So many stones and pumps. So many applications of stones and pumps. The folks at Kirkwood Material Supply are pond-making maniacs who want you to have a pond so natural, so enticing that the birds, bats and frogs it attracts won't know it's store-bought. Tucked away on South Fillmore off Big Bend, KMS is a full-line garden center that has in recent years branched into pond-building to meet a burgeoning demand. "In the past," says sales manager Dave Epley, "people might do a little water feature as part of a garden. Now the garden is designed around the water." KMS carries pond liners in all shapes and sizes, from the modest Half Whiskey Barrel to the capacious Lagoon. And everybody there will take time to explain how to entrench these pond liners, how to get the right pump, the best filter for the size of the pond and so on. "Start with something small," suggests Epley. "You can always add to a pond, put in a waterfall, a stream, or make a moat around your house. You're the artist; you design it. If you can operate a fish tank in your home, you can operate an outdoor pond. It's that easy." Walk into KMS, and the first thing you see is a manmade pond, a study in tranquility. Water burbles, running over various decorative rocks. Koi glide languidly through swatches of water lilies and hyacinth. Secretive catfish scuttle about the hornwort, scouring the bottom for some overlooked morsel. This showcase habitat -- or some scaled-down version thereof -- could be your own backyard Walden Pond. They say it's cheap therapy, building the pond and then tuning into its halcyon effect.
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