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Our water gardens

This is a discussion on Our water gardens within the Aquatic Plants and Plant Care forums, part of the Water Gardening category; Bruce has asked me to see if I can spark an interest in this section ...

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  1. #1
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Default Our water gardens

    Bruce has asked me to see if I can spark an interest in this section of the forum.
    We have had water gardens for 30+ years . We started with an old sunken bathtub which we no longer have . Today have 3 in ground ponds, and one above ground made from a stock watering tank. All the fish, plants etc. stay in the ponds year round (except for the guppies in the stock tank) and living in the mountains of East TN. we do get very cold weather. We do very little to no maintence on these ponds !
    Bruce, the lotus is getting ready to bloom in the whiskey barrel in the first pic!
    Second pic is the 2 circular ponds connected.
    Fish at the lower circular pond.
    Stock tank with guppies, which you can spot just under the surface of the water.
    Please share your pics, questions ec. and let's bring this section of the forum back to life !
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Oh Gilda - those look so incredible! You have got such design talent!! Thanks so much for sharing these! I will post up a photo of my lotus that you sent to us in another thread. It is blooming again and has grown so well!

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
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    Gilda, You designed all of them so beautifully!
    The pond in the first picture is absolutely beautiful, I love that it looks natural and "not landscaped" (aquascaped?) at all. I like that you thought of having the water pour into those two buckets before landing in the pond ... I like the little pink flowers on the side .... Wonderful eye and good job!

  4. #4
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Thanks, you all are too kind ! There is no design to our gardens..we plant our flowers for the birds, bees & butterflies, and also go with mostly perennials ,that is why my "color flow" clashes sometimes...earlier we had red & purple blooming at the same time..I called it my "Red Hat Club" garden !
    The first pic is the water garden that we can see from the sunroom where we spend a lot of our time. Lambert, the pink flowers are "Ice Plant"..one of the best perennials on the market.

  5. #5
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    I'd like to know more about how much work it is to keep a 'live' garden like that. We have two recirculating fountains where I live, but we cannot get the person responsible for maintenance to take on the task of turning them into living water gardens. We might get a crew of volunteer tenants together to do it, if we can convince management (and ourselves) that it will be feasible without a lot of time, special skills, and expense.

    So tell me, Gilda, how could a few urban folks manage a recirculating pool/fountain that is about 15 feet long, 8 feet wide, and maybe two feet deep?

    It gets full Central Texas sun from about 9:30 am on, since the building partly shades it on three sides, the open side facing north-north/west.

    We'd need to know a list of tools, supplies, and also try to keep the supplies "organic" or ecologically "clean", since our city has been enacting very strict standards to discourage yard pollutants in the water supply.

    TYIA!
    Last edited by dsm; July 10th, 2008 at 04:35 PM. Reason: added final note

  6. #6
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Pots of water lilies..enough to cover 2/3 of the water surface(they are prolific growers). Fish to keep the mosquitoes ate. Go to a pet store and get feeder goldfish, they are cheap and grow fast. We feed ours dry cat food, again cheap and a good souce of protein. Our fish are so tame,they will nibble the cat food from our fingers. Once your pond is balanced you can get fancy goldfish . No koi..they will eat your plants !

    2 ft is a good depth. When a pond gets balanced with the right ratio of fish and plants ,that is all you need. Like I stated , we do little to no maintence on these. We cover them with bird netting in the fall to keep the leaves out.

    The lilies provide the shade to keep algae growth down and the fish eat the mosquitoes and provide "food" for the plants .Ours is about the same depth as yours which is good... raccoons can not get in and eat the fish. We occasionally find a rock knocked in and know they have tried. Or neighbors had the ponds you find at the big box stores..very shallow, and the raccoons ate their koi and destoyed the plants.

    Cinder blocks or something to set the pots of water lilies on. You want them under the water but not on the bottom of the pond.
    Plant food for your water plants..they come in sticks you put in the pot.
    Small rocks to put on top of the "soil" so it doesn't wash out . Pot them in a sticky soil, soil with clay would be good. Regular potting soil is too loose.

    We have a small trickle of city water going in to keep ours full from evaporation, but you should make sure your source of water would not be heavily chlorinated coming in a big stream constantly..the fish would die.

    The more plants you can put in, the better your water garden will be...there is Pickrel Rush, papyrus, water lettuce , water hyacinths. Plants will be your biggest investment. Also, water plants do not like to be directly under a fountain, so take this into consideration.

    Full sun is good, but you will need the lilies to grow and provide the shade for the fish and to keep the water clear.
    It will take time for it to settle in and get established, so be patient. Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    Excellent post, Gilda! Thanks!

    Cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    jfrizz743 is offline Senior Member
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    That is incredible!! Very nice!!

  9. #9
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    Well, it certainly does give me a few encouraging things to suggest. TY very much!

  10. #10
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    What great posts, and thank you Gilda for all the recommendations! I know a few people with ailing water gardens that would benefit from reading this!!

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