Pond Tunes

The water feature in my backyard is coming up on a year old. Tending to its residents (five goldfish and a few snails) has been fun and little to no trouble. I especially enjoy the sound of water cascading between levels. When windows are open, the pond tune carries throughout the house.

Winter was trouble-free — until one night when the temperature dropped into the low-twenties. A thick layer of ice formed across the top of the nearly empty pond. Instead of recirculating, the water continued to freeze and pile up in the connecting ponds. The fish were swimming in about three inches of water but survived. Lesson learned. Next time it’s supposed to get that cold, unplug the pump.

Redoing the water feature has been on my to-do list for most of the past year. A large connecting pond was too big to fit in the existing space. The terraces around the pond quickly disappeared beneath surprisingly robust polka-dot plants, impatiens, and ground-cover coleus. Watching the fish was impossible without stepping on flowers.

Finally got around to redoing it this past weekend. Moving the whole setup out a few feet from the house was the fix. The new spot makes the water feature more of a focal point. This time, I even made sure the base was perfectly level.

Froggy interloper

A frog moved in sometime last summer. I figured he’d gone elsewhere for he winter to hibernate. Nope. Discovered him hiding in the rocks in one of the small connecting ponds when I rearranged. He’s huge and was not at all happy to be disturbed.

My water feature consists of a recirculating pump and five pieces: a waterfall/filter, small connecting ponds (2), a large connecting pond, and the main pond. The filter in the waterfall worked fine — until the pump clogged up. Wrapped the pump with filter media and stuffed it into a flower pot. Rinsing out the filter media every six weeks or so keeps the water crystal clear and flowing.

Plants struggled to survive in the overly-shady pond.The new location gets a lot more sun with plenty of space all the way around it for ornamental plants to conceal the ugly base. The large connecting pond adds room for more aquatic plants too.

The freedom to change things around is a plus for now. I’ll probably hire someone to install a permanent water feature one of these days. Either way, you know I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for stopping by!