GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2002 show27
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
Visit our Sponsors! encore azalea Dramm
Visit our Sponsors and win.
Past Shows:

Show #27

Two landscaping buzzwords recently have been wildlife and water. This
week we'll follow the construction of two waterfalls at our Georgia
landscaping house.

Bill Hagan from "Anything Under The Sun" has designed and built these
waterfalls. The first step in the process is finding what the homeowner
wants, where they spend time and what type environment they are trying
to create. This is a big help in determining the location of the
waterfall or pond. Where does the homeowner spend time so they will be
able to enjoy the addition. Then the challenge becomes making the
waterfall look natural - matching the waterfall to the site.

One of the falls faces away from the house. It is clearly visible from
the house but is situated in this location for enjoyment when in the

There is a shallow pool at the bottom, big enough for a pump and to hold
water. This pool is shallow for two reasons, it's not so deep as to be a
danger to children but deep enough for birds and other small animals to
take baths. The cascading effects were dug into the ground. The depth of
the steps was determined by the thickness and consistency of the rocks
to be used. The height is about the thickness of two rocks. At the top a
small hole was made - to make it look like a babbling brook coming out
of the ground. Water noise is a definite consideration. Too much water
sound doesn't sound good, not enough you struggle to hear the water
sound. The right amount of sound is relaxing and at night carries, like
a stream in the woods. This will look like it's a spring in the woods,
bubbling out of the ground, then cascading down and disappearing into
the ground. In actuality it recirculates from the bottom to the top.

Bill shows us some of the materials he will use. He starts with an
underlayment, which has two sides. A smooth side that goes on top and a
rough side that goes on the ground. The rough side holds to the dirt and
will help keep the liner in place. When placing the liner the smooth
side that is up allows for easy maneuvering when taking wrinkles out of
the liner. The underlayment also protects the liner from rocks and twigs
and allows any gasses or air pockets in the ground to escape. There are
different types of liner. Bill is using one that is ETDN, it is 45 one
thousands of an inch thick. It has a warranty of 20 years, is very
durable, is easy to wash and maintain and once warm is easy to work
with. It has no chemicals in the construction, is fish friendly and
great to create an ecosystem in the pond. It is actually printed on the
liner "fish safe." The liner is very important to the success of your

Bill then shows us the pipe that recirculates the water from the base of
the pond all the way up to the top of the waterfall. It is smooth on the
inside, thereby not restricting water flow. It has an inner core of PVC
making it flexible, yet durable. It will withstand the weather, dirt and
decay and when bent at a 90 degree angle will not restrict the water

Selecting the pump is an important task, the pump must match the
waterfall. Bill has selected a 1040 which means it pumps 1040 gallons
per hour. In this case since we're not using a large pump he is using an
adapter to upsize to our 1 and 1/2 inch pipe. This pump internally has
peanut oil, if it were to freeze or crack it wouldn't kill the fish in
the pond. It has a cage on the bottom to allow cleaning of leaves or
other debris. It is energy efficient. Although ponds and waterfalls seem
complicated they simply move water from the bottom to the top. It is
easy and natural.

Stone is an important element in any pond. Jim Almond is with Earth
Products. Earth Products is 15 years old, they supply river slicks,
boulders, field stone, aggregates, mulch, soils and pond supplies. They
supplied the stone and pond supplies for this project. Jim discusses the
rocks used. They were selected because they fit the environment and look
very natural. Slicks are so called because of their odd shapes and
sizes. They range in size from small to large and are odd shapes. River
Flats are flatter and have two flat surfaces. The flats are good for a
dry creek bed, it provides a lot of coverage. The Slicks work well in
water falls because they are more natural looking for that environment
and more friendly to fish. They look like they were pulled from the
river, and probably were, thus look natural in a waterfall situation.
They are naturally rounded and smoothed off as opposed to quarry rock.

When we introduced the Georgia lake house we discussed the difficulty of
landscaping the area on the side of the house, on a steep hill and under
a deck, next to an unattractive wall. Since it is off one of the decks
it is an area the homeowner sees often. Although a challenge, Bill Hagan
has designed a waterfall for this area. They have shaped the area, put
in a belly pan, to catch the water, put in the liner and added some

A concern was water coming off the driveway area, with oils, roofing
granules, etc., getting into the waterfall. The water could get behind
the liner, push the rocks out causing a mess. The shaping Bill installed
around the edge of the pond causes the water to be diverted, almost like
a stream going along the side of the waterfall.

Again at the bottom will be the pond, with the water recirculating to
the top. Since this waterfall is larger he will use a 2,700 gallon per
hour pump with a 2 inch recirculating line. The pond will be 24 inches
deep and approximately 5 by 8 feet. This pond will be larger and allow
for fish. At the top is a filtration system with a skimmer at the
bottom. One of the biggest challenges with a pond is keeping the water
clean, particularly if it has fish or plants. Bill keeps the water clean
using various methods. The filter on the pond is effective and additive
bacteria is another method. The filter catches particles that pass
through and can periodically can be cleaned with a hose. In this system
there are 3 layers of filtration, both at the top and then again at the
bottom of the pond. Finer, more dense material will need to be cleaned
more often but will probably provide cleaner water. The coarser material
will need cleaned less frequently. Both allow some bacteria to reside
which in turn attracts things like snails that also help keep the system
clean. The rocks also help in this area. They provide surface area for
bacteria to live and that further cleans the water. By keeping the water
clean the pond builds it's own ecosystem. When fish and plants are added
to the mix in about 3 weeks it starts running itself. After that the
system doesn't need much attention for about 1 year.

The skimmer allows the pump to be placed inside. It sucks water down a
hole through the filter media, into the pump and out the back. Leaves
and other debris are caught in a mesh basket which makes it easy for

We return when Bill has finished the upper pond. He has truly turned an
unsightly area into a beautiful area, it is a work of art. This water
feature has four falls. A fall is the distance between the top of the
rock and the bottom where the water hits. He's shortened it at the
bottom because he likes the wet look and you get more of a splashing
sound. He has created two streams rather than one. This has been
accomplished by diverting some water to the side. He's added a valve to
adjust the flow of water. And plants have been added. Bill has turned an
unsightly area into a beautiful area.

We now look at the lower waterfall that Bill has completed. He has
caused the water to turn from side to side by slightly tilting the
rocks. And he has leaned rocks forward to create a cascading effect. A
fall has more of a splashing effect, cascading just seems to roll of the
rock. This has an effect on the noise of the waterfall. He amplifies
sound by closing or opening up the stream by changing the depth of the
rocks in the fall area. This space traps sound and pushes it out
creating a symphony of sound.

Bill has done a wonderful job. These falls add wonderfully to the
outside livability of this home.

Link :: Earth Products

Locations :: Anything Under The Sun - 770-421-1249

Back to Top

GardenSMART Featured Article

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

Now is the time to shop for annuals that will go the distance all summer. Suntory Flowers has a portfolio of gorgeous varieties that thrive in the heat. To learn more, click here for an interesting article.

  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.