Creating something to look natural in an unnatural environment can be a extremely challenging. Here are a few key tips in doing so:
1. Always know where the surrounding finish levels are. Mainly, the finished patio, walkway and landscape closest to the waters edge. 2 or 3 inches bellow grade works best.
2. If the feature is surrounded by concrete walls and patios on all sides, be sure to plan some planters out of the pond. (12″ minimum) Makes it much easier to build and get creative with larger boulders around the perimeter.
3. Upgrade the filtration to a wetland filter. In this project the entry of the shopping center is right on the waterfall. To match the scale of the pond and achieve a dramatic waterfall with only 18 inches of drop we designed in this Wetland Filter with 2 wide spillway totaling 6 feet wide.
4. Disguising the pumps and mechanical filters (or Skimmers) This pond contains 3 Aquascape PRO 10,000 pumps mainly for aesthetics. This pond is just under 7,000 gallons and just one 10,000 pump would be fine for filtration. Turning over all the water in the pond about once an hour but this is a commercial project with a large spillway so we tripled the water flow. All three pumps were set up on timers so they would all be on together only during business hours in order to conserve as much power as possible.