This week’s guest writer is Mary Creech. Mary is a South Carolina Master Gardener and a Floral Designer. Her articles have appeared in magazines and Master Gardener newsletters statewide. This article first appeared in the Midlands Master Gardener Association newsletter in April 2008.-Anne K Moore
MY BACKYARD POND
Mary Creech, Lexington County Master Gardener
Photograph Anne K Moore
I seem to have come from a family that has “fish” dreams! My Dad had a dream of having a big pond stocked with fish so that he could get into a boat and go fishing anytime he could get away. He and my Mom built a house in the country and had a pond built as well. He realized his dream and spent many hours pursuing his favorite hobby. (I don’t care about fishing, but I surely enjoyed eating the fish that he caught.)
My dreams were about fish too, but on a much smaller scale. I always yearned for a secret garden with a small fish pond and a hammock close by so I could just relax and watch pretty fish. I realized my dream a few years back when one of our sons was coerced into digging a hole for our pond in our secret garden. (No easy task in our clay and rocks.)
He dug it about three feet deep, seven feet long and six feet wide. We then lined it with a heavy plastic liner from a home improvement center, filled it with water and let it stand for a few days before we bought our fish.
We had an old hand pump from husband Charles’ grandmother’s house. He rigged it with a mechanical pump and filter so that the water circulates and spills over. We also bought a special ultraviolet light that keeps algae from building up in the water. We have some black dye that we put into the water---it takes just a little to color the water slightly so that the mechanics of the filter and pump don’t show. And just like in the low country swamps, it gives the water that mysterious “deep” look.
We have about eight fish. We have had to replenish only once when the raccoon came calling. We have to clean out the pond every spring because we have lots of trees with pinestraw and leaves. Also the liner gets a little nasty, so we take everything out and start over. We’re always surprised to see how much the fish have grown, since they hide under the leaves in the winter.
If you have always wanted a fish pond as I did, it’s a very doable thing and something the whole family can enjoy. Our youngest grandson is five years old and he loves to come around and feed the fish. His great-grandfather would be proud.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
It’s not only coastal gardens that have to deal with persistent winds – inland gardens at higher altitudes and those in flat, wind-prone areas get regularly battered, too. Since there’s nothing good about plants stripped of their foliage or rendered dry and desiccated by a gale force tempest, the solution might be as simple as using specimens that are just fine with it. Here are a few we recommend. But first, some advice.
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!
To register call:
Alki Tours at 800-895-2554
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