Austin Pond Society 22nd Annual Tour – N9, N10


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N9 Mike and Ursula – Anderson Mill

Escape the summer sun in the shade of tall oaks. This pond will remind you of a secluded natural spring on a hill country ranch, but it’s perfectly at home in this Austin backyard. Water ambles down a 3-foot waterfall that looks like it’s been there forever into the 600-gallon rubber-lined pond nestled at the base of a large oak tree. The bog to the right resembles a spring bubbling up and trickling into the pond. Around the pond you’ll find native plants, driftwood from Brushy Creek and a cattle skull.


N10 Phil and Linda – Anderson Mill

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You’ll think you’ve just stumbled across a hillside spring in the Texas Hill Country. The ferns have matured since this pond was on the tour in 2013 and they’ll take your breath away. All of the limestone boulders used to construct this 1,200-gallon pond were dug or pried from this lot over the last 39 years. The site features a 3-foot grotto waterfall embraced by ferns and rock moss. The upper waterfall pool feeds two streams that flow down to two more fern-shrouded waterfalls and drops over a stone ridge into the main pool. Ask Phil about the ingenious solution he came up with to feed his lilies! Take a moment to sit on the patio and enjoy the tranquil sounds of the waterfalls and view the numerous birds, toads, cricket frogs and dragonflies that also share the enjoyment of this shady water oasis.

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Austin Pond Society 22nd Annual Tour – N8


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N8 Todd and Linda – Oak Knoll

Follow the meandering flagstone and decomposed granite pathways through this reclaimed hillside that has been transformed into a Victorian retreat that begs you to relax under the shade of huge oak trees. You’ll wander past stone-edged planter boxes filled with lush greenery and colorful impatiens as you come upon the 40-foot stream with 5 waterfalls. Cross the 832-pound limestone slab that bridges the stream and stop at the Victorian gazebo the owner constructed—a perfect vantage point for observing the 1,000-gallon pond with happy koi. Continue to the left of the pond and up the stairs to a shady arbor filled with tropical potted plants. Far below you’ll see another limestone patio and circular raised beds that echo the shape of the koi pond. This landscape makes the most of living on a steep hill that falls away from the house.

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Austin Pond Society 22nd Annual Tour – N7


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N7 Mary and Fred – Pflugerville

The sounds of falling water and the music of wind chimes create a hideaway for the owners, as well as their neighbors. The 1,500-gallon upper pond is home to small koi and blue night-blooming lilies. A stream meanders down to the 2,500-gallon lower pond, which contains larger koi. Several life-size bronze statuary, including a girl on a tree swing with water jets spewing into the pond, complete this bucolic setting.

As with all of these slides, if you click on any one of them it will enlarge and then use the side arrows to move the pictures along. Press “Escape” to get back to normal.

Austin Pond Society 22nd Annual Tour – N6


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N6  Matt – Harris Branch

The layout of this backyard takes perfect advantage of the slope of the lot, creating a beautiful yard that evokes a woodland meadow, complete with driftwood, pine trees, flowering plants and a bog filter that mimics a spring bubbling out of the ground. The bog features a big cowboy boot (so you’ll know you’re in Texas!) and spills over into a stream, then into a 1,000-gallon pond that large koi call home. Kids will love to see that the koi swim right up to the edge of the patio, ready (and convenient) for feeding. Take the bridge across the stream to the seating area at the top of the yard. Spend some time exploring all the plants in the landscape around the ponds. Look for the way Matt incorporates herbs and other plants, making them an integral part of the natural landscape.

Amusing story about this pond: Matt built it for the original owner several years ago. He was given no specific directions – just a budget and a request to incorporate the pine trees she brought from California. So he built what he would have envisioned as his own backyard. When the owners recently moved, Matt bought the house, so now it is his backyard! This one is not to be missed.

