Water Garden in Spring

May 2nd, 2009

Water Garden 1 Year Later

Last spring I built a water garden, I had wanted one for years but was seriously intimidated by it. Turns out it was far easier than I thought it would be, and I completed it in a weekend by myself in all aspects except having a new outdoor outlet installed in the middle of my garden by an electrician.

You can read more about my water garden here and learn how to build one yourself with my article, How to Build a Raised Stone Water Feature Pond.

I thought I would give an update on the pond. It faired well through the winter. I kept the pump running just with the fancy fountain tip removed so that the constant water flow largely kept ice from fully freezing over the top which is important for gas exchange to keep the fish alive. Science tells us that so long as water is liquid, it cannot (salinity aside) get below 32 degrees. So you don’t need to heat the water, so long as you keep it liquid, and the fish will live. But as well there needs to be a way for water to release and get gasses from the air, so keeping a pump going is a doubly good idea. And yes, as you can see in the picture, the 5 goldfish lived. Also tadpoles lived, and the Japanese trap door snails have seemingly reproduced a few times.

The pond hardware seems in decent condition, though I think I may need a new pump. It isn’t moving water as well and it makes a rattling sound which leads me to believe debris has gotten inside of it. I plan to get a new pump soon. At the very least I need new filters for the pump box it sits in.

The pond water has of course gotten dirty, all the leaves from Fall have polluted it and more algae has grown, I need to treat that.

The stonework around the outside has been damaged a little. I had a few stone sculptures of frogs and a turtle and they had some water freeze damage, so I guess they aren’t the hardest stone out there and I’ll have to take them in next year. Also some of my rim stone tile pieces loosened from their mortar bed, the ones I attached with spray foam did not loosen though, so that is another check in favor of using spray foam for that.

The plants all did well, no deaths (some did die in late summer because of a small drought). I was worried that because it was raised their roots would likely get cooler than they would have been if planted directly in the ground. But I largely chose dwarf evergreens which are typically hardy to zone 3 and so here in zone 5 they did fine. Finally, the sedum ground cover has spread a good deal and is almost fully covering everything. It spills over the stones beautifully as in the below pictures.

Blue Steppables Sedum
Purple Steppables Sedum

To view all my water garden pictures see here.

One Response to “Water Garden in Spring”

  1. Water features  Says:

    I find that using a water prof additive in the cement helps to protect the pond surrounds from the perils of frost.

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