Constructed Wetlands



Aquascape Constructed Wetlands Filtration System

Constructed wetlands have grown in popularity over the last couple of years mainly because of their natural look and aesthetic appeal. But what exactly is a wetland and just how does it function?

A wetland works just like a biological filter, but instead of creating a waterfall; it creates an area in your pond thick with naturally-filtering plants, as well as rocks and gravel, which provide a surface for bacterial colonization … nature’s perfect filters. So a wetland, while naturally beautiful and pleasing to the eye, is a great filtration method, and will help keep your water looking crystal clear.

One of the greatest things about wetland filtration is that it can be used with almost any system. But will it fit in with your pond? Do you have to have a lot of space to construct a wetland?  There are no size limitations because it acts as your biological filtration. The plants, rocks, and gravel act as the filtration media, similar to what you see in nature.


The Benefits

 Sure it might look pretty, and it might be designed like a wetland straight out of the marshlands, but how clean does it keep the water? Some say it’s even better than a biological filter, but in actuality, the benefits are very similar. Wetland filtration balances out your water very well, sometimes better than the biological filter, and once it is balanced, your pond will require less water treatment application.

If you install a larger pond with more than one biological filter, the financial benefits of the constructed wetland system will make your customer’s pocketbook pretty happy. If you only have one waterfall, the energy consumption is about the same, but if you have multiple waterfalls, powered by multiple pumps, you can save money by using the wetland system instead.


Learning the Secret

 Aquascape Constructed Wetlands Filtration
The key to a wetland filtration system lies with the plants. Plants are an integral part of a balanced pond ecosystem and help create a natural looking environment, which is becoming more important to today’s consumer. Plants help purify the water by reducing nutrients, filtering out sediments and absorbing toxic compounds through the process of phytoremediation, they’re also the basis of a food web in which pathogens are consumed by microorganisms associated with the aquatic plants.

Another key to the filtration lies in the sediment chamber created by the AquaBlox®on the bottom of the wetland. This sediment chamber reduces the velocity of the incoming water below 2 feet/second, allowing the sedimentation process to occur while dispersing the water evenly along the bottom of the wetland. The slow, even flow of water is necessary for optimal contact time between the water and gravel bringing nutrients and oxygen to the bacterial colonies. Beneficial bacteria are housed in this gravel, providing your first layer of filtration before the water even hits the plant roots.

The important thing to remember when considering a constructed wetland filter is that, similar to your biological filter’s placement, the wetland filter should be flowing down to your pond for optimal efficiency. The wetland must sit a little higher than the pond because you need the water to flow back into the pond, because the bacteria housed in the wetland will consume dissolved oxygen as they utilize nutrients. This flow of water in the form of a waterfall or swift-moving stream back into the pond is a natural way to re-oxygenate the water.


The Snorkel® and Centipede®

 Aquascape Constructed Wetlands Filtration System

Aquascape’s Snorkel® Vault
 and Centipede® Module, along with a layer of small AquaBlox® strategically positioned along the bottom of the filter makes building a wetland simple. All you need to use in conjunction with these two components is a pump appropriate to the amount of water flow, rock and gravel, wetland plants, piping that is appropriate for the size of your pump, a skimmer or wet well, and, of course, water.

The water flows through the plumbing from the wet well or skimmer, into the Centipede® Module, which pushes the water into the AquaBlox® sediment chamber up through the layers of gravel where it comes into contact with beneficial bacteria and then the plant roots for final filtration. The Snorkel® Vault is convenient for cleaning any sludge that may accumulate on the bottom through usage. Simply pop off the cap and you have complete access for easy cleaning.


What about the Waterfall?

 Maybe your customer wants a wetland but doesn’t want to lose the beauty and sound of a waterfall. No problem! Your customer can have both! You can’t over-filter a pond. It’s virtually impossible. And remember, for large ponds, incorporating both a constructed wetland and waterfall will cost less in operational costs than two waterfalls.

What some installers don’t realize is that your biological filtration actually acts as a wetland filtration system of sorts when you place certain plants in the top of it. Water hyacinth and water lettuce are always a fan favorite, but certain marginals like iris, dwarf cattails, pickerel rush, and any tropicals also work. The important thing to remember is that all of these plants will have to be removed when the cold temperatures hit. You may want to keep some of them in pots for easy removal before the winter winds howl. This may inhibit their filtration a bit, but something’s always better than nothing when it comes to filtration.

