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Garden Tour: The Pond

September 18th, 2012

A few years ago we put in a small garden pond. We’d been wanting a water feature for quite a while. When my parents put in a larger pond, they passed their small pond along to us. Mr Chiots dug the hole, we added water and fish, planted a few plants, and we had a pond garden.

Now that this garden has been around for a few years, it’s starting to look really nice. Our fish have sized up and are actually a good size. We don’t feed them or anything, they get enough food with what grows in the pond.

This little pond provides valuable wildlife habitat in our garden. We’ve had toads use it for breeding, birds use it for drinking, and we now have a few water insects as well. It also provides a nice watering hole for the Chiots and the outdoor cats.

The pond is located in a part of the garden that gets afternoon shade. It’s overshadowed slightly by a mature dogwood tree. It’s surrounded by goatsbeard, Japanese Hakone grass, hosts, various low growing sedum, peppermint, creeping thyme, and a boxwood. I also have a beautiful waterlily that blooms during the early summer.

The pond has proven to be a valuable addition to our garden. Since we put it in we have noticed an even greater number of insects and animals in the garden, particularly amphibians. I’d highly recommend adding a small water feature to your garden.

Do you have a water feature in your garden?

Chiot’s Run Garden Tour
The Middle Garden
The Side Garden
The Front Hillside Garden
Mr Chiot’s Mailbox Garden
Garden Tour: The Front Garden

Overwintering the Garden Pond

October 28th, 2011

If you remember, we have a small garden pond that we put in last spring. It used to reside in my parent’s garden, until they replaced it with a much larger pond. We put fish in it last year, which promptly all got the ick and died. They were replaced with fish from my parents pond that survived for quite a while, then died right before winter.

This spring we put 10 small feeder goldfish in the pond; they all survived. Now I’m wondering if I need to put a small heater in the pond for winter. My parents always had fish survive in the pond, but they had a spring running into it which kept it from freezing. I know it doesn’t freeze through to the bottom because my water lily survives, but I’m wondering if the fish will survive.

Does anyone have any advice for me on what to do with this pond over the winter? heater, on heater? We live in a zone 5a, so it can get pretty cold in the winter.

What zone is your garden in? Do you deal with cold or heat as your most extreme temperature?

Another Reason to Have a Garden Pond

July 23rd, 2011

Last year we installed a small garden pond. It used to reside in my parent’s garden until they replaced it with a 350 gallon livestock tank. I’ve talked about how great it is to increase biodiversity in your garden and installing a water feature is a great way to do this. You’ll create a little niche for water loving things like fish, frogs, toads, water beetles and wildlife. It also allows you to incorporate water plants. I was lucky enough to get a water lily from my parents, which I planted in the pond not long after it was installed.

Last year the water lily put up some leaves and this year it’s been doing much better. My mom’s started blooming quite a while ago, so I wasn’t expecting mine to bloom until next year, figuring it would take another year to get established

Then, this past Wednesday I noticed a bud right under the water. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to emerge and open up. Happily, Thursday morning I noticed it was out of the water. Then later Thursday morning it opened up. I’m so happy I was around to see the bloom and it didn’t wait until I went on vacation!

No doubt I will have a few more blooms this summer. Water lily blooms are definitely one of the many reasons to incorporate a small pond in your garden.

Any great water plants in your garden pond?

Our Little Pond

May 22nd, 2010

The little pond in the garden is really starting to come together. We installed it a two weeks ago and last weekend we got some fish for it. We spent a day this past weekend planting some hostas, hakone grass and goat’s beard around it. I still have some rocks to place around the front edge and I need to find a few small plants around the garden to finish off the front part and then it will be done!

I was hoping to work on it yesterday but spent the entire day at my mom & dad’s house. I still worked in the garden, just not my own. I worked the edible garden over there, weeding the onions and planting a few more potatoes. I also dug up some lilies, mallow, and fennel to plant over here and I got some cuttings from their neighbor’s hydrangea vine. I’m giving my mom a few of our shrub roses in return.

Even though the pond isn’t finished, the fish seem to be really enjoying it. We thought a few of them had been eaten by coons, but we’ve counted all 10 in the past few days. We put a few big rocks in the bottom and a few smaller ones around the edges to give them a place to hide. If all ten are alive in a month or two we will move 5-6 of them to one of my parents big ponds, our tiny pond won’t support 10 fish.

We’re enjoying having the pond in the garden. We can see it from the bedroom window and from the front porch. I’m always stopping to watch the fish as I’m out and about doing chores. They’re very relaxing and soothing. I’d encourage everyone to install a small water feature in their gardens!

Have you ever thought about installing a small pond in your garden?

New in the Garden: a Pond

May 4th, 2010

We’re always trying to find ways to make our little gardens an oasis for creatures of all shapes and sizes (minus the big rodent like white tailed deer, we could live without them). We put up birdhouses and put out seed for our feathered friends. We have boards and rocks and upturned pots around the gardens for toads, salamanders and snakes. We have bamboo for native bees and a hive of honeybees. We have saucers filled with rocks and water for all the small insects, birds, and other creatures. One thing we’ve been lacking is a small pond for frogs.

My sister had this pond in her house when she moved in and didn’t want it. My parents took it to their house and installed it in their gardens. After several years they decided they wanted a bigger one. Naturally, this one then was handed down to us. We’ve had it for a year or two and could never decide where to put it (not to mention muster up the energy to dig a hole in our rocky soil large enough for it).

We finally figured out where to put it. Last year we cut down a crabapple tree in the front yard that was languishing. I think it was diseased or something, it never looked healthy and all of our attempts to give it manure and prune it were thwarted by more ugliness and lack of blooms. Last week Mr Chiots decided to dig up the stump. We were left with a large hole and thought it would be perfect for our “new” pond. Sure enough the pond almost fit, a little more digging and it looks like we’ll have a pond in the gardens soon.

My parents have a nice sized small pond and a second big detention basin filled with fish and frogs (photos above and below). We’ll be able to get a few water plants off them and a few tadpoles. I may even buy a fish or two for it. Our nieces and nephew think grandma & grandpa’s ponds with fish are great. Every time they go to my parents for a visit they have to go out and see the fish & frogs in both ponds.

I’m hoping this will help attract even more varieties of species to our gardens. Not to mention it will be a nice feature in the front garden!

Do you have any water features in your garden?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.