It all started when 2 passionate guys dug some very big holes in their backyard. I had always talked about a water feature to my wife and she kind of blew me off until I started staking out my backyard, and a couple of days later had the rented excavator in the yard.
As for my good friend and colleague Tim Rick owner of DIWhy Exteriors out of Anoka Minnesota his wife was a little more open to the idea of a large pond in their Anoka backyard. We both met after serving on The Minnesota Water Garden Society board for a couple of years, and both had similar interests and goals. After job layoffs we decided to strike out on our own, and haven’t looked back. He owns his own company and has his loyal and dedicated customer as do I.
We however do large projects together which benefits us as well as our customers. They get two creative artists who are always on the jobsite tossing ideas back and forth with one another and we also share some common tools which holds our costs down, so we can not only give our clients a fantastic product, but we do it at a cost that won’t break the bank for them.
An example of a large project we collaborated on together was this medium size Eco-System pond with long streams meandering downhill and splitting off into the pond. This was Tim’s second water feature on this particular property. He was also hired the year before to install a pondless water feature in the client’s front yard.
We are both very happy with how this one turned out, but it came with many challenges which we were able to work through. First plan of attack was to remove the previous system which had several leaks and just didn’t have the look his client was looking for. Below the existing liner was an old billboard banner used for the liner. Underneath it we found very wet heavy clay which posed a very big challenge. Most of the client’s downspouts were directed in the spot where the pond was which is common to do, but it not only fouls up the water quality in the pond, but after heavy rains it saturates the soil around the pond. We remedied this by taking all of the clients downspouts installing rain boxes below the downspouts and used 4” drain tile burying it and running out into the woods. We then amended the soil by using lime, sand, and fresh dirt. We also installed a bulkhead fitting into the liner so excess rain was directed into our drain tile and carried away from pond area into the lowest spot on the yard running into the woods.
As the area was tore up pretty bad we installed new edging for the pathways , spread down ¾” granite, and also a small rock bridge was put over our swale we added to further alleviate the water issues . All new mulch helped to further naturalize and finish off area. We did several evergreen plantings and moved customer’s hosta’s to soften the rock look. Further plantings and the addition of carefully placed driftwood in the future will further enhance this water feature.
Lastly one very important item we add to our water features is some type of filtration. We accomplish this by adding either a “Bio-Falls” or “Wetland Filter” also known as an “Up-Flow Bog” You can read more about this on either of our websites. We utilize wetland filters on both of our personal ponds. Our passion shows through in what we have done with our yards. Please contact us for a tour or give us a call.
In the end we have a very happy client, and were proud of our team for pulling off one of our largest projects to date.