Sunday, April 15, 2007

Don't Let This Happen To You ! !

I know it's a bit melodramatic but this is what happens when you buy a cheap birdbath and leave it out over the winter. I noticed after our last bout of freezing temps, that there was a hairline crack in the bowl. Later I was trying to empty some watery ice from it and it fell apart in my hands and into the garden. I suppose I should have brought it in but . . . .

this concrete birdbath I've had for at least 10 years and have left it out all the time. And not one problem. Steve got this for me as a gift and paid quite a bit for it back then. And it is worth every penny. I want to replace the broken one but there aren't any birdbaths out at the stores yet. But . . . .

instead of birdbaths, I found these cute planters. Actually, they are quite big - about 8 - 10" across and heavy! They were at my local Steins Garden Center where I also stocked up on animal repellent to do battle against the deer, rabbits, and my true nemesis, the crafty vole. Yes, he's (or it's) back and No, I don't think it was ever gone. He's eaten tulip bulbs and tunneled around the Main Garden as well as moving into an abandoned chipmunk hole conveniently located a foot away from said Garden. But . . .

he hasn't made his way to my little pond. This is an interesting story - trust me - it is. In this very spot was a huge and wonderful oak tree that I loved - I called it the "Old Man Tree". Sadly, it had chlorosis and couldn't be saved and died. When it was cut down, Steve built a garden surrounded by rocks (two layers high) and added a plastic pond form. Here is how it turned out . . .

Very beautiful and I have fish and plants in it during the summer. I have 3 large orange and white comets (like giant goldfish) and 4 small shubunkins (poor man's koi) that are wintering in our basement in a large kiddy pool with a bubble stone in it just waiting for it to warm up a bit. I also have a small fountain in it and the sound of splashing water is wonderful. The birds and creatures love it and

this Green frog lived in it all summer. He became very tame as you can see. In fall he wanted to stay in the pond but would have died so I put him in a container and drove him to a small river near our home. I felt bad 'cause I'd never see him again, but happy that he had a real home of his own. Hopefully, another frog will visit us this summer.

Steve hauled the rocks from different places on our land and figured out how they would fit together best. As you can see, he isn't a big guy, but he's very strong and muscled all these rocks around with just that red dolly! It took him about two weekends of solid work and he created a wonderful focal point for the back garden. He loves working with rocks and has done many beautiful projects around the house and gardens. He has a special knack for it and I wish he'd been able to do it as his life's work. Unfortunately, he ended up in the same factory I work in. Actually I'm glad he did, otherwise we'd never have met.

To make this long story short, the pond is a memorial to the big old oak who stood in that spot for almost 80 years. A fitting one, I think.

Last Fall I planted miniature species tulips and scilla around the pond and if you look closely at this picture, you can see another creature that is visiting.

Bye for now,



Crafty Gardener said...

What a shame about the birdbath ... but you could use the pieces to do some mosaic work. The other birdbath is gorgeous and looks like it will last forever. Your pond is a wonderful tribute to the old oak. I have enjoyed looking at your photos.

Lizzie A said...

Your garden looks amazingly beautiful! My little brother has always wanted a pond, but our backyard is so big and beautiful that we were never sure that we wanted to give up space to make one. I am sorry about what happened to your bird bath. We too have a cement one, and the only problems that we have with it over the winter is that the water freezes in the pipes and then no water gets out to to birdies.
I hope that you are doing well! Have a great rest of the day and weekend!