So even without a full-fledged constructed wetland system, you can feel comfortable that a wetland of sorts is working in your pond by adding aquatic plants inside the top of the biological filter. After all, the same process is in effect, with water pushing up and through the filter media, and then up through your plant roots.


Wetlands Work

 The bottom line is that constructed wetlands work, and they make any pond look natural and gorgeous. What’s more, natural wetlands and the associated riparian habitats are the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, more species of plants and animals are associated with them than any other type of ecosystem.

But because of our construction practices and changes to natural hydrology, these systems are under great stress. By adding a small wetland in your customer’s backyard, you’ll be helping to preserve the natural biodiversity of your community. With today’s growing tendency toward creating sustainable landscape solutions, you can see why wetland filtration is an obvious choice for today’s environmentally-conscious consumer.

For more information on wetland filtration, watch our short video:

Budgeting a Landscape Project

Are you having trouble budgeting a landscape project of your dreams? Well look no further. Our good friends at Techo-Bloc are here to help your with your troubles. Below is just a few of the many tactics you can implement to meet your budget and still get the backyard of your dreams.


How to Overcome Your Budget Challenges

Budgeting a Landscape Project

By: Naiby Jacques


The money angels have given you a big break, and you have the right budget to build your dream backyard. Soon, you’ll be spending more quality time at home relaxing or entertaining your friends and family.

You’ve pinned all your design ideas — and made a wish list of your favorite outdoor features.

Ready-set-go! You hire a landscape contractor, evaluate your space, start planning, do a cost breakdown…

After an assessment, your contractor gives you a run around of all the issues your land is experiencing and how much the installation of your desired outdoor features will really cost and… in just a few minutes, you’re watching clear sunny skies being covered by big dark clouds. What you envisioned before starts to slowly fade away.

It’s time to pull you out of that landscape rut. We’ll give you solutions to circumvent your budget challenges so you can build your perfect backyard.


1. Change the Structure of Your Fire Feature

Budgeting a Landscape Project

Right now, fireplaces are the hottest trend for outdoor living. They definitely represent an architectural statement and become the focal point of your backyard.

But they are significantly more expensive due to construction time and engineering requirements to comply with code. Thereby, some cities/municipalities prohibit fireplaces.

If that’s not an issue in your area, but you’re tight on budget, there’s another way to light a fire in your backyard.

Choose a fire pit instead. Fire pits are a great alternative to save space and construction time.

At Techo-Bloc, all fire pits are built in stone so they last and don’t rust. They are also designed to be converted to gas or firewood to respect your city’s by-laws.

Budgeting a Landscape Project


2. Cut Curves Out

Budgeting a Landscape Project

Another element that will affect the cost of your patio is the intricacy of the design. If you want to add interest to your future walkways or retaining walls, you might want to go for curvy, circular or serpentine patterns.

The only thing is, they are considerably more expensive.

That’s because they take longer and more effort to cut and build. Whenever a landscape contractor has to spend more time making cuts (cutting paving stones or wall blocks), it translates into higher labor costs.

So stick with rectangular or square designs if you’re budget is tight.

Budgeting a Landscape Project


3. Do It in Phases

Budgeting a Landscape Project


If you don’t have enough of a budget to build your entire dream landscape project this year, you could work out a master plan now for future building. This means building your backyard in phases over the upcoming years.

In the long run, this approach might come out to more expensive, due to the increase in labor costs, requests for additional permits for complicated work, re-planning, replacing possible damaged material that was installed in the first phase, inflation, etc. And there’s always a chance you might change your mind on the initial design or that the situation of your property changes.

If you really can’t stand looking at your backyard right now for the life of you or if you’re short on funds — but you know more money will be coming in the future — phasing is a good solution.

Make sure you focus on the most important things or more complex work first. Talk to your contractor about prepping the site for future add-ons; plumbing, gas and electrical utilities before the paving work is done can save you time and money in the long run.


4. Don’t Slide Sown The Slippery Slope of Leveling the Land

Budgeting a Landscape Project

Is the slope of your land cutting away potential outdoor living space? Some people opt for leveling their land. This elevates/fills the ground up to the highest point to make for a larger usable/livable area and, therefore, creates a more suitable site for landscaping or other uses.

