Building the New Ceremony Site

Last year, our ponds were dry.  As it turns out, you need rain to fill creek beds that keep ponds filled with water.  Go figure.  Rather than sit around and fill the ponds with our tears, we decided to take advantage of the dried out ponds.  Last summer, we began work on building a new ceremony site for weddings that take place on the golf course.  Currently, they get married under a tree by number nine green.


It’s a pretty ceremony site, but it isn’t really ideal for the golf course.  We have to block too many tee times and it can, at times, be annoying to golfers if they have to skip number nine because a ceremony is taking place.  It wouldn’t be a good thing to get hit by a golf ball on your wedding day.  Typically, everyone is very cool about it, but we thought there might be a better solution to keep both our wedding couples and our golfers happy.

That’s when we talked to a family friend who owns a dozing company.  Dave’s Dozing out of Bondurant.  He dredges ponds and has several muck trucks to clean out ponds and back hoes to dig basements or in our case, ponds.  Here is a picture of him from last summer.


Dave spent a majority of the summer building us a peninsula in our pond.  It isn’t the easiest thing to do as the muck (mud) that makes up the silt from the bottom of the pond is pretty gross stuff.  He got stuck in the mud on more than one occasion.  In the late fall of 2012, he had finally finished the project.  We were left with a dirt peninsula that wasn’t very attractive.  Before we could get started with our landscaping, we had to wait for the muck to dry out.  This spring has been fairly wet, so it was only recently that it had dried out enough that we could take our skid loader out on the peninsula without fear of falling in.


Guess who was running the skid loader?  My dad.  If you recall, he had another project that he used the skid loader for earlier this summer.


If there is a reason to use the skid loader, dad is happy to oblige.  It’s his favorite machine.  He got to work smoothing out the dirt and filling in some areas to create the perfect ceremony site.


He is a thrill seeker, so he got pretty close to the edge a few times.  Luckily, he has learned since his youth when to push the envelope and he got the project complete without incident.


While he was busy moving dirt, Austin was busy planting native grasses in the banks.  We had discussed many options to put in along the side of the banks and settled on these native grasses.  They were the ones that we had burned earlier in the season and have been planted in front of the clubhouse landscaping.


We were never really fond of them in front of our boulder retaining wall because they grew too tall and blocked the view of the boulders.  Austin dug up all the tufts of grass.  Hum.  I think that is the first time in my life that I have ever typed tufts.


Then he took them over to the ceremony site to be transplanted.


He covered both sides of the peninsula with the grasses.  Austin spaced them out because they will grow and cover in the banks.


Individual tufts of grass were placed along the side of the bank.  It was Austin’s first day of work at Toad Valley.  We like to break in the new help with the fun jobs.  Shoveling.  Digging holes.  Getting dirty.  You know, the fun stuff.


He was a very efficient worker and got both sides of the banks done and cleared out all of the grasses along the clubhouse.   As they grow, they will help to hold up the bank and they’ll look nice, so it’s a win/win!


By the end of the day, the peninsula was looking good and prepped to be able to lay some sod and plant some grass seed.  Before we do anything, we will need to put in some trench lines for electricity and speaker wire.  We are also throwing around the idea of putting another sprinkler head out there to keep the grass watered.  One of the sprinkler heads from the practice green reaches out quite a distance, so we’re still on the fence as far as what we’ll do in the irrigation department.


We are very excited for our new ceremony site.  If you squeeze your eyes together and hold your mouth just right, you can almost see landscaping, green grass and an arbor.  Can you see it?  No?  Maybe you need to turn your head to the left a little.  Oh.  It also helps to use your imagination.

Post by Allison

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