Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pleasures of Pond Fish

Fish play an important role in the nitrogen cycle of an ecosystem pond. Not only do fish dine on algae, but they provide a beautiful flash of color as they glide in and out of waterlilies. Koi and other pond fish make great outdoor pets ... even learning to eat right out of your hand, if you're patient! When you have a water garden of your very own, you'll grow to love your fish as much as you love your cat or dog!

An Eskimo Kiss is shared over a trickle of fish food pellets. Fido might look like he's snarling, but he actually adores the fish and watches over them every chance he gets.

This beautiful butterfly koi is a prized possession named Marathon. Special thanks to its owner for the photo!

This ethereal, white koi is truly stunning against the cool, dark, watery backdrop.

This festive fellow shows off his feathery fins, dancing about in the cool waters, swishing his tail first one way, and then the other.

And this golden gal proudly flaunts the latest shade of lipstick.

Sometimes hard to spot in the water, Mr. Dark and Mysterious reveals intricate designs in his shimmering scales.

A window frames the perfect view of finned friends. This is a perfect indoor spot for a morning cup of coffee, delighting in the views of the backyard oasis.

You simply can't ignore this face! He may look like a Grumpus-Ala-Bumpus, but he's actually quite pleased in his pond.

Another black beauty skims the surface of the pond. They say not to name your fish, fearing you'll become too attached. But when you see their personality reflected in the water garden, how could you resist naming your finned friends?

How many koi do you have in your water garden, and have you named them?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

White in the Water Garden

While everyone loves the pop of a pink lotus or violet waterlily, have you ever considered adding whimsical white to your water garden? White is actually the reflection of all colors and all wavelengths. If one of the colors is subtracted from white light, you see the complementary color. For example, if yellow is subtracted from white light, you see blue. Nature is so amazing ... and these white aquatic plants certainly prove that point!

A pair of white waterlilies rest atop a cool pond, one fully open and the other just awakening.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dragonflies: The Devil's Darning Needle

The Dragonfly shares its nickname of "The Devil's Darning Needle" with Clematis virginiana, a vine native to the United States. Dragonflies are quite beautiful and gravitate to water gardens because their larvae, known as nymphs, are aquatic. Next time you're enjoying your pond or other fresh body of water, be sure to appreciate the flight patterns of this amazing creature.

For more information on dragonflies, read "Acrobatic Artisty," a 3-page article with more great photos of dragonflies.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Amazing Water Plants

Move over Misses Waterlily and Lotus ... there are other budding beauties in the aquatic plant world that are just as capable of strutting their stuff in a pond. Too numerous to post in just one blog entry, you can look forward to future posts showcasing more of these frilly fronds and flowers. But for now, feast your eyes on these stunners that are sure to leave you wanting a water garden of your own ... if you don't already have one. (Note: Many aquatics can be planted in soil as long as you keep their feet wet.)

One look at the dainty, lavendar flowers and it's easy to see why water hyacinth is a favorite among pond hobbyists. But be careful, this little plant is very prolific!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Landscape Transformation: Water Wonderland

An expansive, wooded suburban lot was turned into a watery wonderland by a couple who spent years touring ponds and planning their backyard oasis. They wanted their water garden to possess a magical quality that would entice visitors to linger and explore every twist and turn of the streams and waterfalls.

Mulched pathways and stepping stones invite you to explore every nook and cranny, delighting in all the flora (and fauna) of this wooded paradise. A fire pit is located to the right with ample seating.

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