Okanagan Koi & Water Gardens

250-765-Koi1 (5641)

RSS Feed

Marinic Front Yard Renovation

Updated: Tue, 3 Apr 2018

Yes,I do full landscape jobs. In this instance, I was given free rein as to design. My only requirement, easy maintenance and lots of plants. I LOVE being let loose :)
Marinic Front Yard Renovation

For this project, I was approached by the home owner over the phone. They weren't already a customer, so didn't know anything about me ahead of time. They had a front yard that was a nightmare to maintain, was an over-grown slope and ugly. So i went to see them.

They had very little comment, other than, the yard was unattractive and full of weeds. What I saw when I looked around, was a perfect slope for a pondless waterfall. I could see a section where i could cut back the slope, put in a stone wall, and create a pathway and lots of interest with a water feature and flower beds.

I can't draw, not well anyway. So i walked the potential clients through "my vision" trust me when I tell you, the project was already completed in my mind, I could see it in all its it glory. All I hope at that point, is that I can convey my message well. Being as though they didn't know me, had never seen my work, really didn't know if i was up to the task, so I invited them to Okanagan Koi and "see" some of my work. Granted, my best work is NOT in my yard, its in someone elses. True :)

These clients had never considered a water feature, never mind one with a 40' + waterfall. After i explained to them how a pondless waterfall works, and how it was as close to zero maintenance as one could get, they decided to go for it. I told them what the cost would be, they told me their budget, and we came to an agreement on what I'd do for them within that budget. They did get a bit of sticker shock, but mostly because they went from the concept of shrubs and bark mulch, to a full out show stopper of a front yard. Literally every yard in their neighborhood looked the same. Cedar trees eaten by deer, a few shrubs, patches of gravel and bark mulch.

I'm proud to say, their front yard is the best on the street. Apparently, people stop and take pictures and has been a great source of pride by both homeowners..and that's the best part. They're proud of their yard, and no longer embarrassed.



The next shot is the delivery of the stone. We decided Kettle Valley Granite. I like the chunkiness of the stone. Its got a lot of squared pieces and character, so makes nice walls. The downside, its granite, so super heavy. I like the contrast between these chunky rocks and the river rock, cobble and pea gravel i use in the water features. Mother nature doesn't use one size of rock, so neither do I. It makes for a more natural appearance.

The next series of shots is after excavation and the placement of the big rocks for the top wall. I had the excavator and operator for only 2 days (to stay in budget) so I had to make fast decisions on where my big anchor rocks would be placed, because I couldn't have the machine on-site after I'd put the liner down. Every rock you see once the liner is in place, I moved by myself (my helper twisted her ankle) which, to be honest, was better for me because i get very into what I'm doing and prefer no distraction..lol

Here you can see the waterfall dug out. You'll notice the use of sandbags. Yes, I LOVE them! Great for giving you a nice firm edge.

This shot is the reservoir area.


You'll notice the underlayment is ON TOP and UNDERNEATH the liner..no leaks!


Waterfall liner is in. Underlayment is under it


I included this picture because people find it confusing on how a waterfall is made. I do NOT use spray foam, I use pre-mixed mortar (not concrete, because it has gravel in it and i want a smooth finish) Not only is mortar cheaper, it gives you a better finish. Foam falls apart very quickly.

Now for the finished product. I used an Atlantic TT6000 pump, AquaBlox, 2" PVC flex pipe, 3" check valve, AquaScape Ionizer, auto-fill valve, LED lights and felt underlayment UNDER the 45ml EPDM Liner and ON TOP of the liner. There are aquatic plants in the bottom of the waterfall. Though this is called pondless, it does have water showing. I find that the sound of the water hitting water, is a better sound than hitting rock. Plus, i think it looks better in most situations. Let me know what you think.

Under all the areas with the black top dressing (Natures Gold) we used pond liner. The customers wanted no chance of weeds, and nothing is growing through liner. Its more expensive, but in the end, easier on your back..no weeds! All the plants have drip irrigation on a timer. Pathways are crusher chip (crushed granite) its safer to walk on, no sliding like pea gravel, and it packs very hard, so people with mobility issues can use walkers etc. Under the crusher chip is professional landscape fabric so rain can drain through.

When the homeowners leave on extended holiday, they can unplug the waterfall or leave it, as there is an auto-fill for evaporation, an over-flow for excess rainwater and the plants are self watering. Simple, as it should be :)

View our YouTube video, link below. Please excuse the wobbly sections, I was trying not to squish anything..lol