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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bring Back the Pond?

Time for a public shaming. I have let my pond die.
Shame pic 1 - inside the pond. Dead.

Shame pic 2 - view from the window with discarded chook feeder, toppled garden ornament and dead sunflowers up front
Shame pic 3 - view from above
Look at it. It's been in this dreadful state all summer. Every plant dead and not a drop of water left.

We built this pond back in November 2010. Here's a littler Littlest Monkey releasing a couple of Murray Darling Rainbow fish. Oh happy days. Sigh.
The pond in its early heyday
Well I never saw those fish again. Those native fish were teeny and silver and despite peering at the pond til I was cross eyed I never saw them again. I couldn't say how long they survived but they are certainly not swimming about in that dead hole now. And the whole reason I hunted about for those teeny silver native fish was to keep down the mozzies and attract frogs. Well we never got frogs either. What we did get was a slimy pond that needed constant topping up and became strangled with duckweed.

Sigh. I am a pond keeping failure. Not only have I allowed everything to die in the pond, I have also allowed weeds to grow up all around it. And there is some rotten wandering jew that is starting to wander out of control and cause Wokee the puppy to get all scratchy and itchy. But mostly to my annoyance it is a bloody eyesore and a reminder of my failure right out the back window.

Anyway, I'll stop my whining and let you know that I have decided to clean up that area this week. But I'm just not sure about the pond. Should I give it another go? I love the idea of a pond. I think water in the garden is good for the environment and I know it attracts birds and bugs and dragon flies and all that. But I'm not sure I can be trusted to make it work.

Part of the trouble is this pond is located in a bit of a tricky spot. Lots of shade in winter but quite a bit of sun in summer - which is not good 'cos the sun creates algae. It's also in a spot that in my fantasy ideal garden brain I can imagine a pizza oven... but that isn't going to happen in the near future. I could do a better job with some shading plants I suppose. I also worry about all that water that needs to be used to keep topping that little pond up. And I don't want to spend a lot of money to make a pond work. I won't use electricity, but am not averse to getting a little solar powered pump to aerate the water. And should I risk the lives of some harmless fishies again? Ponds without filters probably do need fish to keep the thing working. Ah decisions. Maybe I should just ditch the whole thing and pop in some plants.


6 comments:

  1. I think there is something quite meditating about a few water features here and there.
    My dear daughter has them in all little itty bitty spaces. She just fills up huge squat pots or old washing machine inners,seals them with fish friendly sealer pops in a water plant and her fish multiply like crazy. I might add,please don't put any fish pond under a Oliander tree. She found that out the hard way. The falling petals killed the fish.
    I love wondering through her garden and unexpectedly coming across a little water feature with her hand made wind chimes tinkling above.
    I'm attempting to do the same in my little garden which is why I mosaiced the old urn. It is now a little water feature.
    Please show us when you do it, I'm sure you will be happy you had another go. x

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  2. I haven't blogged for awhile and my last post was about our pond. I have no pond experience and ours looked really sick the last time I posted. I ended up hauling most of its water out to use on my dying garden. There was just some slush in the bottom and two lillys. The other plants at the other end were holding on for dear life. My lillys were free floating and they put their roots down into the murky bottom and produced two flowers!
    Then the rain came. It rained and rained and our pond filled right up. Two of the other pond plants flowered and the Azolla all came back lovely. The water looked so good we made a trip to the Aquarium shop and they tested our water for us. No ammonia and perfect PH. We bought 5 goldfish and popped them in.
    I am hoping the fish can bring a balance back. I think the lack of fish meant the Azolla grew and choked the pond. I am trying to keep the pond free of gum leaves and I have seen the fish again.
    Wishing you pond new life.

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  3. I have a friend in NYC who wotks in the landscape industries. When clients ask her if they should have a water feature on their impossibly dry windy roof terraces she recoommends that they 'Keep it to a dry martini honey!'

    You could make a bog garden if you leave the liner in?

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  4. Oh really love you blog and all you are doing here. The pond looks great!

    www.mindfullygreen.com.au

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  5. If you have a have a pond I would say get a solar pump. If it grows algae put it in your compost as it is nitrogen rich. Maybe you could try growing water chestnuts in it instead.

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  6. They're not native and they'll eat little tadpoles, but goldfish might be the go? They do eat mozzie larvae, they're very pretty, reasonaby hardy, and the kids (and I) love to watch them. They were our second attempt at a pond (we gave up on hoping for frogs). We also have our pond in a shady place, tho need to cover it in autumn so the falling leaves don't choke it. Is there a shady place you could move it to???

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