This is typically done using earthmoving equipment and other heavy machinery, which means more expenses.

Instead of leveling the land, consider building down into the slope (imagine steps down to an intimate fire pit or pool, like shown in the picture above). This way, you can gain privacy and save your wallet. Pretty neat, huh?


5. Avoid Raising the Patio

Budgeting a Landscape Project

More and more people are interested in building raised patios. These give elevation, dimension, and yard separation.

They’re beautiful, but they require that a landscape company has good experience installing large structural retaining walls. Raised paver patios are typically much more labor and material intensive, making them costlier than paver patios closer to ground level.

If your patio door is elevated from the ground, use that to your advantage by building sets of pavilions that create outdoor living zones and bring the height down to the ground in phases with steps.

This will reduce construction costs and increase privacy.

Budgeting a Landscape Project


Be Budget Savvy

Hooray! You can find clever ways to respect your budget — or go slightly over budget — and still get the desired outdoor features.

It’s just a question of picking your battles.

You might find some bumps in the road, but you don’t have to let go of your “wants” just yet.

Play with the shapes, sizes, or heights of certain elements to install things that still fit your taste. Make smart choices money-wise and defeat your challenges like a champ.

Remember, your land doesn’t own you; you own the land. And you control what you put in it.

So cut down costs if you have to — without sacrificing too much — and allow yourself to create a beautiful outdoor space.

Hopefully this post gave you some insight on Budgeting a Landscape Project.

Waterfall with Stone Steps

This Waterfall with stone steps project included installation of two tier stone steps. At the end of each set of steps is a natural flagstone landing. A natural stone bridge separates the stairway and crosses the water feature. A flagstone path leading from the upper landing and reaches across the backyard ending around the side of the house at the driveway. The pondless waterfall stretches approximately 23′ in length. With a few small waterfalls throughout the stream the pondless feature finishes underneath the large natural stone bridge with a final grand fall. The water feature includes several LED lights in the for night time viewing.  As with all our water features this pondless was constructed with Aquascape products.  This project was installed in Lancaster, PA. As part of a larger project this waterfall and stone steps portion in only the first phase. Additional landscaping and masonry work will be completed in the future.

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

How a Backyard Update Can Boost the Value of Your Property

BY: Erin Vaughan of Techo Bloc

Good news, homeowners!

In a recent University of Michigan study, a backyard update was shown to boost property values up to 11 percent. That means that if you’re looking to boost your home’s rates on your next evaluation, your best bet may be to head to the backyard.

But sophistication counts, researchers found. Homes that featured a curated, professional look scored significantly better among buyers.

Meanwhile, landscape updates perform well on cost-versus-value reports as well. Decks, in particular, fare well along these measures.

In 2016, a midrange deck recouped 75 percent of its cost to install, beating out both bathroom and kitchen remodels. For context, the overall cost-versus-value rate for improvement projects in 2016 came in at around 64 percent.

That means you stand to reap substantial benefits by investing in your lawn and outdoor living spaces. In fact, some experts indicate that a $20,000 backyard update investment here could net around $200,000 when you resell.

That means every 1$ you put into the backyard is worth 10$ in improved value. Still, some improvements perform better than others, and it pays to stay up on outdoor trends.

Here are a couple of projects that will do the most for your home’s bottom line.

Turn Your Backyard Into An Extension Of Your Home

Updated backyard that can boost property

Landscaping and interior design experts both have been excited recently about the concept of the outdoor living area. The idea is to create spaces perfect for leisure and enjoying pleasant weather and nights spent with loved ones.

Meanwhile, open indoor rooms with large windows and glass doors give full views of your landscaping and outdoor panoramas.

To get the look for your outdoor space, extend your patio out past its current boundaries. You can implement circular cutouts for trees, shrubs, or attractive flower beds, lined with pavers. For the ideal outdoor hosting spot, add a dry stone fire pit or an outdoor kitchen with a stone countertop and grill.

Boost property value - outdoor kitchen


Boost Your Property Value—Without Growing Your Home’s Water Footprint

Backyards offer a chance to show off your home’s water efficiency, as well. Irrigation systems labeled with the EPA’s WaterSense seal carry weight among environmentally-minded homeowners.