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Austin Pond Society 22nd Annual Tour – N3, N4, N5


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N3   Anne – North Central Austin

You’ll discover this quaint 1,000-gallon pond after wandering through arches covered with passion vines and honeysuckle—a kind of secret garden watched over by angel statuary. On the 2010 tour, some folks described it as a “mini Hamilton Pool.” Three waterfalls emanating from a natural-looking rock wall splash on rock ledges on their way into the pond. On the left a small stream trickles down a hill before spilling into the pond. Elephant ears and papyrus provide filtration as they dance in the dappled sunlight with goldfish swimming about. Take a few minutes to sit on the rock bench, watch the fish and enjoy the peaceful setting. See if you can spot the natural rock that looks like a bear head on one end and a dolphin on the other. Also look for the white cross in a rock. Lights allow the pond to be enjoyed at night. Anne is an artist and built the pond herself, with a little help from two friends for a day or two. She collected all the rocks over the years and stacked them in the backyard until she was ready to build the pond.


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N4  Thomas – North Central Austin.

Peace and serenity are the watchwords for this Asian-themed front yard. From the graceful purple wisteria perched on eye-catching red arbors to the benches that invite you to stay a while and unwind, this is definitely a place to de-stress. The gurgling waterfall lends soothing sounds to the atmosphere while goldfish, shubunkins and mosquito fish swim languidly in the 12-year-old pond. Umbrella plants grace the edges of the pond and the meandering stream. A bridge across the stream carries visitors to the front door that is guarded by large shishi lion statuary. You’ll definitely feel refreshed after visiting this yard



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N5 Donna and Reed – North Central Austin.

This 11-year-old pond, situated close to the front door, greets visitors with the pleasant sound of a gurgling brook. The stone path and plants growing around the pond make it look quite natural and inviting. Water circulates around a central bog filled with horsetail reed and water poppies. Why a bog in the middle of the pond, you may ask? While digging out the pond, Donna discovered a buried concrete flowerbed. Not wanting to tackle digging it up, she decided it was the perfect place for a bog. Large goldfish (some almost 12 years old!) make their home among yellow, blue and purple water lilies. The resident plastic heron keeps the real “hunter herons” away from the fish. The waterfall sound helps drown the noise of the distant highways, making the front porch a lovely area to sit, relax and enjoy the serenity of this pond. (Bring your lemonade!)

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Austin Pond Society 22nd Annual Tour – N2


DSC_2855N2 – Mark and Tracy, Mt Bonnell area

This site will far exceed your expectations. The waterfall, which cascades over a 40-foot drop, is the largest that has ever been featured on the tour. From the top of the hill next to the home, follow the winding drive around the house and past the grassy area. Ahead, you’ll see the first waterfall and pond, which are formed of massive boulders. Follow the stream down the hillside to a second pond, then proceed to still another pond with a waterfall that drops over boulders into a fourth of about 2,000 gallons. At the base of the hill is an expansive lawn shaded by cypress and oak trees with an inlet to Ladybird Lake in the background. Gardens of native and adapted plants complement the naturalized setting.

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Austin Pond Society 22nd Annual Tour – N1


Continuing on with the Austin Pond Societies Annual Pond Tour, we are now addressing the North Tour. First stop, Mayfield Park and although the Park was not on the official tour, it was designated as a picnic area.

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N1 – Mayfield Park -West 35th Street

As you enter the grounds, the ponds are to the right of the Mayfield house. Mary Mayfield Gustch designed the gardens and her husband, Milton, directed the building of
the ponds, stone walls and walks with resident gardener Steve Arredondo. Mrs. Gutsch left the home and acreage to the City of Austin for use as a park.
There is a cast iron pond near the cottage which is filled with lilies. Wildlife forms are cast into its edges. You can often see turtles and frogs, real ones, not cast iron.
The six concrete ponds form a flower. The center pond is surrounded by four petal ponds and the hourglass pond with the waterfall forms the stem. The ponds contain irises,
lilies and elephant ears. There is plenty of life in the ponds, fish, frogs, snakes and turtles. Watch for the green herons stalking their prey in the ponds and the noisy Peacocks.
The grounds and ponds are cared for by the Mayfield Council volunteer group.
This pond may be closed if the park is exclusively reserved. If you do not see a Pond Tour sign at the gate, please proceed up Mt. Bonnell road to Mark & Tracy’s pond.

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