After building our pond ("Reflections on a Pond" post, 3/13/13), we decided that it should be a place for recreation as well as relaxation and contemplation.
|Our Son Fishing and Chilling|
Come walk around the pond with me. Let's start from Harmony Garden ("On The Farm - Harmony Garden" post, 1/9/13).
First Stop - River Birch Grove
Our first stop is a little retreat set among river birch trees.
|Expansive View of the Farm and the Mountains|
River Birch Grove Retreat
The River Birch Grove retreat has it all: shade from 20 or so river birch trees, the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze and birds chirping in the early morning, an expansive view of the farm and the mountains (Brokenback Mountain and County Line Mountain), a fire pit for warmth and roasting marshmallows, and a picnic area.
River Birch Grove's Fire Pit
|Fire Pit, River Birch Grove|
This fire pit was built using stones found in our woods. With the stones standing vertically, this fire pit not only looks intriguing, but it's also efficient in forcing the heat to radiate towards the seating area rather than allowing it to disperse into the open space beyond. I can't take credit for this idea. Kenny Lowry from Southern Grace found these unusual looking stones in our woods while amassing stones to build our waterfall (you will see this magnificent waterfall soon). He told me he had always wanted to build an upright fire pit and was very excited to have found exactly what he needed in our woods. This fire pit was Kenny's gift to our pond.
Second Stop - Landing Dock
Not far from the River Birch Grove retreat is our pond shed where we store our water toys. We added a landing dock from which we can fish and launch our kayaks.
|Pond Shed With Landing Dock|
Third Stop - Above It All
Our next stop, going clockwise around the pond, is a slate patio by the entrance to our waterfall's swimming hole.
Cedarmere Farm Waterfall
We love sitting here. On a nice day, we watch and listen to the water as it meanders down two streams from the top of the hill, trickling down small falls and rushing down large ones as it descends into the pond. From this patio, which is slightly up the hill, we have an expansive view of the pond and the farmland beyond. This is also a great place to admire the evening sky (check out the pictures in the "Autumn Lights" post, 11/29/12). On a hot summer day, we like to dip in the swimming hole (the open pool of water right by the yellow chairs). This is also one of the family's favorite spots on the farm. In addition to splashing in the water, we can spread out a picnic and play ball or frisbee in the nearby field.
A Spectacular View of the Evening Sky and the Farmland Beyond
|Sunset Over Cedarmere Farm|
(Our Dog Alex)
Fourth Stop - Jumping Rock
In the last post ("Reflections on a Pond" post, 3/13/13), I mentioned that the pond construction crew unearthed 3 unique boulders; the largest is about 150" by 60" and weighs about 3.0 to 3.5 tons and the smallest is about 90" by 60" feet and weighs about 2.0 tons. YES, THEY ARE HUGE! With these 3 unique boulders, we decided to create 3 focal points around our pond.
This Jumping Rock is one of the three amazing boulders.
This boulder is flat at one end and curves up slightly at the other end. Knowing our plan for a diving spot, Roger Blake, the foreman for our pond project, suggested that we use this boulder to create a jumping platform. BRILLIANT!
This boulder is about 4-5 feet from the water and the water is about 10 feet deep right there. Our kids said this boulder reminded them of the scene in The Lion King where Rafiki presented baby Simba at the summit of Pride Rock during the royal ceremony. FUN!
Fifth Stop - Pebble Beach
To the left of the Jumping Rock is a Pebble Beach for wading. We added this shallow and gradual beach so that very young children can also enjoy the water. The boulders in this picture were also discovered by the pond construction crew.
Sixth Stop - Island Platform
This stop is not so easy to reach because it's on the island in the middle of the pond. The boulder that you see in the photograph below is the second boulder Roger and his men found while excavating. It has a perfectly flat top and symmetrically rounded bottom, as if a human had carefully carved it. Interestingly, this boulder somewhat mimics the shape of the island. We inverted it and secured it on the side of the island that faces the farm house (so we can see it from the house). The symmetry between the island and the boulder is simply ... AMAZING!
|Our Son and His Friends|
Seventh Stop - "StoneHenge"
The third boulder is peculiar! It's the largest of the 3 boulders and has beautiful coloring. The peculiar thing about this boulder is that it sits perfectly snug on top of two other boulders that we found imbedded in the ground, vertically and slanted in the same direction, over 500 feet away from where the third boulder was originally found. These imbedded boulders are so large that they could not be moved by the pond construction crew no matter how hard they tried. The fit is so perfect that they are meant to be together.... thus, creating a "Stonehenge" effect ... SURREAL!
|Stream Cascading Under "StoneHenge"|
Although the Stonehenge look was unique, we weren't sure how to landscape around these boulders at first. If done poorly, this formation would look bizarre on a farm in Virginia. We kept our fingers crossed and hoped that we could come up with a plan that would work.
The beginning of our magnificent waterfall!
Here is a little peek ...
'Till Next Post ....
Our Magnificent Waterfall,
You will LOVE it! I promise.
Thank you, Kenny!
BTW: Don't build a water feature, even a small one, without first consulting with Kenny. Trust us. He is amazing and is very easy to work with. Kenny Lowry, Southern Grace, can be contacted at email@example.com. He is willing to travel. You can visit his website at http://www.southerngraceva.com He was also a guest writer on my blog - "Odd Composition Rule In Landscaping" post, 12/7/12.