Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our first water garden

Our tubs, buckets and pails of Lotus plants are getting to be like cry babies, always looking for attention. Not that they make shrieking noises when they need something, they just look sad and limp when they need more water.

Since their roots are confined to small and shallow containers, their water requirements need to be checked often especially during hot and sunny days. This situation was brought to my attention months ago and we had to come up with a quick solution if our Lotuses are to survive in the garden.

Ideally I would have opted for a ground level pond complete with water features and landscaping for a more  natural look. Eventually this is what I'll shoot for, but for now the well-being of the Lotus plants must be addressed as soon as possible.

Thus, we decided to build a bigger container in the form of an above ground pond. This is cheaper, easier to build and easier to maintain than an elaborate, natural-looking pond. So, Dad and his crew went to work and built the pond adjacent to the "mother" garden.

The Lotuses are now happily residing in the pond. Since there are room for more aquatic plants, a Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) and another yet unidentified plant were added. There are also Duckweeds (Lemna minor) which hitchhiked with Lotuses and began to float only after the Lotus containers were submerged in the pond.

We have Umbrella Papyrus (Cyperus involucratus) growing in a place where they don't get any attention so I asked Mom to put some in the pond too, but that's after they've been quarantined to make sure they don't harbor snail eggs. Currently they're in isolation at the back porch. It will be a disaster if aquatic snails get into the pond as I mentioned in my older post "What lies beneath..."

To solve the potential problem of the pond becoming a breeding ground for blood-sucking, virus-carrying mosquitoes, we added some fishes as well. There are a few Tilapias, young Kois and Comets contently living in the pond.

To keep the color of the pond from turning completely green due to algal bloom and the water healthy for the fishes, fresh water is added daily delivered by a hose connected to a spring-fed source.

A pond can be classified as a fishpond, koi pond, wildlife pond or a water garden. So, is this structure a fishpond or a water garden? Definitely a water garden. Although fishes can be added in a water garden they are not the main attraction of the pond but rather the various species of aquatic plants. The plants take the center stage while the fishes are just extras.

Someday, if the forces from above are willing, there will be more ponds and water gardens in different parts of the farm.