The saga of project two or I’m smacking my head against a wall

The new waterfall. Notice how splashy it is.

The new waterfall. Notice how splashy it is.

Don’t gloat.

Mom said it wasn’t becoming. Karma will get you in the end.

It’s ok to celebrate a success but don’t get braggy about it. I found that out the hard way.

If you read about the success of my first summer project you know that I was just a tad over the top. Only two trips to Home Depot. A few minor redo’s but nothing major. (Insert Snoopy dance here)

It took twice as long as I expected but I considered that good. I always underestimate time.

I can visualize the steps in my head. What I can’t visualize is the number of times I need to go to the basement to get a tool I forgot to bring out. Or finding that damn screwdriver that keeps walking off. (It’s so hard to get tools that are truly dedicated to getting the job done!)

Project two started out with a positive note. In our tailgate meeting, the beloved husband and I knew what we (that really means I) needed to do. At least sort of. There is always the unexpected.

I was moving the waterfall and putting in a spillway instead of squashing a hose between two ginormous stones for a waterfall.

Really bad idea.

Notice how even it falls into the pool without splashing. Also notice that the construction is made of even (not lumpy) pavers or blocks.

This is a spillway. Notice how the water falls into the pool without splashing. Also notice that the construction is made of even (not lumpy) pavers or blocks.

Spillovers are wonderful to look at. It looks like a sheet of water softly flowing into the pond. More quiet and less splashy. Peaceful. The water lilies would be ecstatic (they don’t like water agitation).

The concept includes a basin of water at the head of the waterfall that is fed by the pump. As the basin fills to the top the water “spills over” softly. It’s Zen like. (That should have been my first signal. There is little about my Type A personality that is Zen like.)

Our pond is rustic, made out of natural stones. They are not uniform in size or flat so our walls are fitted casually without too many wobbles. It’s not like pavers or bricks which are flat and the same perfect size.

I couldn’t level out the damn basin. One stone was lumpy one way and the next one was too fat.

In retrospect, the spillway should have been constructed of pavers with natural stones placed to hide the construction. However, I did not have pavers and did not want to buy a pallet for such a small job.

Then the water ran in back of the pond and out to the grass. Not good.

Then it wasn’t level side to side which made the curtain of water look like a bulky side drape.

Patience isn’t my strong suit. (Technically I don’t have a patience suit at all! I left it at the cleaners at birth.) As the day wore on with repeated do-overs (and frequent repositioning of heavy stones), the concept of a peaceful waterfall became less achievable and less important.

In the end, the waterfall was moved but reinstalled as it was without a spillway.

The irony is that I did a project that should have cost nothing but I purchased a spillway and assorted stuff which went unused but is unreturnable.

If you average project number one which was almost free (under $5) and project number two in which I wasted $50, the project cost was $25 plus change each.

In my terms that is a week’s worth of Starbucks. (We all have our own ways of putting a value on money. Some people use a gold standard, some use diamonds, I use coffee!)

It could have been worse. Some projects end in divorce. This one ended in renewed awe for the beloved husband who has a closet full of patience (most of it is currently in the laundry as it took quite a bit of patience).

We are all happy here – fish, frogs, chipmunks and people. Not sure about the water lilies though.

Rabbit was happy too.

Rabbit was happy too.


53 thoughts on “The saga of project two or I’m smacking my head against a wall

  1. It’s gorgeous, Kate! The sound of water in a yard is so serene to hear. All your hard work looks like its paid off—literally and figuratively. A perfect location to sit back and enjoy your cup of Starbucks coffee. 😀


  2. Such an ambitious project! I like water a little splashy and natural looking. Are the lily pads complaining?

    I have lots of patience when it comes to writing, very little with home improvement projects. I used to leave them to my husband. Now I hire someone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I am getting older projects are less appealing. We will hire people for things that we used to do ourselves. As for the lilies, they are still pushing up leaves so I’m taking that as a thumbs up.


  3. I love your waterfall. I’ll be right over for that wine…And I love a little “splashy.” My water feature is just one pot into another giant pot, but in setting it up, I always go for the greatest noise impact of the water. I want to be able to hear the “splashy” from the patio! Your project is a total success!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, you tried and now you know it is not feasible. The splashy waterfall is lovely. If I had something like that in my backyard I would not care if I ever heard the word spillway again. I like the other commenter’s idea about Craigslist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your value system measured in coffee. Falling water is marvelous, as long as it isn’t a drip from a faucet. We have two fountains in our kitchen, one noisy and one not. Hopefully, we’ll have a new pond and waterfall this summer. We left a beautiful one behind in NY, a gift from John. He plans to dig in the one here in NC.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for teaching me about the spillway. We have a fountain, but it makes noise. On purpose, because our neighbors also make noise. (WHY does anyone need 4 kids under age 6? WHY?)

    So no spillways or lilies in our future. Thank goodness. Sounds like a twenty swear word project.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “the concept of a peaceful waterfall became less achievable and less important.” Its important to be able to be flexible with conditions. And it sounds like the conditions were that spillways and your pond are not companionable.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bunny! You live on the wild side, patience may not work there.
    Great writing – giggled over the “side drape” image – well described in few words. I love the looks of spillways and IF we really got a pool or pond, I’d insist on one from the beginning (and moving water annoys mosquiotes?). But I also love the splashy sounds ( and have a little indoor fountain bought to drown out annoying media’s rabidness with politics). Water Lillies sound like such divas. They have fish for staff to keep the mosquitoes away in quiet waters? (Someday I will get a pond…dry creek beds go just so far for peaceful backyard scenery)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fish and the frogs eat the mosquito larvae. Last year I was cleaning and I saw some larvae. Not knowing they were baby mosquitoes I carefully saved them and put them back in the pond. Hopefully some critter snapped them up quickly. They look like little wiggly things that may morph into something interesting. Good luck with your pond. I hear Molly thinks it would be great. She wants it big enough for a good swim.

      Liked by 1 person

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