A couple of TOH web users got creative when building their own backyard water features. Here's a look at how they did it.
Owner: Dan and Gloria Gibbon
Location: Medford, Wis.
When Dan finally starting building his pond (after dreaming about it for years), he looked online and attended local garden shows to get ideas. Eventually, he bought a kit but modified it to make this 8-by-14-foot pond and waterfall. The hardest part was the rocks, which he found on his property and hauled by hand and in a wheelbarrow. "Gloria helped by suggesting where to put them," says Dan. "There was a lot of moving and relocating and adjusting, but finally I got it."
Dan wanted to make the pond as natural as possible. He must have succeeded, because a lot of wildlife comes around to check it out. "The enjoyment we receive from this project is well worth the time and effort," he says.
Owner: Dave Martin
Location: Natick, Mass.
Dave jumped at the idea of a free upgrade when his parents offered to give him their old hot tub. Then he realized he had to do something with the one he already had. Not wanting to deposit a giant blue fiberglass shell in a landfill, he did what any Yankee would do: He salvaged it. "I thought, there must be a better use," he says. "Then it dawned on me: I'll make a pond!"
Within a couple of weeks, he had dug a 4-foot hole. ("I did a dance to the rock gods first, so I wouldn't hit any boulders.") He put the tub in the hole, then lined and finished it using the same methods we show here.
His pond is a delight for his whole family. "It's the perfect centerpiece as you look out from the kitchen," says Dave. "And the sound of the waterfall is so soothing. I often go out in the morning with a cup of coffee and just listen to the symphony of birds and water."
TOH Readers: What have you built? Show us your relaxing backyard spot.