'Renewable' Touch to Pond Design
unique historic homes provide a challenge to using solar power. Since they're
usually surrounded by large trees, they're often too shady to take advantage of
solar power. One homeowner, Kathleen Ely, has found a unique way to integrate
solar power into her landscape design.
ponds are so beautiful – calm and soothing. I wanted to
have one in my courtyard – unique because it has a twelve
foot stone wall surrounding two sides. But I also thought it was pretty
decadent to be using electric power to do the job," said Ms. Ely.
solution was to cut down a box elder tree in the corner to make room for the 12-volt
PV panel which powers the Aguasolar garden pump, both of which were purchased
from Real Goods. Ms.
Ely noted, "We still have plenty of shade in our yard, but now it's much
lighter and airier in the southeast corner. Ponds with too much sun have problems
with algae anyway."
The pond was constructed
by Tim Pool of Pool's Pools.
He and apprentice, Mark Hutchison, spent several days in private quarries near
Wolf Creek to get two tons of native stone. They rebuilt the pond several times
until it was aesthetically pleasing. "The solar power technology was really
easy to set up, though I think we'll need to get a bigger PV panel to really keeps
things flowing in the waterfall," he said.
I decided to put a pond in my yard is that I have been working with the principles
of feng shui
in my house and yard," said Ms. Ely. "Using solar power to do it seemed
like a very natural approach to the problem – and cost-effective.
My house was built in 1887 in Helena's former red light district and I figured
it could use some help. The southeast corner, where the pool is located,
is supposed to enhance my prosperity. I can only hope...."