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Seeking advice on stone patio, waterfeature, retaining walls, etc

19 years ago

We have almost finished with Phase One of the patio project: the actual

patio. This patio is approximately 1200' square with a 45' x 4' pergola

"run" (8' pergola yet to be built) that will end in a raised circular

patio made of fieldstone and flagstone. In


, you can see the end of the pergola run (gray crushed stone with brick

on either side) and the black plastic edging represents where the circular patio

will be constructed.

Planned is a watergarden with a stream/bog/biofilter, that will run from a

spring erupting between the pergola run and the bed behind. We are

planning to dig this area down a bit and provide a french drain to

reduce/eliminate runoff into the stream and pond from neighboring beds. It will

run down and to the right over a single spill stone which will be towards the

bottom right of the picture. (There's a pile of gray crushed rock there

now.)Â There will be a stacked stone wall (dry or mortared, not sure) where

you see one now (that one is just temporary stone storage and visualization

aid). The water will trickle into a small pond with a false bottom (two toddlers

at home). The pond will be just to the left and below the hydrangea that

you see at the right bottom corner of the picture. Behind the pond and under the

spill stone will be a small grotto for ferns and sound amplification.Â

Closer to the rounded half moon bricks at the end of the brick path will be a

large boggy area surrounding the circular patio. There will also be a

short gravelly, beachy area leading into the water of the pond and stepping

stones going from the brick path through the bog and around the circular


The patio is flagstone, black slate, and brick softset with a 4-6" base

of crushed rock and a 1" bed of sand. We have had no drainage

problems on the patio (it's been in a year, through Isabel, and this wet, wet

summer with no standing water whatsoever). The patio/photo is facing

south. We are Zone 7b with a somewhat warmer (8-8b) microclimate in our yard.

There will be no fish in the pond. Overhanging branches, leaf and pecan fall are

a problem we are willing to deal with. The basic subsoil is clay, although most

of our soil is rich, black and crawling with earthworms. We do contend

with voles and moles. All the work will be DIY.

We will be posting to the Ponds Forum with similar questions, but with a

focus more on biofiltering, liner, etc. In this forum, we are looking for

advice regarding the stonework, retaining walls, foundations, etc. Obviously, we

will have to have a very detailed, well thought out plan before we begin, as the

circular patio will require a concrete, reinforced foundation and the pond liner

will need to be worked into the foundation to prevent leaks from the pond.Â

We are planning to have the liner completely concealed within stonework, gravel

and bog. We are looking for advice, considerations, suggestions and

questions that we should be asking ourselves before we undertake this

venture. We won't be breaking ground for this project until next spring,

due to other projects underway, the need to plan carefully, and BUDGET, so there

is plenty of time for bantering ideas around. :) No eggshell mulch

here. Other photos provided at the link below

Thanks in advance for any input. Critique away!

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Ed Ball Landscape Architecture
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Exquisite Landscape Architecture & Design - “Best of Houzz" Winner
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