Franciscan Monastery Garden in DC
The Franciscan Monastery is one of Washington DC’s hidden gems. It includes gardens, replicas of various shrines throughout Israel, a replica of the catacombs in Rome, as well as beautiful gardens located on 42 acres.
This peaceful oasis is located on 14th and Quincy streets in the Brookland neighborhood, near Catholic University and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
In the fall of 2016, Premier Ponds was called upon to make magic happen at the Franciscan Monastery. The property in DC has a few ponds that were in need of some big time upgrades. The two ponds are quite the opposite of one another as one is a very natural style pond while the other pond has a much more formal look.
Renovating the natural pond
When our team arrived on the site in DC the pond looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. The plants were overgrown and what we thought was just a shallow pond was actually a foot deeper. The deep are was chocked with overgrown aquatic plants and thick mud that completely hid the bottom gravel layer. On top of that the pond couldn’t run without losing water. Basically we were there to rip the old pond out and install a new one.
Draining the pond was easy. Once we displaced the water and aquatic creatures it was now time to sort through the plants and mud. It took several hours and many pickup truck loads in order to remove and haul away the excess material that we couldn’t reuse on the job. It was a muddy mess but we were blessed with some unseasonable warm weather for the time of year.
The pond was taking shape. We re-sculpted the interior, created fish tunnels, and even set a large boulder as an island for the placement of a beautiful statue that was originally on the edge of the existing pond. The new pond edge was made into a natural perimeter safety edge where visitors could walk on and around without the worry of the rocks tumbling down into the water.
The end result was breathtaking! Two natural waterfalls were aimed at different viewing points and the entire waterscape was accented with LED lighting for everyone to see at night.
Renovating the formal pond
After the natural pond was completed there was yet another pond on the property that was in need of some enhancements. This was a formal pond in comparison to the first. It was rectangular in shape and the perimeter was lined with blue stone slabs. The big task on this pond was to hide the liner walls with very tightly dry stacked natural stone. In the process we decided to install an entire new rubber liner to guarantee that the pond would hold water when we were all done. There was no telling how old the original liner was and we didn’t want to risk having a leak when the project was complete. Extra padding was put down under the new liner and even on top of the new liner. This was to maximize the liners protection from the stones that were to be stacked up on the inner walls of the pond.
This formal pond was enhanced by beautiful stacked walls (inside and out of the pond), LED lighting, fish caves, and aquatic plants.
The same pond rules for success apply for both types of ponds (informal and formal). Proper filtration, rocks and gravel, aquatic plants and fish! If you get the chance to visit the Franciscan Monastery in DC walk through the gardens and check out the two ponds. They will take your breath away!
Want to know more about Premier Ponds? Get in contact with us!