Ponds can be LOW maintenance

Photos from last weekend's Plant Swap are posted here. In addition, I've put up some of my Open Garden pics here. Harry M. from around the corner took some of his own photos of the Open Garden. You can view them here.

This young couple (pictured here) brought their own faerie who enjoyed feeding my goldfish. Since I don't normally give the fish any food, this started quite a frenzy later on when I walked by during the clean-up. They now are under the mistaken assumption they will be getting more. Ha! Little fishies should know they are there to earn their keep at any stray mosquito larvae and other pond pollutants.
Speaking of the pond, it was the #1 topic of conversation at the Open Garden. Followed by, "what is that plant?" in reference to anything currently in bloom. That would be Clematis 'Jackmanii,' Verbena bonariensis (aka Verbena on a stick), and Campanula 'Cherry Bells.' Many folks also commented on the fake windows with planted boxes and the rainbarrel design.
What everyone wanted to know about my pond was how much work it is. They are all incredulous when I tell them I do NOTHING after the initial cleaning and set-up for the spring season. Seriously, it is the lowest area of maintenance in my garden. I just muck it out, move the rocks back out that have fallen in over the winter, throw in some floating annuals (water lettuce, water hyacinth, etc.) and a new barley mini-bale, re-set and plug back in the circulating fountain, and step back.
One woman told me a fellow gardener told her you could not go on vacation if you have a water garden! Further, that it took an hour of daily work. Yikes! Perhaps this person has $3,000 Koi that need daily babying, but my little feeder goldfish are Darwinian survivalists and the pond basically takes care of itself. Sure, I should clean out the fountain filter more often, when I see the water stream start to dwindle I get around to it every six weeks or so. Sure, I could sit around and pick off every leaf that lands on it before it sinks. But why? My pond water is perfectly clean and clear. I can easily see the bottom and my fish are healthy, plump fellows. Out in the wild, ponds work perfectly fine without human intervention, let the natural system work for you.
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