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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Posted: Aug-10-2004 at 1:48pm
Hi everyone! Does anyone water garden that would like to start discussions on ponds, streams, water containers? Since this is a big category, what do you think about specific topics, such as carnivorous plants, or waterlilies, or.....?
Posted: Aug-10-2004 at 2:18pm
Love to, Verena but I'm a newbie to water gardening. Just have a water pot that I have left without plants this year. I like the quiet, reflecting pond aspect of the pond.
Got any tips on effectively placing water features around the garden? Designing with water?
Posted: Aug-10-2004 at 2:47pm
I love my pond. One thing I would do is make it about 3 ft deep at the least if I had it to do over. I don't really know alot about them- but mine works and that matters. We added a homemade filter when we got more fish this year. It's working well, thus far. I know that a consistant water source helps bring more wildlife to your yard. Birds, butterflies, etc. That's wonderful. I am still real new to this. I have found that waterlilies are easy. I split the one I had last year into three pots and all are doing well. With nil care. Got a new one this year. It was suppose to be yellow- it's white- very pretty. My older one is pink. I haven't ever done anything with water prior to the pond, with the exception of a bird bath- but I am always looking for new ideas. Running water is amazingly soothing and refreshing!
Posted: Aug-11-2004 at 9:18am
Verena, please start a thread - or more - on any of the several water gardening related subjects you suggested. I'm sure you'll find interested readers and posters. This is an area that I'm just beginning to delve into so any information you and others present will be appreciated.
Posted: Aug-11-2004 at 11:02am
Jeanne, I have a small bubbler fountain close to the house (an electric outlet is close by) which was very easy to build, easy care (just don't place under deciduous plants that will gunk it up with leaves). It's comprised of an 18" tall pre-drilled rock that has a hose threaded through it which is connected to a little pump underneath the rock. The pump is in a 2' wide plastic container sunk into the ground, with 1" rim above (the rim above ground is important; no dirt from outside flows in).
The container should be large enough so evaporation/splash doesn't ever allow the pump to run out of water. The container is filled with rock of your choice (I used plain rock at the bottom which is out of sight anyway and bought 2-3" black water polished rock for the top surface where the water splashes. Which cost me more per pound than hamburger, so I only bought a small bag--yea gads), fountain nested on top, electric cord (outdoor) from pump goes through the rock and out on top of the container and is buried until it reaches the outlet. More rock was added to cover the container rim. It's filled with water and gurgles away. The water bubbles up over the top and circulates through container. Avoid splash because too much water is lost.
Sydnie, a pond that "works" is a pure success story, especially a shallow one. Most of the pond book "experts" all advise ponds need be no deeper than 2.5'. But I both agree and disagree. I built a deeper end on both ponds due to blue herons, wanting cooler water for the koi, better algae control, better ease in maintaining oxygen levels (cooler water holds more oxygen),etc. I, too, have only biological filters (one is a stream). High tech doesn't equate with success.
OK, Lisa, maybe this will be a start... There are already a million water gardening websites (none of which I read!). So maybe we can focus on the plants/animals and garden design aspect rather than the technical because you can always get detailed technical information from some excellent sources, foremost being Helen Nash's absolutely fabulous how-to practical books on water gardening.
Posted: Aug-11-2004 at 12:15pm
Thanks, Verena. I have a design question, then. How do you create a natural looking pond with a small water fall on a flat piece of property so that the source of the water is natural or maybe just plausible? I see many beautiful ponds where the waterfall comes right out of a rock next to a fence or some other man-made structure. Kind of nit-picky but it bothers me. I guess maybe my options are to build a pond & bog without the waterfall or to build an obvious man-made structure. Anybody have any other thoughts?
Posted: Aug-11-2004 at 12:30pm
Well, there are such things as springs that come out of the ground. But I'm with you, I'd like things to look as natural as possible. It seems to me that the better you can disguise the source so you can't really tell where it's coming from the better.
Posted: Aug-11-2004 at 12:59pm
Theresa's suggestion is great and reminded me of one of my favorite small ponds. I posted pics in the Photo Gallery; see Darcy Daniels' pond.
Posted: Aug-11-2004 at 2:52pm
Yep, there are springs, Theresa and that's one way to go about as we discussed at Savage Plants the other day. That pond at Savage Plants was absolutely gorgeous but when you looked at it straight on from the bench, the little shed behind this huge, but beautiful waterfall was tall enough to be incongruous but too short to look like a water mill or something. I might see if I can post that photo.
That pond of Darcy's is a winner in my book!
Posted: Aug-12-2004 at 9:20am
Those pictures really do prove that scale is an important element in design, especially with water. Those Niagra Falls scenarios can look mighty strange in a small garden. I'm for the natural look as well, and yet another way to achieve this, besides creating a spring, is to build a small rock outcropping, such as a rock garden on one end of the pond. The hose from the pump is hidden along side it, and either comes up through a rock with drilled hole or over a rock. The farther away the rockery, plus the higher the rockery and pump depth determine the hose length and pump horse power. So, to keep it flowing and simple, have a small low outcropping of natural rocks close to the pond with a well placed rubber liner underneath all the rock work. This creates a simple water circulation and a small waterfall. Also, the edges of my rock gardens are softend with plants so the rocks flow into the surrounding garden. Otherwise, a pile of rocks can look like a zit comming out of the ground!
The sound of moving water, no matter how small (even a tiny patio fountain), really attracts birds. Sorry I can't provide you with pictures. I'm 'between cameras' and am presently overwhelmed with choices. Still lamenting the loss of my 27 year dinosaur SLR, but know I finally gotta go digital.