Out for a duck

As I mentioned before – Spring is a short-lived experience in our area. The ground goes from soft slippery clay to hard cracked shards within a week or two. So by now the Dreamland access “road” had dried up enough so that we could get a large truck through with the pebbles for the pond. But the fun didn’t stop there…

Decoration time

I have a good idea what a wheelbarrow of mulch, a wheelbarrow of compost and a wheelbarrow of dirt weighs – in terms of muscle power required and distance to fatigue ratio, but I had no idea how heavy river pebbles were! Anyway, half a wheelbarrow at a time we got the pebbles to the pond, and we had to steamroller a lot of those half wheelbarrows up the steep incline to the filtration area. Note to self: next time you make an access ramp, make the incline more “heavy wheelbarrow friendly”!

Well, we all had great fun decorating the ponds and filtration areas, hiding the black liner and creating areas for the water plants, all the time while the pond was filling up from the top.

Decoration time

Fun decorating

All around the top ridge, we planted hardy Australian native ground covers that will grow down the embankment and keep the soil in place.


Ground covers for the embankment

As part of the exercise we cut off all the excess liner and used that to form a base under the solar panels where we laid some of the excess pebbles to keep that little area as clean as possible. Not many things would want to grow under the panels anyway.

Solar panels and filtration area

Solar panels and filtration area neatened up

Under the pump

However, the whole solar-driven filtration system is still not working. Grrrr. The first pump they sent just didn’t work – it didn’t pump a quarter of its spec. The second pump was cracked, can you believe it? So we’re waiting for the third pump.

Cracked pump

Cracked pump

In the meanwhile, the second biological filter has also sprung a leak. We’re having fun – not.

Leaking filter

Biological filter leaking a river…

On a positive note, however, the local birds have started using the pond to drink from and to bath in the shallow end. That makes the whole exercise – with all the problems – already worthwhile!

Lessons learnt

  • Pebbles are heavy – really, really heavy! But they do go  along way – we had a lot excess we used for other projects too.
  • Make access paths, especially uphill, more wheelbarrow-friendly.
  • With “plumbing” a pond, so many things can go wrong – and they do…


About martin@muchmoremulch.blog (207 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

2 Comments on Out for a duck

  1. No doubt challenging times – but exciting times too! Looks good.

  2. Good to hear local wild birds have been enjoying the pond!

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