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DIY: Bringing Idaho's Beautiful Scenery to Your Own Backyard

bring Idaho's beautiful scenery to your own backyard by building a pond

You’ve settled into your new home. You found the perfect one in Boise, Idaho. The city fits you; it’s full of fun and adventure, and you love that nature is all around you. As you sit in your backyard, relaxing after unpacking, you wonder if there’s anything you could do to bring that nature just a little closer. It’d be incredible if you could bring some kind of water feature into your yard so you could have your own private oasis.

If you don’t mind a little hard work, and dedicating a weekend, you can have that private oasis. Building your own pond is possible, as long as you don’t mind doing some work. Even if you have a small yard, you can build a pond to fit. Now, you just need to decide if you want a stream leading into the pond, and where you want to put it.

Digging Your Pond

After you’ve decided on the size, shape, and where you want your pond to be, you’ll need to dig it. You can create virtually any size and shape of pond that you want, but you will want it to fit your space. If you have a smaller yard, that’s fine. You just might not have room for a stream.

First up, you’ll want to mark the outline of your pond, so you know where you need to dig. After that, it’s a simple as grabbing a shovel and starting to dig. You’ll want to dig down about 16 inches. Pile the dirt near the back of the pond, so you’ll have an elevated space for the waterfall and recirculating water. After you’ve dug out your pond, you’ll want to dig another 10 inches down in the center. You’re creating a pit for the pump.

After you’ve dug out your pond, and the pit for the pump, you’ll want to line the entire surface with mason’s sand and smooth it out with a rake. Place a geotextile liner over the sand. This liner will protect the pond liner; you don’t want any leaks.

Installing the Liner

You’ll want to fold the rubber pond liner in half, lengthwise. Place it over the center of the hole, and unfold it. Make sure it covers the pond, and overlaps the edges equally all around the pond. Press the liner into the hole, but be careful. You should use your hands and bare feet to do this. Shoes, or tools, could puncture the liner, and you don’t want that to happen. After you’ve installed the liner, fill the center pit with some water to keep the liner in place.

After the liner is in place, you can start stacking the stones. You can use any kind of stone that you want, but large stones that are flat work better. The amount of stone you need will be heavy, so have it delivered directly to the pond site. The less you have to handle it, the better. Start by lining the pond floor with stones, around the pit, and build up along the wall. Overlap along the border of the pond. You can fill any gaps with smaller stones. Use a stone in the pit, as the base from the pump, and carefully tuck the pump hose underneath stone to hide it. You’ll also hide the power cord in the stones. Again, be careful not to damage the cord.

Once you’ve finished lining the pond with stones, and you’ve installed the pump and waterfall, finish off with coping stones (large flat rocks) to cover the edge of the pond.

Plugging In and Enjoying Your Pond

Ensure that everything is waterproofed. Seal around the waterfall area with a waterproof sealant. Wash off (or bail out) the dirty water from the rocks, the pond, and pump. When everything is clean, waterproof, and ready to go, fill up your pond. You’ll want it be filled to about 4 inches below the coping stones. Now, you’re ready to plug in the pump, and check out your handy work. You should notice water starting to flow out of the waterfall soon.

Building your own pond can be a lot of work, especially considering how much stone you’ll need (and how much it weighs). When you’re sitting in your backyard, enjoying the sound of a waterfall and watching the pond, it’ll be worthwhile. Now, your home is perfect. You have your own little slice of Idaho to enjoy whenever you want, and it’s all yours.

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