This is especially important if you want to resell or add value to your home. As you might predict, interest in water-efficient properties soars during periods of drought.

But homes labeled with any kind of green certification tend to do well on the market. One study noticed a nine percent premium for properties carrying such labels. Using EPA-certified products lends credibility to any water-efficiency claims your realtor makes to potential buyers.

Surveys consistently demonstrate home shoppers’ rising interest in green properties. For instance, in one such study, an overwhelming amount of homeowners—up to 94 percent—who had purchased a green home in the past said they’d readily recommend such properties to a friend.

What’s more, 91 percent said they would definitely choose a green home if they were to relocate. Fifty-five percent said it didn’t even matter to them that their green home cost a little more than a conventional home.

Many of the most advanced irrigation controls are WiFi-connected and programmed to pull in data from local weather forecasts to prevent overwatering when it rains. They also time sprinkler use so that it’s just enough for the local climate. This can reduce water use by as 8,800 gallons annually, according to the EPA.

Another great eco-conscious option is permeable pavements. These allow for the proper percolation for surface water into the ground and reduce the risk and severity of flooding. Hence, they are great solution when designed as a means for water harvesting. In colder climates, they speed up the melting process of snow, reduce winter hazards and cost-savings on de-icing salt and snow removal.

backyard update


Many states/municipalities encourage the use of permeable pavements by offering tax incentives and utility fee reductions. You may want to check with your local government to see if they offer local incentives for their use.

Succulents or ornamental grasses can give a backyard an edgy flair and reduce the home’s water footprint. They’re lovely when paired with stone pathways or in flower beds built with retaining walls. They also beautifully complement the hardscaping projects mentioned in the section above.

Outdoor Lighting: More Than a Security Feature

backyard update can boost property value


Many high-end outdoor spaces now concentrate on lighting, even when the sun starts to fall.

Surveys show that 84 percent of respondents consider a home’s landscaping to be a determining factor in whether or not to purchase a home. Outdoor lighting helps you make the most of this and adds sophistication to your property, no matter what time of day you wind up showing it.

Dramatic uplighting highlights unique architectural features on your home. It can also draw attention to ponds and fountains, trees, fences, and other eye-catching areas in your yard.

Meanwhile, downlighting adds a welcoming feel to patios and other exterior seating. And there’s a lot more to it than floodlights. Circle cored LED paver lights can be concealed in your walkways and bounders. This allows you to add bright accents along paths or walls for extra ambience in your exterior living spaces.

For an enchanting look, try the LED lights that look like miniature sculptures. For a more classic look, opt for the LED string lights controlled via WiFi.


Make It Count with the Professional Touch

Uplighting landscaping features for dramatic effect is an art all to its own. For that reason, you may want to consult with a professional for this part of your landscaping efforts.

Complicated landscaping designs like installing water features, retaining walls, and hardscaping projects can often use a trained eye and a little expertise. Professional landscapers can advise you on the best types of designs to fit your climate and outdoor aesthetic. They’ll also have experience pulling permits if they’re required for your larger projects.

A landscaper can also take the guesswork out of construction jobs, such as hardscaped seating, fire pits, paths and stone walls, and tiered courtyards and garden walls.

Typically, professionals charge between $50 to $75 an hour. Still, most will draw up designs for you to DIY if you want to save money and do some of the hard labor yourself.

Smart landscaping, better lighting, and enviable stone features will give professional polish to your exteriors.

But watch out—you may just make the neighbors jealous!

Water Creations Deco Planter

Add beauty to your home and freshen your environment with lush plants contained in an attractive Deco Planter. Plants help to filter the air and beautiful Deco Planters provide a convenient way to house and display both aquatic and terrestrial plants.

Water Creations
Deco Planter

Enhance any indoor or outdoor setting with a unique Water Creations Deco Planter. The modern-style planter can be used with both aquatic and terrestrial plants. You’ll enjoy the ease and beauty of these colorful planters.



