How to build a pond? What does infinity look like? What do you have to pay thrice for? How to solemnly launch a pond? Can fir trees fly?
When the Injоi club started meeting every Thursday and bathing became a routine event, I realized what we were missing was a pond. A pond that we could jump into right out of the steam room. A pond that would become the center of the resort. A place where my family, friends and guests could bathe. That’s how we built it over the course of a year:
A year before that, a neighbor came up and said he was selling his plot of land at a low price. I didn’t think much about it and my land increased by 5 acres. It was there that I decided to dig a large stone pond to plunge into when getting out of the steam room.
I decided to make the pond biological — i.e., self-cleaning with the help of aquatic plants. Therefore, I divided it into two parts: a swimming part and a cleansing part where plants would live — pitcher plants, lilies, and other aquatic plants. The water will circulate through the roots of the plants and be cleaned. And on the side of the forest, there will be a cascading wall, providing the infinity effect.
This is the so-called infinity pool.
So, the concept is clear, now we need entrepreneurs. In Moldova, nobody is building biological ponds, so we hired a consultant from Ukraine and builders from Moldova. Working with the cheapest brigade I could find was the wrong decision. Of course, they told me that they have done hundreds of ponds, that they work fast and professionally. And most importantly, cheap.
After we had a deal, the guys laid out the shape of the pond with wood and started digging the pit. It was really fast. But, as it turned out, that’s less than 1% of the work. Because we wanted to come out with a pond made of concrete, rebar and stones, strong and reliable as a fortress.
So as not to stand idly by, I decided to look for stones. I found out that in the north of the country, near Cosăuți, we had a granite quarry. There I went to get stones of different sizes for the pond.
When they started to fit the reinforcement and the formwork, I started to have doubts about the qualifications of the guys. For example, they claimed they would pour concrete on the entire pond, walls, steps and floor in one day. The second red flag came from accounting, regarding materials and costs.
Expenditure was entered in a very slack form. When I asked about Excel or Google spreadsheets, they would reproach, why use fancy technology to put down a couple of figures.
Here’s the armature tied up; the formwork ready. We’re waiting for the concrete mixers to arrive tomorrow to turn the iron pile into a stone basin. I’m looking forward to it. It’s 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., but no one’s come yet. I call the foreman; he doesn’t answer the phone. I call the workers, they ignore me. They don’t pick up the phone the next day, or the days after.
That’s it. I have no brigade, no money and no pond. I turned to the specialists to guarantee the result, even if it will be more expensive. The company eCald with Vladimir Cernica and Pavel Mutu took on this complicated project, for which I thank them. The goal was simple: on 31 December, I wanted to be able to swim in the new pond.
After looking at the work of the “professionals”, they sighed and started to dismantle the whole structure almost to zero. And everything had to be done again: tamping, reinforcing, formwork. I had to pay for disassembly and reassembly. A miser pays thrice. Damn, I knew it.
While this work is being done, we’ll be making a door in the log cabin so we can get out to the pond directly from the steam room. At first, we were planning to do a wooden door, but in the end, we chose a glass one and we are very happy with it. It gives us a great view of the pond, doesn’t warp and allows light into the steam room. We wrapped it in wood, made the handles also out of wood and covered it with barnwood planks.
In the meantime, my new friends have managed to the cement mortar screed and raise the concrete walls! Come on, there are three days to go until the New Year, let’s fill the pond with water! This was followed by the solemn filling of the pond with water, and the no less solemn ceremony of breaking the bottle of champagne over the pond to put it into service!
Then it was Epiphany and we made a hole in the ice, dived under the ice and had other winter fun.
But before that, we decided to landscape the forest and added some fir trees and giant spruce trees.
Spring came, then summer, and the water was still there on bare concrete – that’s how good we felt 🙂
As autumn drew closer, however, we reluctantly had to drain the water. After that we waterproofed the entire surface and started stone cladding.
Of course, we didn’t forget to decorate the pond with a central element – the waterfall. A strong and sturdy stone waterfall.
Finally, we planted some strong cedars and voila: we have a pond with crystal clear water. Now all that’s left is to plant what else needs planting and put fish in the little pond. And let’s take a dip in the big, beautiful stone pond, as if taken from alpine pictures.