Hiding the last bit of exposed liner

wxman81May 22, 2014

Hey guys,

I just finished digging my pond, laying the liner and rocks and filling it. I am now scratching my head on to to obscure the last bit of liner above the water line. Unfortunately, I didn't think to put in any shelves along the edge to sit rock in... the pond goes straight down 3 feet along the edge. I can't get cobble stones any closer to the edge without them sliding into the pond? Is there a way to cover the liner and make it look a little better or did I screw up?

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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

hindsight's 20-20. Here's some ideas, haven't tried the first 3.

How about using landscape mesh (don't know it's real name), used by highway department to hold hillsides? They add seed and fertilizer, and the whole thing winds up covered with plants.

You can buy sheets of pebbles glued to a backing, but I suspect that won't hold up in water unless you fasten it down to something with mastic.

You might be able to build a form, cover the plastic with chicken wire, then add cement and top with pebbles.

I did try something a friend swore by: I covered the plastic with cut-up old jeans, then blended milk with moss and soaked the denim. It was SUPPOSED to become completely covered with moss. Didn't happen, perhaps because of a heavy rainstorm a couple days later.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:40PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

I think pretty much everyone, myself included, forgets about covering the top.

Fake rock is useful for this. Real rocks seem to always end up in the pond. Here's my web page on making fake rock.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 12:53AM
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My normal suggestions are to use plants and logs/branches to cover the general area. However, your layout really matches your house and a whole bunch of green would be a different (probably too contrasting) look. I could imagine that a lot of naturally bleached drift wood could fit in. If green wasn't out of the question, I used mondo grass effectively.

Many people who haven't created a ledge, have used plastic boxes (milk crates) to simulate one. I doubt that you have room for milk crates. You might want to keep your eye out for some odd narrow plastic junk that could be submerged near the edge and somehow wedged at the bottom to keep them stable. I have used 'sweet flag' in a few inches of water to great effect. It multiplies without end and one clump would eventually supply all you could ever need.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 7:52AM
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I don't think fake rocks would work... they would slide right into the pond. Is there any kind of vine-like plant that I can drape over the rocks and slightly into the water? The pond liner runs under the rocks and boulders so I can't plant through them. I am hoping there is some plant that doesn't require soil and can just get "it's feet wet" per say. Something vine-like would work best because it wouldn't slide into the pond.

I don't know, I'm outta ideas.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:05PM
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My first thought on reading your response was, well, you could drive little spikes of rebar for example, through the top of the liner and hook fake rocks that had a molded hole in the bottom to catch on the spike. However, making long fake rocks sounds like a Big production and at least I am lazy and don't think I would be up for doing it. I also immediately thought that of course there are plenty of vines that could cover your area. I have something in North Carolina that covers lots of stuff. Again, you could remove individual rocks near the top and cut big holes in the liner to plant and water the vines.

However, holes and anchors made me wonder if you could take some galvanized wire or narrow fencing (the two or four inch variety) and using the rebar anchors, lay it down to the water and curl some of it back up to hold the rocks and run wire back up to the anchors to maintain the curve.

And finally, I thought my driftwood idea was a really nice fit with your current landscape while vines would be a distraction.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:45PM
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kashka_kat(z4 WI)

wow - love that fake rock, I think I want to do some of that over the ugly liner folds that are visible in my pond (under the water line).

Re the OPs situation, Im not understanding why you couldnt now go back and lift up the liner all around and dig out some dirt to make that flat shelf all around like you should have? The way it is now, with the water level lower than the surface around it - rain is going to be washing dirt and crud into the pond. You could build up the edges more to keep this from happening.

Somewhere I saw where a guy had used black foam to attach rocks at the edge to keep the other stones from rolling down into the water - that might work too. But the slope wasnt steep so it wasnt like having to fight gravity very much.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 4:18PM
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Might be able to hide it with different size pieces of slate nestled into the smaller gravel/rock on the top edge of your pond but hang the different pieces over the water by 4-5 inches it will hide the edges and give it a nice finishing touch around the pond.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I was thinking. What kind of adhesive sticks to EPDM rubber good? I was wondering if I could smear the surface with adhesive and then sprinkle pea gravel in the adhesive and let that dry. I could drain a bit of water out and do that all the way around, then fill until the water is a few inches up over my new "form".

Any feedback?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:09PM
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Holly_ON(6a Ontario)

I can see the problem that you are having. The simple fix would take some work but to hide the liner, I'd reverse the large and small stones. This would give you a much more "natural" look. Some flagstones intermingled overhanging the lip of the edge of the pond would help hide the liner. Even just putting your larger rocks right along the edge of the water would "shade" and hide the liner to some extent and it wouldn't involve any additional costs. I've tried several different adhesives and epoxy over the years when I had preformed rigid ponds and have never found anything that will withstand our Canadian winters. Plants such as certain sedums don't need a lot of soil and water irises could grow easily in between the rocks if just wedged into the spaces in the rock. Creeping Jenny will also gravitate quickly into the water.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 12:08AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I second Creeping Jenny!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 12:17AM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

I don't think fake rocks would work... they would slide right into the pond.
If you read the link I posted you will see that strap (plastic pipe hanger works well) is embedded into the mortar and the straps are anchored into the soil so they won't slide into the pond. That was kind of the whole idea for using fake rock rather than real rock.

But if to want to glue gravel onto the liner you can use pretty much any goop you want. Goops don't adhere real well to EPDM long term. Polyurethane sticks pretty good if the liner is clean, even better if roughed up with sandpaper. Great Stuff foam has a polyurethane version, but would be messy to work with. Gorilla Glue has a polyurethane glue that would be easier to work with imo. But any brand of polyurethane would work, polyurethane is all the same.

They also make lots of goops for EPDM roofs. Pretty pricey.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 10:01AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I would never make holes in the liner. Try an adhesive of some sort.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 10:04AM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Check out Rock-on-a-Roll. I not personally a fan, but it's an option.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 1:35AM
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nmpondguy(z7A NM)

I'd say kashka_kat gave you the best answer. If you lift the liner and dig a little shelf around the outside perimeter, you'll be able lay down some rock to hide the liner. Plus, you will then be able to raise the water level to cover the exposed liner around the island. It is a little more work, but you'll probably end up doing it any way once the other "fixes" fail.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 10:33AM
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I was thinking of the Rock on a Roll too. I have used it for a few things and it worked okay. I covered a cinderblock to use as a planter (unfortunately that got ruined by a snowplow this winter) and to cover foam for a floating island. It lasts through winter snow and cold and summer hot sun just fine. I used hot glue to glue everything together. I don't know if the hot glue would damage the liner (would have to do a test piece first I guess) but it worked for me. This is the floating island I made. It lasted through one winter in the pond and one on dry land. It needs more hot glue but the rock look is as good as new. Any problems or defects were due to my inexperience with Rock on a Roll. The product itself is excellent. You can see that the gray look matches my surrounding rocks well.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:23AM
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