[The Pond]

If you are building a water gardening or constructing a pond, it's good to read books on the subject, but book-learning is no substitute for actual experience.

We wanted a pond in the rear of our yard, visible from kitchen and dining room. I wanted a large waterfall, since I love the the way a big sheet of water looks when it rolls off a large stone into a waiting body of water below. My husband, however, likes the babble of a small brook. Compromising, we designed a water feature with a small river on one side and a spill on the other.
The Pond - Version 1.0

We interviewed several landscapers, and eventually hired David Michielutti and his company, Artistic Home Gardens, Inc. to do the construction.

Due to the placement of the pond in the rear of our narrow lot, David's crew had to build our pond in reverse order. Normally, the pond is dug first, and then the courseway to the pond is built up from the rear. Due to the confines of our yard, the heavy construction equipment would would not be able to access the rear of the yard after the pond was in place. Therefore, the waterfall was built first, and the pond added afterwards.

Having built the waterfall first, and the pond second, it was impossible to lay the waterfall's rubber liner over the pond's liner. This lead to a serious problem with leakage. All efforts to seal the two liners together failed, and the pond lost several inches of water each day. Fall turned into winter as the pond continued to lose water. In late December, everything froze and work had to stop until spring. The crew returned once the weather warmed up, but other contracts had been signed and those jobs began to take precedence. Our pond, which had been partially disassembled in a bid to correct the leak, was abandoned.

After several months of increasingly anxious waiting and unreturned phone calls, I went looking for David. Outside the company offices, I met another former client. This fellow had a similar story: the crew had stopped work, leaving several tons of raw materials behind. Although we eventually managed to find David, it was of no use. The company was teetering on the edge of bankrupcy, and would soon fall.

Joel Prescott

Late in the summer we found our hero, Joel Prescott, owner of Serenity Water Gardens. Joel tore what remained of the original pond and waterfall apart and started over. He simplified the design, relocated the stream, and got the water moving. It looks good, sounds great, and doesn't leak.

Last Updated: February 27, 2000

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I can be reached at aud...@mystery.com