When I went down to see the ponds at Knee Deep Ponds, I was very taken with this little seating area. I loved how the flagstone came right up to the edge of the water, providing a comfortable "front row" seat for enjoying the pond, and how some of the spaces between the flagstone were filled in with plants.
So in our contract, we asked for something similar, specifying the use of flagstones going up to the water's edge. How that would be done and exactly how it would look, we weren't sure.
This was unfamiliar territory for me and Ben. In all the other work we've had done on the house, we've had very specific plans in advance. We tightened up the contract somewhat, but in lieu of detailed drawings or specifications, the final contract stated: Your pond will have its own distinct character. Your input will be the most important part of this creation. We encourage your feedback during the layout and the construction.
After quite a bit of on-the-site thoughtful design decisions made by Knee Deep Ponds in extensive consultation with me and Ben, this is how our little seating areas turned out. Ben and I are thrilled.
In order to make the flat sitting area on the other side of the pond, the crew had to do a lot of regrading to level out the significant slope. It was a tremendous amount of work.
As the work progressed, it became clear that this area was perfect for a larger patio. It had shade and a cooling breeze when the rest of the porch was broiling in the hot sun. It offered a different and pleasing view of the pond and more seating. The more I stood there discussing the placement of specific stones with Matt and Gordy, the more I loved being in that spot. It seemed that we should just go ahead and make a large patio there, but we hadn't ordered enough flagstone. When Ben came home and sat there for a while enjoying the coolness, the gentle breeze, and the view, he needed no persuading; putting in a larger patio was clearly the thing to do regardless of the cost of the additional stone and labor.
So while the pond is officially "done," we will soon start phase two, when a new trash can storage area will be constructed, the area in front of that will be regraded, and irregular flagstone will be put down to enlarge the current seating area.
It's hard to believe what's being created out of an area that used to contain the dog kennel!