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Saturday, August 9, 2014

The "Beauty at the 'Beach House'" Story

After spraying to kill the old growth.
It was an ordinary day.  Snapping a photo of our deck behind the "Beach House."  It was in 1997 that we signed a contract with Stauffer's of Kissel Hill nursery department to design and landscape the rear area behind our new house that reminded us of a place at the Jersey shore.  After reviewing the plans presented to us and making some changes, we signed on the dotted line and the work began.  First came the weed killer to get rid of all the growth that needed to be removed before planting could begin.  I watched as a worker sprayed all the vegetation on the bank.  At one point I thought I noticed that spray was coming from the tank as well as the spray nozzle.  
Digging for our pond began.
Wasn't long before we noticed that he must have had a leak and the week killer had killed parts of the trees on top of the bank.  The company eventually removed the dead branches and deducted a small amount from the bill for the mistake they had made.  Not long after the spraying that the digging for the pond began.  
The liner and stones came next. In the background you
can see the trees that were damaged by week killer.
Shovels wouldn't work on the dirt, so they took to the pickaxes to dig to the depth that we wanted.  Soon found that there was total stone about 18 inches below the surface and they told us they would have to blast the rock to make it the 3 feet that we wanted the pond to be.  We opted not to blast, fearing that damage would result to our foundation, and accepted the 18 inch deep pond.  
The pond is complete and plants have been added.
After a few days the liner was laid and the stone began to make the hole look like a pond.  A waterfall was added and before long a few goldfish called the pond home.  Wasn't long before the plantings were complete and we were enjoying our new landscaped bank.  A few years later I decided to try and dig the pond deeper so I removed all the rocks and the liner and began with a digging iron and my own pickaxe.  
Sweet potato vines were added one year.
I did manage to add a few inches to the depth, but still not the 3 feet that we had wanted.  Replaced the liner and stones and turned the waterfall back on once again.  In the late 2000's Carol decided we needed to have the water cascading from the trees above the pond down to the pond and then dropping into the pond below.  
Different flowers were added another year.
That was a piece of cake after trying to dig the pond deeper.  Well, the pond is maturing and moss is lining the inside of the stones.  The fish enjoy the waterfall and pretend to be Salmon as they jump into the water fall.  Carol added sweet potato vines one year, wave petunias another year and elephant ears last year for different effects on the pond.  
This year we have added a few tarps for shade and the
new plants have been planted for this year's touch.
The grasses have matured and make the rear of our house look as if we are at the beach …… minus the sand.  We spend many evenings relaxing on the deck and inviting friends and family to enjoy it with us.  The ever changing environment created by my wife's experimenting with different plants gives a strikingly new feel for the rear of our "Beach House" every summer.  Anxious for everything to mature for this summer.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  PS - click on photos to enlarge.

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