Moving the koi to the lee of the stone

I spent this morning working in the pond in the front garden. I find this a very peaceful activity among all the chores. I was skimming leaves and twigs that were getting in front of the filter. It is not a very large pond by any means, maybe only about 600 gallons or so, but I had always wanted a fish pond and I like this one. A pile of river stones collected from around the property and a sheet of heavy glass form a waterfall. I love the sound it makes. I was one of those kids who always had to play in fountains, so you can imagine how much I like this feature now.

When I first came to the farm, the whole thing was in very lamentable condition. The TFH (tenant from hell) kept fish in it and had the whole thing lined with heavy black plastic and covered with smelly old pieces of carpet. He had drained the pond when he moved, taken the filter and left the rest of it for dead. My friend Lisa hated it, and was always imploring me to just fill it in. She said it looked like a giant Hefty garbage bag with water in it. It did, but I like a water feature in a garden so I waited till I could get a chance to spend some time exploring it before giving up. When the time came, hours were spent with wrinkled noses, removing the carpet and pulling up the black plastic in spite of the unspeakable smells and sludge. To my surprise there were many layers underneath but when we finally got to the bottom of it all – it was cement! WOW- someone at one time had put some time and care into building it. It had rocks set in around the rim, and you could see it had been nice to look at once up on a time. I could tell it had some hairline cracks but was redeemable. After borrowing the neighbor’s power washer and applying two coats of asphalt pitch it was restored to a usable state and re-filled. I traded some stuff to a gal for a used bio filter and we were in business.

I have one of those big black rubber horse troughs that I use in the back field to grow water plants. I rescued some koi eggs from the pond on the farm behind me last spring, put them in it and to my amazement they hatched! The trough was in an out-of-the-way corner in the back, so I did not always get around to feeding them everyday but there were some survivors. A few of them are even 3-4 inches long now. I netted them into a bucket and brought them up to the front garden pond a week ago and have been training them to feed in a certain spot on the edge. I have been landscaping around the pond with ferns and lillies and other bits of tropical looking plants that I can beg, borrow or steal from various sources and it is coming along nicely now. It is in a kind of hidden area in the garden, but when people see it they always stop and say how beautiful it looks. It is close enough to the house that the sun reflects off of it and makes those shimmers of dancing light through the window and on to my living room walls in the early morning. I enjoy this very much. Ha ha Lisa!

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