Structural ElementsBoth Robert and I wanted a large pond, but we didn't want a pond that a child or a dog could walk up to and, perhaps, fall in, and we didn't want to have to dig a 3 foot hole in what we euphemistically call dirt (when it has rained, the dirt is like modelling clay and when it is dry, the dirt is like concrete). So we went down to the local feed store and picked up an oval livestock tank that was 3 feet high, 6 feet long, and 5 feet wide.
Unlike a fiberglass pond, a livestock tank can be thrown on top of your truck, bounced out, rolled across the yard, and thrown on the ground. We were lucky. We didn't even have to level the ground. While a livestock tank may be little more difficult to handle than pond liners, you don't have to worry about ripping a livestock tank. It is tough, which more than makes up for being able to put a pond liner in the trunk.
In the upper lefthand image, you can see the liner on the right. Since
the water hyacinth has grown, you can no longer see the edge of the pond.
The liners are black or brown plastic. We piled moss rock around ours and
topped the moss rock with white flagstones I think it is very attractive,
but it isn't necessarily cheaper. We didn't have to excavate, but we did
have to buy stone. The tanks themselves are not pretty, so at the least
you are going to have to plant something to hide it.
The FountainWe have a pump and a filter in our pond. I wanted a statue as part of the fountain, so Robert drilled a hole in the center of the birdfeeder and ran the hose from the pump through the hole. Because the fountain drains completely when the pump isn't running, we haven't had a problem with algae growing in it.
The PlantsRobert and I tend to over plant, so why should the pond be any different? We have too many plants in there, and while I have removed some, I have added more since this picture was taken.
We have anachris as an underwater oxygenator. My favorite floating plants are the water lilies. We have three pots of them. I am thinking of removing one pot. Other floating plants are parrots feather, water clover, water poppy, floating heart, wather hyacinth, and another clover like plant. I have removed the water poppy. It never bloomed or did much of anything. I have added water lettuce.
I realy like the cattails and the varigated flag iris. The iris is a lovely yellow when it blooms. I removed the water papyrus. I think it is ugly. I added a red salvia and planted some water cress around the cattails. My favorite plant in the whole pond is the red canna. The blooms aren't much but the red foliage is great. It grows to be about 9 feet tall from the ground (not from its tubers). It is hard to see in the photos, but in real life it is quite spectacular.
FishYou have to have fish of some sort in your pond to eat mosquitoe larvae. We have about 7 fish in our pond. We used to have more, but they die. Of the original 10 10-cent feeder goldfish, we have one. He was about an inch long when we got him, and from nose to tip of tail, he is about 6 inches long, today. I bought some more feeder goldfish, the large ones this time, and we got 2 shibukins, and some tadpoles. I think the tadpoles turned into frogs and hopped away. One of the shibukins died, and a couple of the larger feeder goldfish died. Now we have 7 fish in the pond. They are fat and happy, so I'm not going to add any more. We did add some more frogs, bullfrogs tadpoles this time. But I haven't seen or heard any bullfrogs. Maybe they hopped away, too.
Because we have the dogs, I don't worry about birds or raccoons getting into the pond. Also the pond is 3 feet deep which is deep enough for the fish to hide. However, if you don't have dogs in your backyard, you have to make the pond at least 3 feet deep in my area. Egrets will come and take all your fish if you don't.
Small PondsIn addition to the large pond, Robert and I have 3 small ponds. We are thinking of putting in some more small ones. The double sink we used for this one came out of the basement of the house that I grew up in. It has a lot of sentimental value for me, but I don't recommend that anyone else try to move a double concrete sink. It was very heavy and fragile. I hate to think what would have happened if we had dropped it, or worse, dropped it on one of our feet. This pond is about 17 gallons in each tub. There are two small holes inbetween the two tubs. The tube for the pump runs through one. We have problems with algae growing in the spout of the fountain because water sits there. This pond is overplanted, too, but I love the lush look of too many plants. The tub on the left has a peach water lily and a red canna. The tub on the right has a pink water lily and a blue water iris. The canna has been disappointing, but the iris is beautiful. I threw in some water hyacinth to keep the water clear. There used to be a fish in this pond. I don't know if he is still there or not. I don't feed him, so he has stayed little.
I have a two small water gardens in front of my house. One is a large plastic planter that I bought at Home Deopt for $15 dollars. It has a sagitteria in it that hasn't done much. It also has parrot feather, water clover, and water cress. I put the water poppy in this pond, but I think it has died. I had a fish, and he survived for about a year. I would pour some water in the pond every couple of days to add oxygen to the water. One evening, after dark, I think I washed the fish out of the pond while I was adding water. I found the poor little body lying on the ground next to the pond.
My last pond is the smallest. It is a large plastic bowl with a smaller plastic bowl in it. I've got the cattail, water cress, and parrots feather in this one. It dries out a lot, so I don't keep fish in it.
Last WordI talk about the garden and the house like it is mine all alone, but it isn't. Robert is co-owner, and, more importantly, he has contributed a lot of energy to the garden. It would not be the garden it is without him. I am very grateful for all that he has done to turn our yard in to the beautiful place that it is.
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This page was last modified Monday, 14-Aug-2006 11:28:03 PDT