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ZEN Retreat

Couple turns vegetable garden into tranquil pond

Although the vegetable garden at their Saucier home yielded a bounty of beans, spinach, zucchini and tomatoes, it became too much work for Suzi Wilson and her husband, David.

Suzi and David Wilson’s vegetable garden just became too much work for them so they transformed it.

“We built the structure (three years ago) and then bought some organic garden soil to fill it up,” says Wilson, whose home is located on Honeybear Lane. “Filling it up with soil was difficult because the truck that brought the soil could not drive into the backyard. So … David shoveled it all from a trailer to the bed.”

The second year, the couple planted flowers to attract butterflies. This year, they decided to turn the center portion into a pond. Wilson’s husband loves water, she says, and is the architect behind the home’s landscaping.

“I think the pond really transformed the garden,” she adds. “David and I had to dig out the entire center section, then we reinforced the sides with plywood (from the inside).” They also purchased a pond liner, which David secured to the edge of the bed with cedar strips. The fountain they placed in in the center started to float, so they weighed down the pump with a large rock.


The project took about a month, Wilson says, and probably cost less than $1,000 to complete — minus the existing wooden structure. The pond — measuring about 8 feet wide by 12 feet long — is a focal point in the couple’s Zen garden, which includes walkways, raised beds and other features.

“We added some water plants and sat back to enjoy our hard work,” Wilson says. “We have to feed the water plants every few days and add a mixture to the water occasionally to keep it clean.”

The most difficult part, she adds, was moving the dirt.

“We learned that sometimes you have to try different ideas before you settle on something that works,” Wilson says. “I also learned that growing your own food is more difficult than it seems.”

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