A Waterfall Instead of a Retaining Wall

A beautiful waterfall in late September

 One of the points of profit associated with being a landscape artist, designer, and installer only shows up after a few years. On Friday, September23, I was delivering some pine straw to the Maire house where I had done some extensive work. Urs likes to touch up his pine straw periodically but I deliver because he doesn’t want to get his Lexus dirty hauling it himself. It was late on Friday and I was tired from the week’s work but as I finished unloading and closed the truck door I heard a sound that took me back a few years. I walked toward the back yard and was stopped in my tracks by the beautiful sight that appeared before me.

The plantings had matured over the years, perfectly framing the water feature

Flowers show off in September around the waterfall

I walked down the flagstone path to examine the beautiful water garden

Flagstone steps lead past the waterfall to the back yard deck

Flagstone steps lead past the waterfall to the back yard deck

As I walked to the other side of the waterfall, stopping to examine the different plants and flowers, my mind went back to the beginning of the project and I realized that I had pictures of some of the early work that we did on the yard. The project actually started because everyone thought that a retaining wall was needed on the slope in the back yard. There was no real access for equipment though, and any work would have to be done by hand and wheelbarrow. After a lot of thought, research, and discussion Urs and Mary decided that a waterfall would do the same job as a wall, look better, sound good, and cost less. This is what I refer to as cost effective on steroids. I found the pictures.

 The first thing that was done was to shape the waterfall and line the bottom with a large sheet of firestone rubber. This liner is the only way to go with a water feature in my way of thinking.

Waterfall construction with rocks and Firestone rubber liner

Waterfall construction with rocks and Firestone rubber liner

Some of the rocks were rather large and heavy. We used manpower, ramps, wheelbarrows, and industrial strength hand trucks to move them into place. The rocks where the water falls (fall rocks) and the ones that force the water over them were cemented into place.

The rocks are carefully laid to make the water run in the right places

The rocks are carefully laid to make the water run in the right places

It took some time and some work to get the job done but we were proud when we stood back and threw the switch. We had been very careful and the water went just where it was supposed to.

Being careful pays off, all of the water went in all the right places

Being careful pays off, all of the water went in all the right places

I found a picture of the planting in the first spring of the project. I always try to tell my clients that it will take five years for the planting to mature. It looked pretty good from the start, but there was more in store as the years went by

First year planting for the waterfall

First year planting for the waterfall

Some time around the end of October we will remove the impatiens and plant pansies which will offer their lovely flowers during the winter and early spring.

View of the waterfall from the back yard deck

View of the waterfall from the back yard deck

I stood on the deck and carefully studied the way the plants had grown and turned the setting into something rather magnificent. I listened to the water as it ran its course down the hillside, splattering and rippling as it fell over the rocks and into the small pools at the end of each terrace. I had a good payday on that particular Friday.

Impatiens flourish around the waterfall in late September

Impatiens flourish around the waterfall in late September

There are many other wonderful features in this beautiful yard. I’ll show you some more as time goes by.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed it.

******

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

If you would like to have a consultation with John Schulz in your yard in the North Georgia area, email me at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

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