Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Garden Update

There are so many aspects to gardening.  There is the winter dreaming and planning, early spring seed starting and finally the late spring hard work.  I've just come to the end of the hard work part for 2011.

But let me take you back to the beginning of one section of my garden in 2010.

Here are my step-by-step instructions to creating a pond garden.

Start by digging a hole large enough to bury a fair-sized body, while neighbours look serepticiously over the fence in growing alarm.  Retain the rocks you dug out of the hole for suitable, future artsy-fartsy placement.

Set the pond in the hole.  Come out the next day to find that rain water has flowed down between the pond and the earth and the pond is now floating.  Ponds aren't supposed to float.  This issue needs to be addressed.

Bail water out of the hole, re-set the pond, add border stones and revel in the fact that you are now two inches taller than when you first entered the garden, owing to the thick red muck sticking to the bottom of your shoes.

Fill the pond quickly so that the weight of the water will keep the pond in place.  Well at least in theory.

Add plants and place unearthed rocks decoratively around the pond.  Step back and admire your handiwork.

Summer 2010.  Click to see fish.

I don't plan things too carefully.  I get an idea and just start poking about.   If something doesn't work: I change it.   If I'm cutting a garden outline I don't lay down string or hose as an outline to follow.  I just start digging.

The pond garden started out as the oval area you see above.

This year I decided the garden area didn't proportionally fit with the pond size so I expanded the garden.

Early spring 2011.

After days of rock hauling, digging and stone setting, the expanded garden was ringed with a border of rocks.

Three weeks later I decided I didn't like the look and removed most of the rocks and  re-edged the garden and added more plants and a bird bath.

This is how my pond looks now.

Summer 2011.

I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I left some stones around one side of the pond.

I added some floating plants to give the goldfish extra shade and to give the teeny, tiny baby goldfish somewhere to hide from their predatory, unsentimental parents.

The finishing touch was installing a water pump that trickles water down through the rocks at one end of the pond.  I love that sound.


  1. Great result Sybil, but what did you do with the body??

  2. Lovely! Simply F***ing Lovely. You can come out here any time and help me dig a body hole, I mean a fish pond. A large grassed yard is sooooooo over-rated.


  3. Shhhh Lynne, don't ask -- don't tell.

    ITC-1 -- gorsh thanks.

  4. Gee, how's your back?! And when do you have time to blog? This is really beautiful. You have great instincts.

  5. Thanks Cindy. I just like to try different things. The back is fine. It's the knees that are crappy !

  6. This is gorgeous!! Youll have to give me tips about how what to plant. We've just had a new spot dug for a pond and it is slowly filling up with ground water. I'll blog about it soon ;-)

  7. Thanks Flora. I'm sure that natural stuff will just grow around your pond. Bull rushes, wild flowers and then the frogs will move in. Knowing your love of iris, you can grab some water-loving blue iris from the wild and just bung 'em in by the edge of your pond.

  8. Hello Sybil

    Amy from Flandrum Hill just sent me the link to this page, as we are struggling with a very green pool once again (it's the same every winter/spring). I am in awe of what you have done with your natural pond. Wow!

    1. Thanks Reggie, and bless Amy-Lynn for directing you here.

      I now have two ponds and little grass (we have too many dogs to keep grass alive)

      Time for me to do a garden update.


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