Keeping up with the Jones


Before we purchased our new home, one of the main selling points for Jayme was the fact that there was a little man made pond in the front yard. It’s not a very large pond, only about 6 feet across. But each time we would visit the house, Jayme would insist that we turn the pond on so he could play with it. After we moved in, one of our first outdoor projects was fixing the pond.

The pond was very stony, mostly dry and what water was in it was thick and very smelly. A small early spring heat wave dried up the little water left in the pond and gave us our first excuse to start work on the pond.

Anthony and Jayme changed into some dirty clothes, put on some rubber gloves and started to clean out the pond. We had thought there must be a hole in the lining.  Every time Jayme would  fill the pond it would drain out within a few hours. So our goal was to clean out the rock and look for a hole to patch. But as we cleaned it out, we learned what was really going on. The water was not flowing out but down. Our shallow rocky pond turned out to be about 4 feet deep filled with rocks and gravel. The pond seemed dry, but only the top inch of exposed rocks was dry.

It took two weekends to hand lift all the rocks and gravel out of the pond and reach the plastic liner. It was a mucky smelly mess! But after cleaning and filling the pond liner, we found zero holes. It was a very pleasant surprise.

Over a few weeks, we made a few trips to different nurseries and before we knew it we had a great little pond, no fish but we had several frogs move in.

With the pond clean we now had a new problem, what to do with the piles of river rock we dug out to the pond. In the end we decided to artistically lay it in strips down our driveway. Sort of dry river bed effect, Anthony moved a few bigger rocks down and the front yard was starting to take shape.

It was about then that our neighbor ordered several yards of black mulch and mulched his front yard and gardens. Our little weedy adjoining hill and pond rocks seemed to just scream eye-sore; so we headed to Home Depot and purchased some lawn weed fabric and 20 bags of mulch. Anthony and Jayme also picked up 2 small huckleberry bushes which should grow to about 8 feet in height and help hide our fence (a future project).

We spent the weekend laying the weed block and raking mulch, but by the time we finished we had a very respectable looking hill adjoining our neighbors amazing yard.

Our front yard is MASSIVE, with all of our work only about 1/8th of the front yard is now presentable. But still the neighbors liked what we did so much that they bought some rocks for their driveway to match ours. Who knew we were trend setters!

We still need to removed several small trees and bushes, expand Jayme Pond, plant some grass and fix the sprinkler system! But we feel that we are no longer a huge embarrassment for the neighbors.

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