Spring is in the air and backyard projects are on the minds of many.
The Maricopa County Home and Garden show is this weekend - March 1st, 2nd, 3rd at the University of Phoenix Stadium, 1 Cardinals Dr., Glendale, AZ 85305. The show hours are Friday & Saturday 10am to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 5pm.
Maybe you imagine planting a new vegetable garden? Maybe you are planning a BBQ pit? Maybe a water feature like a pond or a waterfall? Springtime is the perfect time to let your imagination meet with inspiration. The Maricopa County Home and Garden show might be a fantastic place to find advice and knowledge to go alone with your inspiration and imagination.
In Gilbert, one pond was built with maybe a bit too much imagination and not enough knowledge. Here is that story...
How to build the pond of your dreams...
SO…you have decided to add a water feature to your yard. In your imagination, you have it all planned out. You know what it will look like, you know where you will sit and gaze at it fondly allowing yourself to slip into an afternoon of contemplative relaxation that all water features seem to induce.
You go to the library and look at the pretty pictures of ponds. You get ideas for how yours is going to look and you can almost hear the tinkling of water in your happy pond.
You check out all sixteen books on pond construction and drive around with them in the trunk utterly forgotten.
You go online and create a bookmark folder where all of the wonderful websites can be found complete with pictures of other people and their happy pond. You bookmark pictures of happy little fish who are going to live in your pond, and pictures of plants you will happily grow in your pond.
D-Day arrives. You anxiously grab your shovel and begin creating the pond of your dreams. Fifteen minutes into the excavation process you make a hasty call to your husband to inquire calmly about how to shut the water off to the backyard sprinkler region - just in case you accidentally may have severed a main sprinkler pipe, and might need to shut the water off before the backyard becomes saturated and water reaches the back door.
You apologize profusely to your husband and cheerfully go with him to the hardware store to purchase a replacement pipe for the sprinklers and helpfully hold the smelly pipe glue trying not to become intoxicated by fumes while daydreaming about your pond and selecting names for your soon to be fish.
After the repair is made and the yard has had a week to dry out, you begin again.
You apologize profusely to your husband when he comes home and is startled by what appears to be roughly forty gopher mounds in the yard from your excavation activities. You solemnly promise to find places for the dirt when you are done.
The next day is an exciting one, because it is liner day! You carefully line the excavated pond with sand and pond underliner material and position the pond liner over that.
You apologize profusely to the neighbors who were outside and overheard your shrieked expletives when you discovered your excavation efforts might have been more productive than you had thought - meaning you don't have enough liner.
An hour later, you have carefully laid out the two liners that you will splice together with super duper sticky pond liner tape. All is going well, and you can almost hear the splashy sounds of happy fish. The super sticky side of the tape is exposed, you turn to lay the pond liner over the tape when your cat decides to investigate.
You apologize profusely to your neighbor for the stream of expletives, the cat yowling, and the animal cruelty threats made against the life of your feline while attempting the removal of three feline paws from the exposed super sticky pond liner tape.
After a quick shot of tequila, and feline adhesive removal - you replace the super sticky pond liner tape sections that were pounced upon by kitty and fuse the liners together.
You successfully wrestle the liner into place and begin to fill the pond.
You apologize profusely to the neighbors when expletives again echo over the wall because there is a giant wrinkle forming in the liner. You use your newly purchased pond pump to empty the water into the yard and try again. After three attempts, you have tamed the wrinkle and your pond is full.
You apologize profusely to your husband who comes home to find the yard looking as though hurricane Katrina struck - complete with giant mudslides.
You explain the tale of woe, explain how the cat became stuck to the liner...and the floor, and the couch...and explain about the wrinkle and how these unfortunate events conspired against you.
You helpfully show him your pretty bookmarked pages of happy fish while the cover of darkness helps hide the disaster area that is now the backyard.
You gratefully accept his assistance with the coordination of disaster relief and reconstruction efforts that eventually lead to contracts and signed promises to surrender all rights to the use of weapon of mass destruction (the shovel).
After a year and three weeks, return all 16 library books to the library and sell a lobe of your liver to pay off the overdue late fees for use of the books - that had you read - could have helped you avoid all of the problems you encountered.
The Gilbert pond did create a peaceful space *and* many more opportunities for DIY problem solving adventures.