Swimming Pool Landscaping (Before & After)
Swimming Pool Landscaping (Before & After) installed in Quarryville, PA

Swimming Pool Landscaping (Before & After) installed in Quarryville, PA

Check out this amazing swimming pool landscaping transformation. In the before photo the pool has mostly been installed and some of our work has already taken place.
The swimming pool landscaping project consisted of construction and installation of all Techo Bloc ‘Blu 60’ paver pool decking for the lower, and upper patios. A Techo Bloc ‘Mini-Creta’ retaining wall was installed along the pools edge. the Natural boulder steps were installed to sliding board and to upper patio with a natural boulder retaining wall to the rear. The lower patio features Techo Bloc fire pit with Zentro smokeless fire pit insert, and Techo-Bloc ‘Rocka’ Steps leading up to the pool area. A low voltage landscape lighting system was installed around the pool and patio area. The lighting system included 9 path lights, 7 tiki torch lights, and 2 up lights on Coral Bark Maple tree. Brand new landscape beds, new plant material, and mulch were installed in all new landscape beds. The project was finalized with final grading and seeding of areas disturbed during construction with sod installed in lawn area inside of fence. This project is Located in Quarryville Southern Lancaster County , PA. Pool Installation by Integrity Pools

Mosquito repellent systems



Don’t let biting mosquitoes keep your clients from enjoying time outdoors with family and friends! The NuTone Haven Mosquito Repellent System features innovative landscape fixtures that provide season-long, effective protection from mosquitoes without the hassle of sprays, messy traps to clean, or fuels to deal with. Each fixture provides 110 square feet of coverage and is safe to use in any outdoor environment. Your clients will thank you!


The basic idea of the haven system is this:  Create a perimeter with the repellent fixtures (spaced 10-12 feet apart), wire them together with low voltage wire (just like a lighting system), and connect them to a 12V transformer (also just like a lighting system).  Turn the system on, and within 15 minutes the mosquitoes are GONE, and will stay away until you turn the system off.  For most users, repellent bottles in each fixture should need replaced only once per season.

Learn how to turn your backyard into a Haven with the Haven Backyard Lighting & Mosquito Repellent System. It provides effective, convenient, season-long mosquito protection, with or without low voltage landscape lighting.


Light and Mosquito Repellent Fixture

Haven Backyard Light & Mosquito Repellent Fixture combines attractive, efficient LED lighting with mosquito repellency, to enhance your patio, deck or yard. Includes one repellent cartridge.

EFFECTIVE: Haven’s patented mosquito protection system provides protection within 15 minutes of use and is effective against all types of mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a known carrier of the Zika virus.

CONVENIENT: Odorless, silent, invisible during use – no smelly oils, smoke, or zapping sounds to disturb you.

SAFE: Child-resistant fixture opens with screwdriver. Repellent won’t harm plants, flowers, shrubs or lawns.

SIMPLE TO USE: As easy as turning on the lights to say goodbye to biting mosquitoes.

EASY TO INSTALL: Each fixture is designed for easy insertion into cable connectors and comes with adaptors to fit most existing wiring systems and transformers.


Mosquito Repellent Fixture

The Haven Mosquito Repellent Fixture can be used to repel mosquitoes where lighting is not needed. Easily added to an existing low voltage lighting installation, the Haven Mosquito Repellent fixture offers the same patented mosquito protection system in a discreet, low-profile design that blends in to any landscape. Includes one repellent cartridge.

Flagstone Patio with Fireplace
Flagstone Patio with Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

This flagstone patio with fireplace project consisted of the renovation of flagstone patio area. The new installation included flagstone patio, outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and cedar pergola as per our landscape design. The new portion of the flagstone patio is approximately 250 square feet and matches existing flagstone. Natural ‘thin cut’ stone veneer (dry stack look) was installed on the fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and pillars. 2″ Premium Blue natural flagstone caps and counter tops were installed on fireplace, kitchen, and pillars. For the grill we used a 38″ Delta Heat grill with sear zone and rotisserie, and double access doors under grill. After the project was complete the homeowners did an amazing job in decorating the patio area. All of the outdoor furniture and decorations really brought the whole project together. It turned out amazing! This flagstone patio and fireplace was installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Pergola and Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Pergola and Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Pergola and Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Pergola and Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Pergola and Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Pergola and Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with outdoor kitchen and Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Firepla
ce installed in Lancaster, PA

Flagstone Patio with Fireplace installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Patio
Outdoor Living Patio installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Patio installed in Lancaster, PA.

