Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wet pets and plants

Summer has come and made it's appearance with a vengence this week. It's hot and muggy. I think Mother Nature decided to shut us all up about our missing summer from going from 70 degrees this weekend to over 90 degrees in the span of 12 hours. I'm hiding down in the basement office with Lars and Sam is in the bedroom with the AC on as I type. Ugh, I hate weather like this but I find I am more tolerant of it as I get older. That I don't get. But watch, I'll be one those old ladies walking around in winter coat when it's 75 degrees out if this new trend of mine keeps up.

I wasn't sure what to write about today as I signed in here, but I think water gardening is cooling to the mind. The waterlilies have been very nice this year. I had to secure them a couple of years ago in huge shallow pots with no holes with weedfabric and big stones covering it. I didn't realize that koi LOVE to eat waterlily roots. In fact, it's one of their favorite things to eat. After having a number of waterlilies fail and me discovering their root systems were gone, I decided to outsmart my wet pets. I created little fort knoxes for the lilies and it's worked wonderfully! I have a couple of different colors - dark pink, peach, yellow and white/light pink. I haven't gotten into the tropical ones that open at night yet because I just don't know what I would do with them during the winter. Below are a couple of flowers I snapped from the larger side of Lake Larson. I did know what the varieties were at one point, but I lost the tags. (See that even happens to us pros too)

The Wet Pets are doing well and we've only lost one fish that we know of to the heron this year. I have a great covering of water lettuce as you can see in the lily photos and that offers great protection against herons. The lettuce also has done a wonderful job of clearing up the water too. I was having a big problem with algae and murk this spring and early summer. Everyone always says you need more plants to keep that from happening and they are right. Due to the cool temps of the early summer, it took forever for the lettuce to take off...but now it's over due for me to thin it. It still blows my mind that 5 little lettuce plant will fill the Lake in the matter of a couple of months. Chunk is the big orange blob in the bottom photo and they like to nibble on the water lettuce but the fish never seem to make a dent in it. But, I learned they will chomp on water mint. The fish actually removed the mint from the pot it was in and started to really damage it. I had tucked some of it in behind those horrid yellow flag iris I have and some in the top waterfall. So far, so good.

We have some new residents to the pond this summer. Eric's best friend brought over all of his fish, catfish, snails, and a turtle because he's thinking about selling his house. We also have some little koi I don't think Leo brought over so, they could be babies of our existing fish. That does happen and they do make it. We have a white/light yellow butterfly koi who just showed up one year. I have yet to see the turtle but I guess the plant material will keep him in food so he won't be looking for fish food. But the dark catfish will make regular appearances to the top when I feed the rest of the fish. Our frog who I posted photos of earlier this season is happy as a clam in the Lake. I hear him all the time singing like a cello stuck on one note. He sings during the day and all night long (I've ever heard him signing at 3 am when I've gotten up for some water.) I hardly ever see him now....but he makes sure we and all of our neighbors know he's out there.

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