Catherine at Gardener in Progress wanted to see more photos of our pond. Since we've been having some overcast days (and a bit of rain) Kim took the opportunity to take some photos.
When we first moved into our house we built a very small pond. Not a good plan. We enlarged it about 10 years ago. The pond now measures approximately 12 feet long x 5 feet wide. It is located in the center of the back gardens, right off the back porch.
We dug it by hand and collected the rock ourselves (whatever wasn't too large for the two of us to carry.)
Kim made the fountain below out of cement using a trash can as a form. We had decided we wanted more water movement in this end of the pond. It was quite the show seeing the two of us move that huge block of cement into the pond. What's nice is, it's become a favorite spot for birds to stop and get a drink.
Kim built the wooden deck three years ago. I like it since it breaks up the "rock necklace" around the pond.
We've always struggled with plantings - too much, hiding the pond? - too little - doesn't look natural? We're fairly happy with what we have now.
To the right in the photo below you can see the Black Lace Elderberry or sambucus nigra 'Eva' near the snag. That has been one great shrub. Grows like a weed. Great dark color. Nice pink flowers in early summer. (now)
We've redone the waterfall a few times, trying to tweak it just right. Three years ago we did away with it and put in the short stream. I think we're finally satisfied. It adds some interest and seems to enlarge the pond on its own.
Kim takes a lot of pride in having done all the work in our garden ourselves. Occasionally we've needed some help from our son Casey (a little extra muscle), but for the most part we've built and planned and planted every little detail.
Chelsea likes to sun herself on the deck.
The pond is home to both koi and goldfish; about seven koi and a dozen or so goldfish. We have a filter system in the little shed behind the pond which keeps the water fairly clean.
As far as water plants go we've tried many of them. Now we mostly stay with just the water lilies which overwinter in the pond (along with the fish). The lilies are reliable and the blooms are beautiful. They also multiply and need dividing every few years. You can see we also have some water iris and cattails. So far we haven't been troubled by them but the roots can be invasive so it's something to watch.
We usually buy either water hyacinths or water lettuce each year to help with cleaning the water also.
What would we have done differently? Probably make it just a bit bigger. As it is now the pond does seem to be on a good scale with the rest of the garden. But a bit more water surface would have been nice. We considered expanding it when we put in the stream but it was just too costly.
Speaking of money the biggest expense has been the liner (about $200), the pump ($100) and the filter ($200).
We do feed our fish during the summer months and that adds a little expense. But they don't need to be fed every day. We've been told the food does help them build up some fat so they overwinter better. During the winter it is necessary to keep some space on the surface of the pond from freezing over. The gas that the fish and plants produce must have a place to escape, otherwise the fish will die. The pond also needs to be a minimum of three foot in depth for our zone in order not to freeze solid. (The fish don't do much during the winter but they won't survive if they're put in a freezer.)
These last two pictures are for Kathleen at Kaseys Korner. She recently purchased a penstemon palmeri. We've had ours for years. They sprinkle themselves around the garden and we're always happy to see them. I don't know why I don't plant them out front, (I will now), as they can be annoyed by overwatering.
We've agreed to have our pond among those featured on the Ada County Pond Tour this summer. We participated six years ago and it was a lot of fun.
Do you have a pond? Is it a "water garden" or a "koi pond" or a mix of both like ours?