Today, I spoke with a local water garden company to go over the plan (left). It turns out that in spite of my research, I need to make some adjustments to my design. This is something you want to do right the first time. Once it is dug, filled and planted, it is very difficult to correct a structural problem, as you can surely imagine. It is better dig once and fill undisturbed soil than to try to re-fill a hole that is too-large or mis-shaped, for example. Disturbing the soil will incorporated air, making it inherently less dense, i.e.; stable.
So instead of excavating shelves for the bog plants to sit on and a zero-entry to help wildlife that mistakenly fall into the pond, I have been advised to dig the entire pond to one even depth of 18-24″ and using bricks to elevate the plants to the right depth. Having steep sides all around will prevent predators from using the proposed shelves and zero-entry as easy access for hunting & fishing.
I know that I need to take this step because recently, a cat came in and demolished our little pond (pictured above). It ate the two little goldfish that we kept safe and happy all winter. And the frogs that also hibernated safely there, either left as a consequence or suffered the same demise. The only bright spot is that now I don’t have to worry about keeping the fish alive & safe during the transition from one pond to the other. I image that it will take a few days to a week to get the new pond ready for me to transfer the plants from the old one. In the meantime, they will need to be kept wet in buckets (I presume).
This change in design will save us a lot of time and energy as it will be far easier than carving out shelves and grading a zero-entry. So, it pays to do your research and ask a professional for help.
I have gotten quotes for the new pump and the liner. I plan to use old carpet remnants as the underlayment which is a layer between the new hole and the liner. This will keep rocks and roots from puncturing the liner over time and through the process of construction.
The next step is to quote the rocks that will line the pond. I expect that is where the heaviest expense will be. I’ll let you know.