Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Watering Hole

We don't have the time or the space for a big elaborate water feature in our garden, but we do like the sound of the water and enjoy watching the birds use the water for bathing and drinking so we have several small water elements spread through out the garden. We have a big glazed pot with a dwarf pink water lily up by the house. Small birds will stand on the lily pads while they take a bath (this drives the dogs nuts!), or sit on the edge of the pot to take a sip of water. We have another pot with a rush-like plant up in a shady corner, it is hidden away, just waiting to be discovered by visitors. A large plant saucer of water is tucked under a hydrangea and is used by many birds at bath time, the robins seem to really enjoy it. Up near our garden shed is the largest water element, it is a small (40 gallon) pond/water hole with brass frog spitter; Berry loves the frog!

Overall, everything is really low maintenance. All of the still water dishes need leaf litter removed and water added occasionally, and everything but the bird bath (it is dumped out and refilled several times a week) needs part of a mosquito dunk, and an occasional splash of Algae Fix once the weather warms up.

The The water lily needs to be divided and re-potted every-other year, and needs to have a fertilizer tab stuck into its pot one a month (April through September).

The pond is also easy to care for. A home made filter keeps the small pump running smoothly and an occasional dose of algae fix keeps the water clear. The pond is very simple, just a big hole with a 40 gallon Rubbermaid water trough edged with rocks. A small pump sends water through a brass frog sitting the edge of the pond. I add algae fix to the water as needed, scoop out fallen leaves, and top off the water whenever I have the hose near by. Once a year I pull up the pump and clean out the filter. The photos below show how the filter and pump all go together:The filter starts with a mesh water-plant pot with a hole cut for the pump's electrical cord and one on the side for the tubing that connects the pump to the fountain. Connect the tubing to the pump and feed it through the hole in the side of the pot. Connect the tubing to the fountain head.Submerge the pump into the water, turn it on and check it's flow; adjust the pump as needed. Wrap the pump in polyester quilt batting, tucking it all inside the mesh pot.

Set the pot upside down on the bottom of the pond.Set a rock or two on top of the pot to hold it down. If the pond isn't full, this is the time to fill it up.Now just once a year or so, turn off the pump and pull out the polyester batting filter material and rinse it out. If there is a lot of sludge on the bottom of the pond use a shop vac to remove it.

1 comment:

Cottage Smallholder said...

Hi Basil and Berry,
I have tagged you for the seven random gardening facts meme. Follow this link