The Waterfall Pond
When we arrived in our Houston-area home, we knew it was only a matter of
time before we got a pond. We had come to love the sounds, plants, and
wildlife associated with a pond, and wouldn't be without one for long. It took
a few months, but by the following spring we engaged a local pond-building
company to install one for us. About the same size as our small patio pond back
in Pennsylvania, but with a waterfall and bog filtration, and all-around more
professional installation than that simple pond I built many years ago.
The pond project came complete with a plant package that included two
waterlilies and a variety of marginals suitable for planting in the filtration
bog and along the stream; we promptly supplemented this assortment with some
additional purchases, so that the pond is already home to quite a few plants.
Which is a good thing, because it is also home to several fish, so the plants
serve the important function of cleaning up fish waste and keeping the water
In the weeks following the installation of the pond, we added a patio area
immediately in front of it, and borders all around – the pond-plopped-in-a-lawn
look isn't what we were looking for. We planted some small pennisetum grasses
right behind the stream area, looking for air-blown movement to complement the
watery movement. Somewhat to my surprise, those grasses grew FAST! By mid-summer,
they were quite tall and formed a solid wall behind the pond. That really
helped to give the pond its own "room". The photo above was taken in early
November, about six months after the waterfall started splashing.
It's fun to have a set of pets outside, to complement our warm-blooded
ones inside. Unfortunately we had a minor tragedy along the way: We're on
our second batch of fish, after learning the hard way that those chloramine
chemicals in tap water really are deadly to goldfish. Leaving a hose running
to top off the pond was a bad move, and killed both the originals and all of
the offspring they had produced. We promise to be more careful with the new
ones (fantails, shubunkens, and a small koi) that took their place.
So far, we're quite pleased with our pond. The sound of water greets us
every time we open the back door (and those fish greet us when we take a few
steps further to the edge of the pond). Dragonflies and damselflies are
drawn to the pond too, and add more movement to the garden. Equally
importantly, the pond gives us a reason to be outside, and so has really
accelerated the process of transforming a bare lawn into a lively garden.
Mrs. Crane stands guard over the filtration bog, where purple-leaved
taro and crinum duke it out with acorus and bacopa
Currently growing in our waterfall pond
Currently growing alongside our waterfall pond
More impressions of the waterfall pond area
Late summer 2019 – the plantings in and around the back of the pond
are radiant in the sunlight, even after a prolonged dry spell.
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November 10, 2019