When Sam Lucero and Jeffrey Reeder relocated to Austin, Texas, they wanted to bring the lush, tropical vegetation of their former home in New Orleans with them. Starting with a dry, dusty, rocky backyard, they hauled in truckloads of soil to create two 1,000-gallon backyard ponds on two levels.
Taking advantage of their backyard's natural slope, they built one pond at the top of a retaining wall and the second at the base of the wall, and connected them with a stair-step waterfall. Water is pumped into a large pot in the upper pond; it flows over the pot's rim and down the steps of the waterfall, aerating the water for the goldfish, which can be observed from the adjacent flagstone patio. The masonry has been softened with about 800 impatiens, 20 rose bushes, and papyrus and water lilies.