Have you ever gazed out your window and thought wistfully of the soothing sight of a pond, the sound of water bubbling over stone, the bright flash of color from playful koi? You may have thought your dream was out of reach because you didn’t have the budget to install a pond.
You might even have considered doing it yourself but the task seemed daunting – so much to know, so much work, and a nagging doubt that your pond would turn out as beautiful as it lived in your imagination.
At GROUNDS KEEPER, ponds are our passion and we believe that each pond brings something unique and transcendent to its owner’s life. We aim to help all of our customers live their dreams, which is what makes Amy Pedersen’s story so special to us.
This is the story of how you can achieve your outdoor dreams even when they seem a distant reality. This is Amy’s story, and it’s one of passion found. We spoke with her recently about her experience installing a pond and how it has transformed her space and added a touch of magic to her life.
“I Attended A Seminar Thinking About A Pond. And Walked Out With A Pond Kit.”
Call it an impulse buy. If you’ve even had an itch to take on an outdoor project, you know the feeling – when inspiration hits, you act!
That’s how Amy ended up with a preformed pond kit after attending one of our pond installation seminars.
I’ve always seen the ponds at GROUNDS KEEPER’s showroom,” Amy says. “And I always wanted one but the installation cost was out of reach. Then at one seminar I realized that I could do it myself.”
Music to our ears! Our pond seminars are designed for exactly that – inspiring homeowners to transform their outdoor space – and to hear Amy share her story was an inspiration to us.
But we wondered… was the experience a good one? Or did the project become unwieldy and difficult?
“It Didn’t Come Out In The Exact Shape We Planned…”
Tackling a big project like a pond installation can come with its ups and downs. Amy shared some of her challenges, from choosing plants to digging deep enough.
In the beginning it was hard to get started because you need the right plants. A couple of times I put plants in and the fish ate them so I had to keep buying new ones. We also had a friend come help us dig because it was a lot of work.”
That sounds a bit frustrating, but did it dampen Amy’s spirits? Not this DIYer! With a little help from her friends and Jay’s guidance, she saw her project through.
Jay helped us plan,” she says. “He figured out the shape, told us the best place to put the waterfall and how to place driftwood or bamboo around the pond to keep the predators out. He taught me how to build a cave so fish can hide from predators and told me the exact variety of plants to use. He answered all my questions and even came back to my house now and then to check on my progress. It was a pleasure to work with him.”
What about the shape of the pond? Did that turn out less-than-desirable?
It didn’t come out exactly the way Jay planned,” Amy admits, and we start to worry that maybe this wasn’t the success we hoped for. “…but it’s perfect,” she concludes, and that brings a smile to our faces.
“I Love Everything About My Pond. It Has Become My Passion.”
It’s a passion we share, but we want to know: has the pond really made a difference beyond being a fun project to share with her son?
This pond is the best thing I ever did. It’s beautiful, it’s calming. It’s a great hobby for water gardening and watching fish. When you have a pond it just draws you. It’s such a good experience to listen to the waterfall. I have had nights where I sit outside with a candle and fall asleep. It’s that calming.”
That sounds like picture-perfect tranquility, a much needed reprieve from our often too-busy lives.
Before the pond I would be outside enjoying things, but now I’m glued to the pond. In wintertime I stand by the sliding glass door and look at it.”
One of the most inspiring moments of Amy’s story comes when she talks about how her pond changes from season to season. It’s one of our main goals when we work with a customer: to create a living, breathing space that has something new and delightful to offer all year long.
It takes on a whole different look from season to season. It’s always changing and beautiful. In Spring you have your perennials come up, in Summer you get pond lilies. You can plant annuals, and grasses that come up in the spring and last all winter. In the winter I have an evergreen so there is always something pretty. I’m outdoors more all year, and I entertain more.”
And the fish?
I have five large koi and a high fin banded shark that’s 8-10 inches. He’s an algae eater so he helps maintain the ecosystem of the pond.”
At this point, Amy starts to sound like a pro in her own right. We’re impressed by her knowledge and how stunning her pond has turned out.
“I Learned It All At The GROUNDS KEEPER Seminars.”
The thing about GROUNDS KEEPER,” Amy says, “Is when you do a job with them they are so good about answering questions – always kind, always there for me. I even learned to do the pond closings myself. Opening the pond is a big job, so sometimes I do it myself and sometimes I have GROUNDS KEEPER do it for me.”
We love collaborating with our customers and seeing their dreams and vision grow into a reality around them. It takes a lot of determination and more than a tad of grit to take on a project like this, and Amy has both. She is also a quick study whose passion is evident in the beautiful space she’s created, one that even the casual passerby stops to admire.
GROUNDS KEEPER used to do a garden walk where people come to your home to see your pond and photographers come to take pictures. They asked me to put my house on the walk, so I did, and so many people wanted to sit by it and take pictures. One person even painted it,” Amy says, a testament to how truly captivating it is – and how skillfully she built it.
“Maybe I Love It So Much Because We Built It Ourselves.”
There’s something to be said for imbuing a little bit of yourself into a project. When your hard work and efforts pay off, it’s a feeling that can’t be matched.
We put our heart and soul into it. When we bought the pond kit, we also bought a lighting kit but the next year I bought better lighting and made improvements. I enjoy the pond as a hobby.”
We’re familiar with the joys of a pond – and its challenges, too. We wonder how Amy has dealt with some of hers over the years.
If I need something major I have GROUNDS KEEPER come. I did something wrong one winter and the fish got sick, so they took the fish in and got them well again.”
We remember that winter well – Amy’s fish were at death’s door when Michael our pond and fish pro took them in. It was questionable whether they would survive. But Amy loved her fish. She’d even named them all. Michael put his heart and soul into caring for the fish, nursing them all winter long and when it was time to open the pond again for spring, every single koi had made it through and was ready to go back home.
Amy recalls another mishap…
At one point a light kit went bad and they switched it right out.”
She doesn’t seem too worried about any of this. In fact, she’s been excited and positive throughout our conversation. By the end we’re inspired and delighted, and Amy leaves us with the cherry on the cake…
All I ever post on Facebook is ‘I love my pond.’ I don’t know what else to say.” And as if to prove the point, Amy concludes, “That’s all I keep saying.”
It’s all we keep saying, too – we love ponds!
Are you dreaming of the perfect pond and thinking of installing it yourself? Stop by our showroom and take a look at our DIY pond kits or contact us online and ask us anything! We’re here to guide you and make sure your pond turns out to be everything you dreamed and more.