Koi Pond - Ware Creek Manor

Materials: Slate; Gravel; Stone Dust; Pond Equipment; Landscape Lighting; Pavers; Wall Block; Cinder Block; Concrete; Soil; Fescue Sod; Seed; and Mulch.

Hardscape + Koi Pond + Pinterest

Our client knew before she even closed on this home that she wanted to have a hardscape and a koi pond come together in this backyard. Exactly how it would work…well, that was a surprise for both of us!
When we originally met to discuss design, we headed in a very traditional direction. The koi pond was to be built in the standard method with liner and boulders, but as we went through the design process, our direction began to dramatically shift! Once the Pinterest account was shared and pictures went flying back and forth through email, we quickly realized that she loved contemporary landscapes and koi ponds. A simple design with straight lines was what we needed. So away we went!

Simple Layout, Complex Design

Even though the layout looked simple, we were faced with a fair amount of complexity and design challenges . Our hardscape needed lots of structural support to avoid shifting or settling in the future. We had two transitions from the back doors down to the pond and patio. The grade fell from the back step to the end of the pond about 18″, and along the back of the house (from left to right) another 30″+. Finally, we had plumbing and electrical hurdles to figure out and get through the hardscape.

Rocka, Rocka

With the engineering work complete, we started picking the materials. The whole space was to be constructed from Techo Bloc. We would start with smooth Blu60 pavers in Shale Grey, with Rocka steps from the house to the patio in Riviera, Rocka walls to retain the raised planter beds (also in Riviera), and finally Raffinato caps around the whole koi pond in Greyed Nickel. Ultimately, we had a smooth patio with rugged walls. The blend of grays, along with the texture contrast, made quite a statement.
We started by removing the old deck and landscaping. We then squared the space against the house for all our future work, and got started excavating the koi pond. Rain storms and weather messed with our timeline quite a bit, but we finally were able to pour the concrete slab reinforced with rebar for the koi pond. Next came the cinder block wall, which was backfilled with concrete on the inside and reinforced with plenty of stone on the outside. Constructed for the apocalypse!

We Needed a Retention Wall

Because the grade fell over 30″ from side to side, there was a need for a retention wall constructed along the right side of the yard. We used recycled concrete retention block (Rockwood Eco-Block Classic 8) to make this happen. Now with the pond base and the retention wall complete, it was time to construct the transition from the back doors of the home down to the height of the future patio. The design called for large planter boxes on either side of the steps to create an additional garden space. Once the Rocka steps and wall were installed, we backfilled the whole platform with stone and got to work on the pavers to finish it off.

External Plumbing? No Problem

During the work on the platform, we also prepped our koi pond. We laid out the location for the skimmer and waterfall weir with the plumbing to go between. We also padded the whole pond box, installed the EPDM liner, and started on the pond coping. The pond needed external plumbing for the waterfall, and internal plumbing for the upflow bog built into the deep end. We constructed the rill and statuary to a 24″ depth, and the deep portion by the home to 48″ with a 12″ planting edge. The pond also need power for lighting and two pumps to facilitate the waterfall and eco-system upflow bog.

Let’s Backfill the Space

Next, we brought in 60 yards of soil to bring the grade up and backfill along our walls. With the pond almost complete, we started adjusting the final grade and laid the paver base. We used geotextile fabric to protect the 6″ stone base which was compacted every couple of inches. Coarse sand was laid out and leveled perfectly. The patio needed to fall straight out with a slight grade to the outside to keep any runoff from the pavers out of the koi pond.

Wildflower Garden Incoming

As we came down the home stretch, our client was anxiously waiting for us to finish. She couldn’t wait to get started on planting her wildflower garden. We laid out square planting beds with fresh topsoil and compost all locked into place with aluminum edging. We also built a gravel path around the pond with grey chipped stone, and completed the space with fresh fescue sod.

It All Came Together

Even though we ran into a few challenges along the way, we had quite a fun time building this one-of-a-kind space. And of course the completed view is epic! We were able to build the koi pond with upgrades, retention wall, all the hardscaping, backfilling, grading, and minor landscaping for right at $58,000