This Outdoor Living Patio project included installation of new patio area, pergola, front and side walkways, and lighting as per our design. Installed was approximately 530 square feet of patio area with a landing step area at the rear door. We used Techo-Bloc ‘Blu 60 Smooth’ pavers for the patio area as well as the front walkway. The existing Front and side walks were removed prior to the hardscape installation. Outdoor kitchen, fire pit, and step were all constructed with Techo-Bloc ‘Graphix’ wall stone. Fire pit and step capped with Techo-Bloc ‘Graphix’ Cap. The Outdoor kitchen is topped with a custom marble counter top. 38″ grill and 38″ double access door were installed in kitchen area. The Pergola is constructed using Western Red Cedar and stained to compliment the hardscaping. Low voltage LED lighting that was installed includes, under cap lighting on step and kitchen; up lights on trees (2 lights each); and a 150 watt transformer. Landscape beds and new plants were installed around the new patio area. The Landscaping included, mulching of new landscape beds, Repair, grade, and seeding damaged lawn areas as well as Trimming existing Hydrangea and Boxwoods. This Outdoor living patio area was installed in Lancaster, PA.

Outdoor Living Patio installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Patio installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Patio area installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Patio area installed in Lancaster, PA

Front Walkway installed in Lancaster, PA

Front Walkway installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Kitchen installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Kitchen installed in Lancaster, PA



BY: Aquascape

Whether you’re installing a small residential water garden, or a larger one for a commercial project, be sure to include ledges along the perimeter during the excavation process. If someone were to accidentally or purposefully walk into the ponds, you want to avoid a dangerous drop-off. Ledges act as a safe staircase as opposed to a slippery slope. They also add strength and stability to the pond. Terracing is much more stable and less likely to collapse than a steep, tall wall.

Excavating Pond Ledges in an Aquascape Pond

In addition, ledges provide aesthetic appeal. If you create a proper ecosystem pond, the water will be clear and the pond floor is visible. Ledges provide layers and contours, adding interest to the pond’s interior. Pond ledges also provide shelves for aquatic plants; different ledge depths are perfect for planting the many different species that are available:

  • Marginals, for example, require a water depth from one to 12 inches, depending on the type of plant. In general, however, we recommend setting a shelf at 10 inches to take care of most plants in this category.
  • Water lilies thrive in between 12 and 36 inches of water. You can’t go shallower: Even hardy water lilies planted in less than 12 inches of water may not survive over winter.
  • Oxygenators (including Anacharis, Hornwort or Cabomba) also prefer being planted in 12 inches to 36 inches of water.

Aquascape Ecosystem Pond with Plants

The first pond ledge is typically 6 to 10 inches deep and should be dug around the perimeter of the entire pond. Remember, this ledge should be covered in gravel, so a ledge that is six inches deep will become a ledge that’s four inches deep after the gravel is installed. Ledges can vary according to their usage, but they do not have to be perfect. The goal when creating a pond is to copy nature, and natural ponds don’t have perfectly level or symmetrical ledges graduating towards the bottom of the pond. When the first ledge is completed, you can mark out the next area to be excavated.

Remember that the vertical walls of the ledges will be covered with boulders or larger rocks and the flat areas will be covered in gravel. If you will be using all hand-placed stones, make sure you keep your ledges to a maximum of 12 inches tall; otherwise you’ll be stacking multiple rocks on top of each other which will increase the allotted amount of time for stone placement. Ideally, use one or two rocks to cover the vertical walls. If you have equipment on site you’ll have more freedom to use larger boulders to create deeper ponds with taller vertical walls.

The width of the ledges should also vary according to the pond design. Aim to use narrow ledges of 6″-10″ wide in the foreground, and wider ledges 16″-24″ in the background. The reasoning behind it is simple; the foreground area (adjacent to patio/viewing areas) is the area where your clients will be feeding and viewing their fish. This allows ample space for the fish to get up close to their owners.

The background area is the zone where the pond will transition into the surrounding landscape; the wide shallow ledges are perfect for mass plantings of aquatic plants to help with this transition.

As you plan your excavation, always keep primary viewing locations in mind. you might consider eliminating a portion of the near-side planting area altogether. Instead, create an edge where the pond meets up with a hardscape or formal viewing area. Providing a deeper section of plant-free water here will allow fish to come to the side of the pond and greet the owner for feeding.

Pond ledges go a long way to beautifying a pond and shouldn’t be overlooked. In addition, shelves create strength and stability, creating a safer environment for your customers.