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Austin Pond Society

2023 Austin Pond Tour

Laura and David's Pond & Gardens

My pond has been running since November of 2012. It is a self-designed DIY project which was years in the dreaming and making. Going to the Austin Pond Society’s Pond Tours along with Central Texas Gardener and other research had inspired me to have the courage to put spade to ground. I started the pond because I had slowly built a garden on a rugged, barren hillside and enclosed it. There was very little planning and I sort of made it up as I went along. I did all of the digging by hand because we have a septic drain field, a stone wall, and a garden that was already built up just didn’t allow for heavy equipment. I dug whenever I had the time and after I got to 3 feet down or so, I had to call in the lawn crew for help. One day, my pick ax bounced off metamorphic rock. It was really like those old cartoons with Wile E Coyote! I felt like the ax was vibrating. We finally got portions of the pond to 4 feet and it was very physical work to move the crumbly rock mixture out of the hole, bucket by bucket. In summary, my pond is unique because there was no master plan and I did everything in the wrong order by designing and installing the surrounding area before deciding to have a pond.

My pond is a little difficult to get to because it’s located at the back of our property.

After walking uphill via the driveway, guests will enter the garden. The paths are mulched and rise and fall with the contours of the garden. It is not possible for a wheelchair or for someone whose footing is unsteady to access the area. I designed my pond around the natural features of the garden it is located in. This part of the garden had a real slope which I used to make a series of 3 descending pools with falls that feed into the pond. I also have a recirculating stream in another part of the garden that gives an example of a different way to water garden. We have 3 large koi and 3 new medium koi from the resent Koi rescue in Lakeway. There are minnows, toads, frogs, and occasionally I see a Texas black-necked garter snake when I open my skimmer. This season with the upcoming tour I have been inspired to redesign some of the pond’s contours to allow for bog plantings and I’m experimenting with some new-to-me plantings. Several years ago, a leak developed and forced me to re-do the top tier of my waterfall. I deconstructing it when I determined the general problem area. I then added a new layer of liner and re-worked the border until I had success. I was never able to find the exact place of the leak and the area had been fine for almost a decade. My husband and I enjoy going out to the pond as a special area where we can see a different part of the property and the ecosystem that has come about out there. I guess it’s unique because I’m an artist and do-it-yourselfer who prefers to learn by doing. 


Austin Pond Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746

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