My father has always been an enthusiastic gardener. A series have properties have been completely transformed under his dedicated care with perfect lawns, beautiful shrubs and an array of pretty flowers. I am sure that his work has added much value to several homes and given him a lot of pleasure in the process but even I was shocked when he moved into his current property a few years ago.
A New Project
He had told me via a telephone call that he was moving to a bungalow with an impressive garden but even the advanced warning failed to prepare me for what I found on the occasion of my first visit. The garden was indeed impressive and quite large but what really grabbed my attention was the water feature that took centre stage. I hadn’t been expecting a sizable pond complete with a fountain and a significant number of fish.
My father had never had a pond and having always rather frowned upon the notion of pets in general, had certainly never shown an interest in keeping fish. I felt that he had a steep learning curve ahead and feared that the fish stocks might be depleted sooner rather than later. I figured that if he didn’t manage to kill them by accident, he might well decide to get rid of them and I couldn’t see him caring enough to bother with them. The distraction of all those shrubs would inevitably prove too much.
The Right Help
Fortunately he quickly found an excellent local aquatic centre who proffered some great advice and who sold everything Dad needed to maintain the pond and care for the fish. He seemed quite taken with the whole enterprise! He quickly improved the garden to the point where he could have charged admission fees to see it and the pond was the perfect centrepiece to the whole display. The pond, complete with fountain, looked spectacular and the sound of the water created a wonderful ambiance for when you sat outside to enjoy the vista. The fish had actually thrived and the whole enterprise had been a great success.
There had been a few mishaps along the way as I had feared there might be. The original pump for the fountain had developed a few problems which had seen Dad having to wade into the water to sort out. I don’t think he was entirely amused by these episodes but he got on with it and an investment in a new pump eventually solved the issues for good. The pond had also been invaded by water fowl which were after the fish and so Dad installed a protective net. I suppose the most notable incident was when Dad was trying to remove something from the water and ended up falling in. It was quite a deep pond and apparently he was up to his neck in it!
All in all I think that Dad has again worked wonders and added value to his property but I am aware that ponds are not for everyone. They can require a lot of work and they do present a danger to small children but that aside they are wonderful features and make for a spectacular garden.
Article by Sally Stacey