Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Pondette

We've been going round and round about a fish pond and couldn't agree on what to do. Our yard is full of trees and even now I am clearing the leaves off the patio to have some semblance of control. So putting in a pond seemed like a lot more work than I wanted to do. But still....a small scale fish pond was possible and I made up my mind to make one. This plastic one is temporary, but I wanted to get the pond plants before they died at Lowe's. Turns out they were thriving in their plastic containers and I got two lilies, one white, one pink and a mini cat tail plant. While I was there I snagged two cannas for 3 dollars each, and they like to live in the water, so we might just put them in when we get the real pond. 
Here's what I ordered. 
It holds 35 gallons and and is about 32" across at the top and 13.5"deep. That plastic tub hold only 20 gallons so it will be a good deal bigger.  

 Here's a view of the six goldfish and the two water lilies and then the start of the mini cat tails. I am so excited to have figured out this plan.
This is the sorta thing I had in mind.
17. Homemade Mini Garden Pond Here’s how to create a simple pond in a pot so you can enjoy water lilies on a sunny deck or patio.

 At Lowe's I was able to find my desired dark purple Chevalier clematis, for only $5. Now is the time to shop for plants. It is too wet and hot to plant, for most people, but for bargain hunters like me, it is perfect.

 The coneflower are opening nicely and I await the White Swan variety to bloom. In the wet days last week I planted some hyacinth beans and I noticed they are up and their second leaves are open already. Woowoo! I hope the fence can handle their enthusiastic climbing.
We have a squirrel problem. The birdseed was kept in this Rubbermaid and it got chewed open and I found two fat squirrels inside, eating their hearts out. Thus endeth the birdseed for the summer. We'll feed the birds and squirrels again when it gets cold. They all can eat the worms and bugs in the garden for now.


  1. Pondette! Ha, Ha. Love your idea for a pond. I think you made a wise choice. We have an 1800 gallon Koi pond, and, while I love it, it is a lot of upkeep, and very expensive to keep up (pump, filter, liner that develops holes, net to keep the herons out). I had no idea when we bought the house. I love your plants for the pondette. I didn't realize Lowes had so many pond plants. I did find a beautiful pond cyperus at a garden center. If it would overwinter, I'd highly recommend it, but I don't think it does.

  2. Check at the Tractor Supply store or something similar. Some folks are using the water containers for cattle and the black watering toughs.

  3. Keep bird foot in tin trash way they can open it.

  4. I used to keep an aquarium. 35 gallons is only good for two goldfish at most. They grow big. They are also quite dirty, producing a lot to be cleaned up. Thankfully they are hardy and can tolerate less than ideal conditions and live in gold water. But still, 35 is too small for six goldfish. For six goldfish you would need at minimum a 70 gallon tank or pond. Bigger would be better. You'll also need a recirculating pump with filter. The filter will need to be cleaned or changed fairly often. If kept in good conditions goldfish can live to be 30 years old or more. Not talking koi. Talking a regular goldfish. They are a commitment. Not as much as a parrot but still, long lived. They are also smart enough to "come" when you call them if you feed them from the same spot the same time each day.

    You might want to consider just the plants in that 35 gallon. Perhaps a few mosquito fish to keep down the mosquito larva. Another consideration with an outdoor pond. Also keep it out of the sun to discourage algae grown, but you'll still need to clean it several times a month, depending on conditions.

    You'll also need to be careful of the galvanized steel in case it's treated or off-gases something. You may need to condition the container before adding any fish. There are plenty of websites with how-tos.

    I usually keep birdseed in the freezer to discourage bugs. You can't keep a large bulk buy that way but you also don't have to deal with birdseed that moves when you open the container. Squirrels have a hard time opening the freezer door too.

  5. I wonder about the heat in your climate and the galvanized container. Will the metal heat the water too high for the fish? I know metal containers can get too hot for plants in Minnesota. Maybe that's why people go with plastic? Your coneflowers look marvelous. What an ambitious gardner you are!

  6. I've had pondettes ( love that ) for about 30 years now . I get more of these each year . You can use mosquito dunks for the mosquitos . It's a biological thing that's completely safe for pets , people , wildlife .....everything but mosquitos . You float one on the water once a month . The goldfish do tend to get big really fast . I use the dunks , so don't need the fish . I've had a little trouble with the galvanized stock waterer I got from Agri Supply. Some things just wouldn't grow in it . I did have goldfish in it that died . No worries , they also make rubberized stock tanks . Love your plant choices . In addition , I grow pitcher plants like you would Cannas . They overwinter well . Water gardening is great . It attracts dragonflies , with the dunks it will kill mosquitos ( they lay the eggs , but the larvae fail to mature . It's a lot less weeding and you don't have to water it every day . I can't wait to see yours thrive. Amazon has mosquito dunks for the best price. I'm pretty sure they are also at Wal Mart .

  7. I love watching your garden grow!!! Pondette you say!!!! LOL. I've always wanted a tiny podette myself - you may have forced me to try one. I think my raccoon will eat the fish????And, yes, I have hit the bargain plants at Lowes & Walmart too!

    1. Try a large decorative glazed ceramic pot with no drainage hole. You can put in some plants and a mosquito dunk and skip the bother of the fish. (You'll never see them anyway. If you want water lilies you'll need one deep enough so skip those. There are plenty of others to choose from. You could try aquarium plants but be sure to "sterilize" for snails and their eggs.

  8. Are you teaching any art quilting classes this year?