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1. Porch, 2. The Rainwater Pond, 3. Wildlife Pond, and 4. Streambed Construction

photos by Stan Schaap and Susan Kramer

narration by Susan Kramer


1. Porch …

This was our mildest winter on record with an average January temperature of 46.9 F. We did not have a single day of freezing temps this winter. So, we continued right on with gardening and building projects in our back garden. Stan built our wood porch deck and Susan built a pond with help from Stan in digging out the hole. We hope you enjoy these photos.

1.  Stan rightfully enjoying the fruits of his labor. The porch deck is 12 feet wide and 8 feet deep.

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2. Susan enjoying her rocking chair on the porch in March.
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3.  The porch guts ... oh, I mean framing ...

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Edited February 2, 2021: I’ve been thinking how I could use the water in the pond for plants in our drier season, which is summer. As it is here in The Netherlands the winter plants and trees get plenty of water from rain falling on them. The solution is to dig out and create an additional rainwater pond, and when it is the dry season to bail out water for vegies because there is no overflow when it doesn’t rain. So that is my plan for this spring – use the winter rain water to fill the pond and bail out for use on vegies in the summer.

2. The rainwater pond - for collecting rainwater for summer plants:

February 4, 2021. Yesterday we ordered a rectangular fiberglass pond: 4 feet by 2 feet by 1.5 feet deep and 200 liters (quarts) and it was delivered this morning. Stan and I both had a hand in getting it installed. We decided to place it against the front of the porch. I dug out 2 large shrubs and temporarily saved them in large pots. Then Stan got to work and dug out the hole to hold the pond. He got it in and perfectly leveled after about 2 hours of digging. We still need to install the overflow drain just below the top edge and run the pipe to drain into the wildlife pond, which in turn has an overflow to the 2 big trees out back. I think it looks great! The weather cooperated with us, clear and 46F. Perfect for digging. Here are 3 photos of new pond:

A: February 4, 2021 - New fiberglass pond laying upside down. 200 liter capacity.


B: February 4, 2021 - Hole dug ready to place pond.


C: February 4, 2021 - Pond levelled sitting in hole which has a good layer of yellow sand supporting it and packed against the walls after leveling. The top rim is 2 inches above ground. Note drain pipe from downspout and gutter emptying into pond.


D. February 5, 2021- Another view. The stick is for critters to climb out. Fiberglass pond holds 200 liters and shows the downspout drain over the rim of the pond. Last night it rained and we accumulated one inch of water in the pond from the porch roof. The bush to the left is called Skimmia. To the right is Japanese holly, branch hanging over is Noble fir.


E. February 5, 2021 – another view, from the porch with some of the landscaping begun. We have one more day clear weather, and then 3 heavy snow days coming. We ordered the overflow valve and the hose connecting to drain it down a couple of inches in heavy rain into the wildlife pond 15 feet further down the garden. The original pond has an overflow to the big tree roots in the back garden, so no water is wasted. I’ll be bailing water from the new rainwater pond to water vegies in the dry periods of summer. The next photos are after the heavy snow on February 6 and 7. And the result of it melting from the porch roof is just below.


F. February 20, 2021 – The pond filled up with the melted snow off the porch roof. Stan installed the overflow pvc flexible pipe. It goes just underground and comes out into the wildlife pond about 20 feet further along in the garden. The beginning end outlet is slightly higher than the pond level where it is going, and flows by gravity.



G. February 20, 2021 – The pipe will have the decorative brick overtop. This is the height of the water before it starts to drain into the pipe.



H. February 20, 2021- This view shows the outlet of the pvc pipe into the wildlife pond. At the top and back end of the pond is another outlet under the top brick that goes into a gravel and lined trench to water the 2 large trees in the back garden – a cedar, and a Japanese Fir.


I. February 27, 2021 - one of finished views


J. February 27, 2021- one of finished views


K. February 27, 2021- one of finished views


L. March 12, 2021 – I installed the 19 inch St. Francis statue today – includes a wolf at his feet and a bird bath with a pigeon perched on the edge. Succulents planted at his feet. To the left is 18 inch Buddha statue. Both statues have a hidden stake behind them and are attached by gray wire for support in our heavy winds, such as storm Evert today.



m. June 16, 2021 Transformation of rainwater pond to another wildlife pond: The first thing that happened is frogs laid eggs, and then we found this salamander had made a home in the pond – notice we have a pot of summer oxygenating water plants to keep the pond clean. Here are a few pix of “Slinky” the name of the salamander. For size comparison, those red bricks are 4 inches square.


n. June 16, 2021 – Slinky climbing on pond leaf.


o. June 16, 2021 – Slinky climbing on pond leaf; oxygenating plant submerged in pond.


p. June 16, 2021 – Slinky over log at end of pond.

After the flood of June 18, 2021

q. June 20, 2021 – The garden is drying after being submerged in 2 inches of water.

r. June 20, 2021 – View of the gravel we poured into the pond and the oxygenating plant for summer.

s. June 20, 2021 – another view of pond after storm.

t. June 20, 2021 – inside greenhouse: the large blossoms are a zucchini plant and to the right are plum tomatoes. The greenhouse did not flood.

u. June 20, 2021 – looking into G.H. from side wall.

v. June 20, 2021 – this is the open greenhouse: zucchini plant at right. At left is view of apple tree.

w. June 20, 2021 – I love this picture: Fig tree planted one year ago with climbing roses behind. Unfortunately the storm stripped off the growing figs.


3. Wildlife Pond …

Now for the pond begun March 31, 2007. It was basically a week's project. The space between the bricks and pavers around the pond has tiny groundcover that should spread and cover the bricks by the end of summer. We have 6 oxygenating plants in the pond and when it warms up we will put in a lotus - no fish; a heron lives nearby and just ate the fish in our neighbor's pond.

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5. Here's the hole dug - perhaps you can see it is in a couple of tiers.

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6. Now the thick polyvinyl cloth is laid in and we are filling the pond.

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7. Believe it or not, the second day of water a frog from somewhere outside our garden jumped in!

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8. Katje prancing along beside the pond which she drinks from. Susan lounging in the sun on the porch.

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9. Stan completed the deck and rail construction the first week of his vacation, July 2007 - we sure enjoy sitting out watching birds and rain!

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3. Streambed ...

10. July 2007 - After Stan finished the deck and rail, Susan created a streambed to take the run off from the porch roof and direct it through the garden - first stop the pond, then with an overflow at the end of the pond fartherest away from the porch another stream bed all the way to back of the garden to water the trees past the pond. It is really nice to watch the stream flow during rains. Susan laid a strip of pond liner under the gravel to create the culvert. Our hydrangea (hortensia) have really filled out this summer.

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Gardens sitemap


Spaghetti Squash in the Home Garden - 52nd Latitude

Pumpkin (Hokkaido orange) experiment in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Compost Leaves in Your City Garden and Build a Trellis Fence


Gardens in Ojai and Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

Tomato Factory - small hothouse experiment

Garden Green Roof installation of sedums

Porch, rainwater pond, wildlife pond and streambed construction

Greenhouse construction from a kit

Border gardens, guerrilla gardening

Benefits of Gardening Projects for Kids

Birds - Bluetits - Pimpelmezen growing up


Meditation Garden – Design, Layout, Planting



email and web site: mailto:susan@susankramer.com--http://www.susankramer.com/
copyright Susan Kramer 2007-2021


page updated February March 12, 2021 with rainwater pond; June 16, 2021 rainwater pond transformation with a salamander in residence; June 20, 2021: after the storm pictures 2. Q. – w.