Monday, April 22, 2013

The Ghost of a Koi Pond

The ghost of an old koi pond came back to haunt us again last year. It was finally dealt with and exorcised away last weekend.


Yes, there was a large koi pond already in the garden even before we moved in, albeit decommissioned. Photo taken in February 2005 as 
we were viewing the property and garden for the first time.
It was this large hole that we had to fill up when we first moved in to the house (and garden) and it turned out to be of great use as we cleared out the garden and saved on needing to avail of a skip hire. Gradually it was filled up with hardcore, organic matter, and other debris from previous projects.


The hole was gradually filled up with soil, organic material, and rubble. Photo taken in 2006
The fences in this area were old and falling apart and had to be replaced too.
If there was soil then we might as well grow something on it, although I don't think we actually harvested anything by the end of the season. 
Photo taken in 2006
We started to plant out ornamentals on the designated border by 2007, and demarcated where a seating area should be. I've forgotten 
how many tender plants we bedded out that time. Unfortunately Schefflera macrophylla turned out to be tender too!
Then when it was full it was compacted, filled with some sand and a temporary patio was built over it so we can use it as a seating area. And this patio lasted for awhile. 


The original patio as layed in 2008, using a mixture of materials available on hand then
We always knew there will be subsidence at some stage, it was just a matter of time and when. Organic matter rots, pockets of spaces that were inevitably not filled then would eventually get filled in, and the area will subside eventually. And that became evident last year. But we were far too busy then so it had to wait for awhile to be sorted.


The weather last weekend was wonderful, and perfect too for bigger spring jobs, like sorting out the patio
The patio residents had to move elsewhere whilst work was in progress. As for the chairs...
They had three coats of stain a few weeks ago. I took this photo so I can actually see myself the difference between a stained and unstained 
one. The colour of the stain I used turned out to be so close to the original that I wasn't sure at first if it made any difference at all. At least the 
colour is richer now and I know it's more protected against the elements.
The larger stones were kept and reused, whilst most of the smaller pieces were replaced with new and larger sandstone.
The leftover clay from the pond build came in very handy for this job!
And that time finally came, old flagstones were lifted up and more hardcore, rubble, and clay came in to level the area again. After they were compacted most of the old and weathered sandstone flags were relayed. Some of the smaller pieces of stone and paving that were used before had to go as this time we decided to mix in new but bigger sandstone flags with the old ones. These new ones should weather and blend in nicely with the rest of the old ones, gradually through the course of time.


Someone is curious...
Here it is now after two days of work (albeit leisurely and plenty of gardening in between), stones relayed and the area level once again. Hopefully this will last and stay like this for quite some time. The stones were laid on a sand base without mortar joints so that they are very stable but also easy to remove for adjustments if and when subsidence happens again. 


Patio now relayed but work in the garden continues....
Eventually subsidence will stop as we gradually add more rubble and inorganic material, and from there we can do something more permanent for this spot. But for now we'll just have to keep exorcising the ghost of an old koi pond whenever it makes an apparition. Mind you exorcising isn't so bad especially when it is done on fine days with fab weather like it was last weekend!

Mark :-)

24 comments :

  1. Great job! The new and improved look is fantastic. What a nice spot for relaxing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gerhard! It's a secluded spot, conducive to relaxing :)

      Delete
  2. Well I didn't like the old pond at all. Really was big enough for a pool and just bland looking. Yours that you two did is far superior!
    Cher Sunray Gardens

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great to hear Cher :) Much prefer a raised pond ourselves

      Delete
  3. The chairs look great! Jeannine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jeannine! It did took ages to paint for little colour change. We're pleased with it though!

      Delete
  4. You are so industrious! The new look of both the seating area and the chairs is wonderful! Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little bit achy now Peter but glad its done! :)

      Delete
  5. It looks great and such a difference from a few years back. Let's hope it takes quite a while before there's any more subsidence. A garden is always a work in progress though, isn't it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed Missy, work never really finishes :) Cross fingers it will take quite awhile before we need to redo it again.

      Delete
  6. I thought right away that I knew exactly where this area is but then every other photo had me confused. Is this the secluded spot where the Canna cleopatra grows? On the house side of the Jungle shed? Where ever it is (please forgive my trying to place it) good job! And I love the darker colors on the chairs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well remembered Loree and thank you! It is indeed that spot, middle of the garden :) The Canna Cleoptara is still tucked away but will go out again into the same spot as they were last year once shoots come out.

      Delete
  7. You make it look so simple! Looking so good x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Libby :) Have had plenty of practice before, that helped

      Delete
  8. What a great weekends work, your new patio looks wonderful! Such a great spot for sitting and relaxing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paula, we're pleased with it :)

      Delete
  9. Nice job guys, I like the pragmatism of your approach.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That was a lot of work - but it looks fabulous. Your chairs are the perfect color, too. They look great with the chiminea and the pots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks thanks Holley! The chairs does seem to go well with the pots :)

      Delete
  11. Coming here after a while and nice to read the posts again :-). Your old patio was already looking nice; you guys are really hard working that you have to remake it :-). Wow!. There must be houses around you, right? You have made the garden and the plants in such a way, it seems that there are no houses around. Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear that :) it's a town garden so yes we're surrounded with houses but we're glad that areas of the garden are now secluded and more private.

      Delete
  12. You take on these massive projects with such gusto and good humor. I'm impressed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard work Ricki but it was still good fun :)

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.