Art of Water Features

There is nothing quite as Zen as a Koi Pond where the random motion of the fish and the flashes of sunlight off the ripples in the water immediately invite one into a state of tranquility.

For this North Georgia Landscaping project, we were tasked with creating a Koi Pond water feature for a client. For there to be true peacefulness surrounding the result, we planned meticulously to ensure there was little stress to the whole process.

Here are some of the aspects we had to consider when planning this project:

  • The septic system is in the back yard so the feature had to go in the front yard of the home.
  • The water feature needed to be visually appealing from the sidewalk and driveway.
  • It needed an organic shape to fit in the natural surroundings.
  • It needed a patio and knee wall as a place to sit and feed and watch the fish.
  • It needed to be at least 5 feet deep for the Koi to be able to stay in the pond over winter.

First, we decided on a space near the driveway. We dug down five feet in very compacted and hard soil and created a very appealing and organic shape.

Water feature dug out in a very appealing, organic, and functional shape.

The shape is important. Curves need to be wide to ensure proper circulation of the water. The waterfall at one end of the pond helps the water gently flow to the skimmer or pump for circulation and filtration. This is why an oval or kidney shaped pond is most popular. Too many “inlets” impedes the water from circulating properly.

Next, we formed the site to ready it for concrete. It is reinforced with rebar and wire mesh. This gave us a very stable base for laying the flagstone on top. Since this was the client’s sitting area, we designed the patio part of the project underneath a cool shady tree canopy.

Formed and ready to pour concrete to make the patio & sitting area beside the Koi pond.

Now work begins on the knee, or sitting, wall. Knee walls are generally built to an 18” height which is really an optimum height for taking a seat on top of the wall. It was done with real, natural stone and each piece was cut to fit.

Natural, customized stone is used to top the knee wall around the pond. This is where many people enjoy sitting.

Once the wall and patio were complete, it was time to install the fabric underlayment and the rubber liner for the pond.

Rubber liner for the pond.
The pond is surrounded by stones, some of which are stacked to add a waterfall feature to the installation. All is now ready for fish and plants.

To make the pond surround look natural, various size boulders and rocks are used. The use of rocks that are all the same size make a pond look unnatural. Pea gravel and river rock are used to fill gaps as are plants.

Even before the flora and the fauna, it’s apparent that the shape and the location of this water feature work well with the home and the natural surroundings. But with plants it truly is a spectacular place to sit and relax or meditate and feel the worries of the world melt away in the dappled sun and the soft splash of water. See the finished project below…

Completed Koi Pond water feature. Did someone say Zen?

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