher Sunray Gardens
You have a beautiful pond and lovely memories to it, so my answer is: Repair it! But I understand very well the maintenance is lot of work certainly as we get older. And....I have no pond, but a canal in front of the house. My next gain in the garden however, will be a water feature, a fountain in a small pond. Hope to be able to realize it coming spring, exciting!ReplyDelete
It's a showplace! Sell tickets, then use the proceeds to pay for the repairs.ReplyDelete
Oh your pond is so pretty. Love the last photo. I would repair it. It's so nice to have a water feature in the garden. Happy New Year :)ReplyDelete
I have to admit I have veered away from water features simply due to the work involved. My parents had a pond that had similar issues with cracks constantly happening and more often than not it sat empty. I wonder though, it's already there and such a pretty feature, could you put a plastic liner inside it instead of trying to repair?ReplyDelete
You are so right that a garden needs a water feature. It always soothes me to be around it to relax after a hard day, just as working in the garden does. I find such peace in my garden. I love your pond and with the statue it is just such a lovely spot. Blessings to you in the New Year ahead.ReplyDelete
Holly, I don't think you want to get rid of the pond, at all. If the maintenance is hard as it stands, what can you do to make it easier? ...I am no expert in anything, but if you opted to keep the pond, what are the options...making it smaller? I think you have an attachment to it, and it being gone might make you feel like something is missing. I have a small spitter in my backyard...when its out of water and isn't running...something feels wrong...If you did opt to remove the pond, you could replace the sound with a self contained spitter so that you would have the sound that would be missing. I am assuming it makes a noise of some type..if you substituted with a smaller water feature...it might be a good compromise?ReplyDelete
I am not suggesting getting this, but if you replaced the function of the pond (water element, sound of flowing water) it might be a good substitution.
I promise you need to keep the sound, if it goes...get a small self contained water fountain or something that would replace the noise...turn off the pond for a while and think about what is really bothering you...I bet it will be the sound.Delete
That's a tough decision to make. I've tried to make my garden more carefree over the last couple of years as I've gotten older. I just don't want to spend as much time maintaining it. But, I think it would be hard to say goodbye to your pond. Maybe you could do a stock tank pond like so many of us in Austin have done. They are pretty low maintenance and still provide all the nice qualities of an in ground pond.ReplyDelete
Holley, We're having the same dilemma, and our pond is nowhere as beautiful as yours. We're thinking of filling ours in, too. They are an incredible amount of work, I totally agree with you. I just wish there was an easy answer to this one! Your garden is gorgeous with or without a pond. (P.S. I'll email soon, have lots to tell!)ReplyDelete
Now *that's* a nicely placed and designed pond - I've somehow missed that in your posts. Would be a shame to not repair the inevitable leak. That first shot rivals an intimate corner of any garden or museum grounds I've seen!ReplyDelete
I appreciate all the comments. I'm not going to reply individually, as I'm still contemplating the fate of my pond. But I do appreciate each of your comments, and the suggestions. I'll let you know what we decide! :)ReplyDelete
I don't envy you that decision. Ponds are a delight, but there is no denying the work they entail to keep in good order. I inherited a very small one in my new front garden, that I have reluctantly concluded must go. Too small to really be easy to keep in balance, and in the very place I want a seating area. But I have the luxury of not having any history with it...ReplyDelete
I wondered what a garden blog does in the winter so came here to this time of year to see! Wonderful blog and I enjoyed hopping around it!ReplyDelete