One of the key elements to our pond design was the idea of a waterfall. We wanted this element to be the main focus of the whole water garden design. Having never built a waterfall before there were quite a few things to consider. Here is the first section of notes on how we built our waterfall.
We always wanted a waterfall into the pond. This would be the focal point of our new water garden drawing the eye to an area of interest with the water cascading into the pond.
Aritifical watercourses are becoming better and more lifelike every year but we couldn’t find one to fit the picture we had in our head. We decided to go down to the natural route……now where do we find boulders and large rocks?
After a somewhat hazardous trip to a local quarry we eventual found a place called RocksRus (I kid you not) in Shotton Colliery County Durham. Fortunately this was only a drive of abouty 20 miles from where we are based.
A discussion with the owner resulted in Sandstone being the choice of waterfall material. This stone – though durable- can be broken down into ‘sheets’ by tapping with a hammer and chisel. This results in stone ‘steps’ that can be used to build back up into a natural looking fall. We decided on a number of sandstone pieces and a rather nice looking boulder of granite.
A week later the stone load was delivered by flat-bed truck. The three ton load cost was £400. The rocks themselves had to be lifted off the truck and onto the garden via a hoist. Fortunately a sack-barrow with pneumatic tyres was available to move the stones to the correct end of the garden ready for positioning (sack barrow highly recommended).
The Base stone of a waterfall is known as the spill stone as this is the last stone the water hits before it spills into the water. This will generally be the largest stone with a large surface area as the other stones will sit on top of it.
As soon as our spill stone was moved into position we hit our first snag. The weight of the stone started to cause the bank of soil under it to sink resulting in the very real threat of the stone slipping into the water! This would have been disastrous. It was clear that we needed to form a foundation first. It was decided to create a concrete foundation level at the pond edge to create a stable platform for the waterfall to sit on. Click here to see how we sorted this out.