If you gave me several million years, there would be nothing
that did not grow in beauty if it were surrounded by water.
– Jan Erik Vold, What All The World Knows
When I roughly designed my current garden, I knew I wanted a water feature. I wasn’t sure what kind (although it had to have a waterfall), where we would put it or how big it would be, but I knew I wanted the sound of water in the garden. As more of the design was teased out in my mind, I wanted a pond built off the patio. One reason was to have the sound of water close to the house and the other was to soften the 90 degree angles and hardscape of the patio.
A friend recommended someone who was very good at building ponds that looked natural. So we met, chatted about what I wanted, where I wanted it and I left the details to him. In retrospect, I am shocked that I didn’t have a detailed drawing for the project. But it just felt best to go with it.
The project was started and completed over the week of Thanksgiving about 7 years ago while we were away visiting family. The pond came to life though in the spring of the following year when the plants were planted, and the waterfall was plugged in (we finished the electrical part of the project-burying the cable and using conduit to feed it to the plug).
This what the pond looked at the start of its second spring (one year after we added plants around and in the pond).
Not knowing anything about ponds, we went into the adventure with little information. I would say, in hindsight, it may have been a bit smarter to have read up on ponds and planned a bit more. I have no complaints and love our pond, but it is not low maintenance and takes continual work as it matures. In my quest for more knowledge, I found a wonderful book that encompasses everything you need to consider when you decide to have a water feature in your garden.
I am joining in with Holley’s Garden Book Review as I share this valuable resource. Holley said this month will be her final post of the meme, but I plan to continue to review garden books monthly. Thanks Holley for hosting the meme and encouraging me to read and share all those garden books I buy.
Water Gardening for the Mid-Atlantic and New England
Author: Teri Dunn
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Cool Springs Press (January 2, 2006)
Amazon Price: $16.59
In A Few Words
This comprehensive book on water gardening is written by Teri Dunn. You may also know her as Teri Dunn Chace. She has written a series of these water gardening books for all over the US besides the Mid-Atlantic/New England area. You can find other books in the series for the Southwest, West, Midwest, South and Northwest.
The book goes into the joys of water gardening first so you are aware of the things to consider before you jump into such a big endeavor….and building/maintaining a pond is a big endeavor. Each regional book considers concerns for that regions. For instance here in the Northeast we have a short growing season which influences the plants you grow in the pond like this native iris.
The other sections go into choosing and installing the water garden, stocking it with fish and/or plants and caring for the water garden. The last section is a plant directory. Additional resources can be found at the end with such information as a seasonal checklist.
What I Liked
This book is ideal for beginners, those who already have a pond and those who want more information before they make the decision to water garden. Each section goes into great detail with easy to understand instructions and guidance. There are specific tips scattered throughout the sections with special features too.
I really liked the installation directions and recommendations for using either pre-formed or flexible pool liners. You get enough info to make a decision as to what kind of pond you might want as well as above ground ponds, streams, waterfalls and fountains. One big tip is to keep your pond away from trees. Leaves, flowers, nuts and roots and wreak havoc on a pond. I was lucky that I had already heard this tip, and knew just where to put the pond so it was away from trees and in a sunny location.
We made a decision to not have fish, but there is lots of information to consider before you make your own decision. And plants…I am thrilled to find so many more to consider. You can learn the differences between the tropical and hardy water lilies, and how to take care for water plants. Also what marginal, floating or submerged plants to consider adding. And watch out for those invasives. Of course there are tips on dealing with algae too.
Not So Much
The book was thorough and even after 5 years of water gardening through trial and error, I found tons of great tips that have already given me less maintenance in the future. The only issue I had was the idea that some critters are water garden pests. While I understand that some critters can damage plants or eat fish, I would not consider these animals pests. And as the author states in the beginning, if you build a pond you will get dragonflies, butterflies, hummers, birds, frogs and turtles.
But I guess to each his own. I want the critters to come including the snakes.
I have looked at several water gardening books but this is the one I would recommend. Besides the great pictures and easy to follow tips, it is an interesting book to read. I really enjoyed each section as I read it cover to cover.
How often it is that a garden, beautiful though it be, will seem sad and dreary and lacking in one of its most gracious features, if it has no water.
I hope you will join in now and tell us all about how you are celebrating the new season especially around this very special solstice Just write a post and leave a comment with your Seasonal Celebrations link.
Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time. I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether winter or summer or something else. Share your traditions, holidays and celebrations in pictures and words.
And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme. What lessons have you learned this past season of autumn here in the North and spring in the South. Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.
The rules are simple. Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations. If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts. Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post. Make sure to include a link with your comment.
Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the solstice (around the 21st of December). And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog. Your post should be linked in the weekend before the solstice to give us enough time to include your post in our summary. And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create). The badges here can be used in your post. So won’t you join in the celebration!!
Next up on the blog: Next Monday I will be highlighting my final herb for GBBD. Then it will be time to reveal your Seasonal Celebrations on the 20th. The end of the month brings a special Christmas post and the last Wildflower Tale.
I wrote a guest post over at Vision and Verb. I hope you will visit this wonderful website of women writers.
I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my next post on the 10th.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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