Friday, September 18, 2009

Thank heaven for little ponds


In many ways, a pond, no matter how small, escapes the peaks and valleys of the usual WNY garden season. It always looks pretty fresh, providing you can keep the leaves out of it. The plants thrive throughout the summer, especially my favorite, papyrus, which is still sending out new stalks. This year I’m trying pickerel for the first time, and really liking it, while, as I’ve posted, my water lily has finally bloomed. Water hyacinths are nice surface plants, but multiply just a bit too rapidly and can clog things up—they’re not great for a small water feature like mine.


This is obvious, but it must be stated because it is the most astounding benefit of water gardening: you do not need to water. Something slightly less obvious: water plants can be fertilized. There are sticks made especially for them or you can use Jobes, pushed well in.


There are so many ways in which a water feature repays whatever effort and cash it cost. The sound provides a backdrop at all times, making your garden seem more idyllic than it is. You don’t have to have fish, but they’re fun. However, they do insert an element of trauma, if your pond is not deep enough for them to stay in it all year. I’ve finally found a winter home for my goldfish—cheap as they were, they’ve fattened up nicely, and I’d hate to just let them freeze. Or any of the sordid alternatives.


We’ll close the pond when it gets too cold to enjoy it; the non-hardy plants will be saved over (though without much success, I fear) and the hardy ones will winter over in the bottom. As for the fish, fingers crossed, my friend’s 20 gallon tank will provide a safe harbor.

8 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad your fish have a place to winter over. They are cute little fellows. Do you have them named?? That blooming lily is sure pretty. Have a good weekend.

Pam/Digging said...

Like you, I'm enjoying my small pond, Elizabeth. And like you I've been touting the amusing but true benefit of not having to water, which is something we get pretty tired of here in Austin.

mothernaturesgarden said...

Your pond looks like a garden jewel.

Carol said...

I loved your video! The drama of fish...eat, swim, eat, swim, and swim some more.

My Dad had a pond when we were kids and he ended up with some very big koi fish that he had to remove to overwinter, too. Fortunately, the place where he bought them also offered to overwinter them. They had old bathtubs set up in a back room for just that purpose, because these fish were big!

Jean said...

I like your little video. And I think your pond is really pretty. It's amazing how something so tiny can be so interesting and precious. Good luck with all the overwintering!

Gail said...

So glad the fishes have a safe space to spend the winter. The flowering water lily is lovely. gail

Miss Daisy said...

Gorgeous pond. I love them dearly and so look forward to the day that I can get one...it may be in the next life, but I look forward to it :)

Plant Avenue said...

I love garden ponds :) I've just been contemplating adding a water element to my garden to make it more bee-friendly, and while I'll probably start with something simple like a bird bath, I'd love to have an actual pond. Great post!