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YOUR GARDEN POND
stone native to our region is limestone. Urban legend has it
that limestone is not good for water gardens. This is not
always true, depending on the type and quality of the stone.
Stone in the Lawrence area, known as "Oread Limestone", is
soft, sprawls easily, and breaks down when exposed to
weather and water. The softer, more porous limestone leaches
lime into the pond water, making it difficult to balance and
maintain good clarity. This problem does not occur when
better quality limestone is used.
Take a hammer with you. If you strike a stone and it "pings"
or has a hollow ring to it, it is probably a solid stone. If
it "thuds", or sounds dull, leave it where you found it.
- Beware of insects
- Beware of roadside pesticides, as they will kill fish
- Always get permission to remove stone from private
- Also pick up shims- tiny flat pieces used to level larger
mixing different types of stone in your feature, a 1:2 ratio
works well. Try to incorporate more of the same stone
elsewhere near your pond... retaining walls, stepping
stones, outcroppings and occasional boulders often blend
well. This technique of "echoing" the stonework helps create
a more integrated, pleasing look in the garden.
Stone is most commonly sold by the ton. The price is usually
somewhere between $80 to $380 per ton. Limestone, sandstone,
and granite are available at the stone yards in our area in
a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Be sure the
folks at the yard know that you are building a pond, and
that some of the stone will be in constant contact with
water. Ask which varieties do best in water gardens. They
can help you figure out how much stone is needed for your
project. Tell them about our "3-5 rock method".
1725 Merriam Lane
Kansas City, Ks 66106
913 - 432 -5990
7820 SW 10th
Topeka, Ks 66615
785 - 478 - 9359
1887 E 1450 Rd.
Lawrence, Ks 66044
785 - 841 - 3222
78th & Holiday
Kansas City, Ks 66106
913 - 375 - 1414
7th & Kansas Ave.
Kansas City, Ks 66105
913 - 371 - 7757
Lay down some old plywood on your driveway to protect it
from getting scratched or chipped by the stone. If you are
offloading adjacent to the pond site, allow plenty of room
to maneuver between the stone and the pond. As you offload,
sort the stone. Save the largest stones for the waterfall
and those with the most "character" for the final course.
When laying stone, it is preferable to use uniform thickness
in the first course, where the liner comes between the
inside and outside stones. The rock should be dense and
without striation, as the entire inside row will be under
Using the WATER'S EDGE "3-5 rock method" of
bordering garden ponds, one ton will cover somewhere between
10' and 15' of the pond's perimeter, on a relatively level
plane. These stones should be 2-4" thick. For ponds on an
uneven plane, try to figure cubic feet of stone. 1 ton
covers approximately 15-20 cubic feet. Be aware that this
formula varies with different types of stone, and that
hillside streams and waterfalls use more stone as they
"step-up" the hill.
- Always allow for slightly more
stone than you think you may need.
- For a small water feature, add 1/2 to 1 ton of stone.
method, the liner is hidden behind the inside top course of
stone. As normal evaporation causes the water level to drop
over time, stone is exposed instead of liner. Top the pond
on a regular basis to keep the water level constant. When
water freezes and thaws, it can compromise the integrity of
stone, causing it to sprawl and actually break off! Always
lower the water level below the stone for the winter to
extend the life of your margin stonework.
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