From my porch I can see three beautiful tiers of red earth all carefully bermed to hold a flood. A flood of irrigation water, that is. Just what we needed to properly grow our veggies!
It couldn’t have happened without Paul Holdeman of The Pond Gnome. We’ve been working with Paul since he came to fix a leak in the pond and waterfall at our old house, and instead turned what I’d thought was a great pond into something far more fantastic than I could have imagined.
When we came out here I very quickly realized that although we have plenty of water it’s nearly impossible to get that water to where it will grow healthy plants. I also want ducks and having ducks requires a duck pond.
We started with some big ideas, like a water retention pond that also served as a trout pond, but ended up scaling back mostly because of money (oh that pesky problem). What Paul came up with was a simple solution: re-grade the fields so we can use the big valves Sam Frey installed to flood them. And using the rise and fall of our landscape, he dug out a three foot deep a duck pond, one that will be aerated by ditch water that rushes in from one side and rushes out the other. I probably won’t be able to plant water lilies in it, but in a trade off between water lilies and duck eggs, duck eggs will win with me every time. There’s no better egg for a frittata!
Here’s our before and after photos:
That big red circle is the duck pond. Of course it’s not finished yet. We’ll wait until February and the ditch is shut down to install the gate valves.
Paul also created a beautiful waterfall out of our most distant spring box, where the pipe goes from 12 inches to 10 inches and the water is always overflowing. Since I can’t have water lilies maybe I’ll try planting columbines and native orchids along our “natural” waterfall.
Thank you Paul and Gary, the backhoe operator who pulled stumps while he was here, and Timmy, who sat in his little tractor looking backwards over his shoulder at his gannon as he drove in reverse for three straight days. Lord, but that makes my neck hurt to think about it!