My new waterfall and grotto

imageI had a vision for the new pond/waterfall. I penned a ton of inspirational photos onto Pinterest, and I also had it in my head. Definitely a natural look, softened by not having any rectangular shapes.

It’s really not a pond anymore, as much as it is a catch basin for a waterfall with great sound. After a few bumps in the road when attempting to hire the work done by someone else who didn’t understand my vision, Lori and I did the job ourselves.

First, we had to do a little hard work. And by “we”, I mean Lori.



Since I had so many problems with my previous pond leaking, we made sure we did it right. Once the area was excavated into the shape we wanted, we laid carpet over all the sharp edges and rocks. Lori decided to take a break at this point.



Next came the heavy duty liner on top of the carpet.



And then we created the falls with large rocks. This time the liner went completely under the falls, which is different than the last one was. That one was made before the era of youtube and the internet, meaning we had no idea what we were doing.


Next, we just started stacking rocks around the edges, cutting off extra liner, and doubling the liner underneath some rocks on the edge.


Of note in the photo below – see that top rock that is more white than the others, larger, and with a flattened top? That’s actually not a rock! I need something to cover the water spill tank, and I ordered this “faux rock” online. In person, it is so realistic that no one has ever suspected otherwise. You can see in the photo following that I stacked other rocks on top of it to blend it in.

imageIt was almost cathartic lifting and toting these huge limestone rocks and letting them shape themselves into a grotto like you might see it at Pedernales falls. (A beautiful natural formation in the aquifer basins of Central Texas). Just what I wanted!




In the background of these photos, notice the beautiful painted fence and what a great backdrop it creates for some of the structural plants and shrubs. I’m loving that change the most. The before and after of the fence painting and plantings are in this post.


The waterfall grotto is now connected to a raised bed behind it, where I put all of my favorite bearded Iris. The entire grouping now makes sense in the yard, instead of being a random island of plants disconnected from everything else.


I’m loving my backyard redo! I’m finally getting happy with my yard, something that’s hard for this malcontent to say!



12 thoughts on “My new waterfall and grotto

  1. Wonderful job. All that hard work really paid off. I can imagine how peaceful it is sitting under your gazebo listening to the trickle of water.

  2. Waterfalls have such a calming effect, and you’ve done a great job! Love the plants you chose, and I’m sure you’ve enjoyed many evenings sitting out and listening to the water.

  3. Sure wish I could talk to you in person. I’m planning a small waterfall. I read your comment about your previous water feature leaking. Of course, that gives me pause for concern as this is my first attempt. I haven’t checked to see how wide the liner can be, but there’s a lot more homework that lies ahead. It’s great to see such a natural feature and being so close here in Central Texas.

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