Ecology + Design

Stream Construction, Pond Restoration and Hillside Planting in New Canaan CT

We received a call earlier this spring from a New Canaan pondowner with a morbid situation. The homeowner was instructed to apply various purportedly natural-source pond cleaning products into the small constructed pond on the property. This pond cleaner cocktail created some unknown reaction, and within thirty minutes, all the fish were belly up.

GJL was hired to restore the pond’s water quality; create a cascading stream into the pond; replant the adjacent hill with native perennials; and construct a pathway, staircase, and patio landing aside the pond.

Aerators and biological agents were the key to restoring the pond’s water quality, and the fish have been swimmingly ever since!

The stream waterfall was constructed using as much existing on-site stone as possible. The overall design adds drama and vibrancy to the previously lackluster pond area.

For the hillside adjacent to the stream, we first removed a gang of invasives including the notorious Mugwort, fleece plant, and other opportunistic species. The streambank was dominated by daylilies, which are aggressive self-seeders. We transplanted about 2/3 of them to surrounding beds, and reorganized some of the sedums as well to make way for new plantings.

The plant material was selected for successional blooms from spring through fall (late summer & fall pics to come!). Another criteria, as always, is the plant’s value ecologically for pollinators and other wildlife.

The pathway and grand fieldstone staircase replaced a crabgrass-y slope and makes the pond much more accessible and inviting. Drastic pruning of the lilacs across the pond brightened and opened up the space, making the pond and stream the focal point (if you can rip yourself away from the blooms!). See before & after pictures in the gallery below!

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