Around the Bend Strawbale House, Pond and Gardens

December 8, 2015

Down the Garden path

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 8:11 pm

Our front perennial garden has various gravel paths leading to and around the beds, from the front door to the driveway.

Part of this summer/fall’s work involved extending these paths around the house through one of the gates towards the pond area.



December 7, 2015

Rain “barrels”

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 9:23 pm

Our pond is a closed loop system.  No water will run into it, including from the surrounding ground area to help keep it algae free.  So it will need topping up during the summer when the sun and wind will evaporate some of the water.  We set up a system to collect over 1100 gallons of water from the steel roofed house, using 275 gallon totes which used to hold vegetable oil.  We’ll describe the water collection system when it is put together in the spring.

Meantime the structure for the barrels formed part of the fence so we had to get that done this past summer as well. We poured a slab, cleaned the totes, built a structure, started the plumbing and enclosed half the totes to form the fence.

Fence passed inspection- yay

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 9:10 pm

So, as we said back in July, a pool/pond needs a city permit, just for the fence/enclosure for safety reasons.  Our summer was taken up reconstructing the fence according to the bylaw: we drilled holes, acquired posts, poured concrete, attached wire and rails, built gates… all for the successful inspection we received.  Compare these photos to the beginning ones back in July.


Notice also the green grass inside the fence in the photo above that shows the house.  That took an enormous amount of fussy landscaping to turn a mess (see some of the July pics)into a relatively evenly sloped and grassy field for the dogs to run in. Some more seeding needed to bulk up the bare spots in the spring.  Some pre-seeding pictures below.

July 11, 2015

Neglected pond

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:48 pm

The pond itself has been neglected.. left to the frogs and tadpoles.. except for some rock work which required the skidsteer before all fencing blocks it from getting near the pond.

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Some of the large rocks going into place.. Joel testing if we can sit with our feet in the water.

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July 10, 2015

July landscaping

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:05 pm

Putting in fences requires adjusting the landscaping to match the slopes of the fencing and deal with run off water from the rest of the property and the road.  We started by trying to clean up the slope from the pond out into the yard.  Here’s some pics of that:

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The rest of the work involved smoothing out the lines under future fencing and dealing with slopes for rainwater flow..

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Building the fence 1 – May – July 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 4:40 pm

As you may know there are strict rules for fences around pools and ponds.  Typically a chain link or board or steel fence. We wanted to go with a bit more rustic cedar rail look befitting the country.  So we negotiated with the city and got permission for that, but some other pieces of the rule (spacing of posts, requiring concrete around each, etc) meant pulling all the fencing we had in place and starting anew.  May long weekend we drilled all the holes and then started putting the posts in with the concrete.  We are now ready to put on the fencing itself.  Here’s a few pics of current status, including one gate area that is complete next to the house.

The gate area before and after.

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And some more of the fence perimeter.

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And finally adding some of the fence wire with my excellent help.

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July 9, 2015

Winter view

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:21 pm

Hey again, we are back to some more concentrated time on the pond and its surrounding fence.. and now catching up on blogging about it.

Here’s a couple of winter pics.. then we move into spring and summer work.

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November 22, 2014

Tonnes of gravel

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 9:23 pm

The readers of this blog may be wondering what is going on at the pond.  Well…uh .. we’ve been shovelling.. gravel that is.. tonnes of it.

The gravel will be the main filter for the water in the pond. Plants will be rooted directly in it and then the water will be pulled down through the roots and gravel with beneficial bacteria working away at it.  The drain pipes in the bottom will pull the water down, through the pump, through a secondary filter and then over the smaller ponds and waterfall…

To get there.. tonnes of gravel.. did I mention that already?…well its been over 60 tonnes so far…

We started, during September, with 3/4″ river stone under and around the drain pipes for the best water flow.

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Once October came we moved on to pea gravel.. unfortunately it was raining and the bobcat had to be used to pull the dump truck out of the field .. love my little machine..


The pea gravel fills the rest of the pond filter area.  We used some in bags to pack around the supports for the walls, and used the barrels in which we plan to plant our pond lilies to also support the walls.  The gravel is moved by bobcat, wheelbarrow, shovel and rake.

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And here’s the results… All of this gravel will be covered by water, to 6 inches above the wooden wall.

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No more outside work till spring.. we’ve had some snow.. its melted.. but it will be back. I’ll update again then.

August 24, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:44 pm

Solitary? Sandpiper.  Regular old Garter Snake.. one of the many around the yard this year.

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(Nearly) finishing the wall

Filed under: Uncategorized — aroundthebend @ 7:39 pm

We got most of the wall completed as well.

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