Backyard Pond Possibilities

Title photo by FallingWater Scapes

One of the best ways to re-establish a healthy ecosystem in your backyard is with a pond. Ecosystem ponds can reduce the need for fertilizer and water consumption, as well as support native wildlife. For these reasons we chose to showcase this collaborative installation- one of our favorite projects from 2018.

The Challenge

Last year Jonathan Marston of FallingWater Scapes set out to convert a stagnant pond into a backyard ecosystem in Westwood. The 20-year old fabricated pond, surrounded by ornamental plantings, was not well-integrated into the landscape. Jonathan invited us to bring our horticultural expertise to establish a more naturalistic, less formal-garden feel around the pond.

The Process

cartoon chart depicts biological filtration processJonathan’s team enlarged the pond, added a biological filtration system, and took advantage of the existing slope to create a cascading stream. By converting waste to carbon dioxide, the beneficial bacteria within the biological filter recycle nutrients for both plants and fish.

Our team then re-purposed perennials from the original garden, planting densely to prevent erosion along the steep slope. Using native shoreline species like cardinal flower and elderberry, we mimicked a natural pond-side habitat.

The Result

backyard pond with natural stone pathways and native plantingsWithin days, frogs, dragonflies and butterflies had made themselves at home in the new aquatic ecosystem. The soothing sounds and visual interest of the enhanced pond have not only improved the homeowner’s quality of life, but also significantly increased the home’s curb appeal.