Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fish & Fountain

Exciting news! Bob at Draco Gardens graciously offered us some of his spare water plants and fish, which was terrific in and of itself, but also meant that we got to meet Bob & Lyn, who were delightful and interesting and charming, and we got to visit their garden and pond. Their pond is lovely--several long interconnected pools full of plants and fish, with a bridge made out of a giant monolith. They used local stone, so that while it's clearly man made, it harmonizes really well with the landscape. And I thought the massive rectangular shapes of the border rocks gave the pond an interesting whiff of modernism.

I was (secretly) feeling pretty chuffed about myself for digging my own pond (technically, half a pond, since Matt dug at least half of it, but still), until (1) I saw them gardening out of what appears to be bare limestone, and (2) Bob told us about his mom and dad, who dug a much larger pond than ours by hand several times over (there were technical difficulties) at the age of 70!

To which I can only say: Wow. People. They just don't make em like they used to.

They gave us a pink lotus, some blue pickerel, a red-stemmed Thalia, some (what I think is) water poppy, some anacharis (or hornwort? not sure), a great big arrowhead plant (Sagittaria montevidensis?), some huge bulrushes, and something with calla-like leaves that I think was called oar-plant. And they gave us two goldfish, whom we have named Bob & Lyn, which we thought made a nicer gesture than, for example, designating a "Bob & Lyn Memorial Bulrush."

In addition to all of that excitement, the fountain I ordered finally came in, and I love it. I had been having second thoughts about the scale--I worried it would be too small--but it's actually just right: big enough to make a striking accent without dominating.

It's got a half-inch pipe connector thingummy, and the pump's hose is (I think) 3/4", so it's not hooked up yet. But even just sitting there, it looks lovely.

Fountain in the foreground, bulrush and arrowhead behind

The new and lovely fountain

In addition to the niceness of the fountain, our nameless tropical water lily has begun to bloom, and, much to my pleasure, it's purple! I probably would have preferred a more bluey-indigo rather than neon pinky-purple, but that's a minor quibble.

See that tiny speck of pinky-purple? That's it. Presumably, it's just warming up.

This is pretty close to the actual color, though it took some diddling in Photoshop

It looks a lot like either 'Kathy McLane' or 'The Queen of Siam.'

And if all that weren't enough, the Thalia has put on its first bloom, too. I think these flowers are so awesome--I love the deep purple against the powdery lavender. It's a shame no one has found a way to breed these for bigger flowers.

The tone-on-tone purpleness of Thalia dealbata

All in all, the pond has been the gift that keeps on giving. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying it. There was an initial investment of time and money, and we have to skim out the cottonwood fluff and top off the water every now and then, but for what seems like very little ongoing work, we're getting a great deal of pleasure.


Bob said...

We sure enjoyed having you guys out. We forgot to dig up the irises but we will do it in the fall, you know, when your supposed to. Your name is on them.

Your pond just gets nicer each time I look at your blog. That's the way ponds go. There is just too much to do to finish it all at once. Combined with developing ideas on what plants to add and what rock looks best where, it is, and should be, an extended project. Also the plants around the pond have to mature some to give it that been there all along look. Yours looks to be a stunner very soon. Bob

Elgin_house said...

Thanks Bob! We remembered the irises as we were driving away, but we kinda made out like bandits anyway, so no worries :-)

The pond is doing great--the water started to clear up a day or two after our visit. I figure either the plants you gave us are gobbling up the nitrogen, or the Bob & Lyn goldfish are snarfing on the algae. Either way, a very good thing, so thanks again!

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