OT - but still part of my landscape

adriennemb2(z3/4)July 1, 2012

On the internet, I saw these open bottom plexiglass towers that you put in a pond which allow the fish to swim up above the water level, magnifying them so that you can see them even better. It's been too hot to garden here so I decided to play in the water, rigging up my own tower. It works! The little baby fish love to congregate in there but the big guys just scoot in and out too fast to get a good picture. They'll likely get over their shyness in a few more day but even so, the tower still looks pretty cool for now just on it's own.

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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

very cool and the surrounding garden looks like lushland.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 1:06AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

adrienne - since we're OT... has the garden tour happened yet? How'd that go? It looks like your garden would be more interesting than the ones on the local tour here this year - very boring tour; I didn't take even one picture of any of the gardens!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Can I do one the size of my entire pond? That's what I would need. I gave up on fish years ago after too many blue heron massacres. I'd love to see a heron perch on top of that and figure out how to get the fish.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Thanks Michelle. We finally had lots of rain in June after nearly a year of drought but I think that we're going to start drying up again big time. Nuts. At least we've never had water restrictions like you do in California - triffids won't grow here in Manitoba.

Hi Woody. The tour is this upcoming weekend. I'm not sure what all will be blooming by then. The veronica, salvia and bell flowers are just finishing up; the Joe Pye weed, monarda and coneflowers are not quite ready. So just some roses, hydrangeas and geraniums for sure. And my foliage-only baskets, of course. The "curse" of an all-perennial garden, eh? It's really not about the flowers but that's what I think many gardeners want, especially around here. Just not me :) Do you have annuals and where do you use them?

lol @ denninmi. I've been lucky so far, so sad that you haven't. Fish, snails and toads are the best part of a backyard pond.

I got this picture this morning. It shows the magnification in the globe.
That's a 2" minnow swimming in the tower and a 6" shubunkin in the water beside it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:32PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

You said you 'rigged up your own tower'... what did you use? It's certainly an interesting effect! We don't have any water features here, largely because this is a West Nile Virus area and we have lots of mosquitoes in the woodland garden, so I don't want to provide any more habitat for them :-)

I don't have any annuals in the garden - except for veggies in pots on the driveway :-) I used to grow Blue Wave petunias for pots by the front steps - they have a wonderful spicy scent in morning and evening. But it wasn't worth setting up the grow lights just for them and I can't seem to find them anymore in garden centers around here, so I just gave up on them and now have Sum and Substance hostas in the pots by the steps.

I think you may be underestimating what tour visitors want... An interesting garden is the main thing I think and many are interested in seeing a more varied and 'complicated' garden than they would ever contemplate growing themselves! Talking to other visitors to the garden on the local tour here this year, that was one of the main complaints - i.e. 'this isn't interesting; I grow all this stuff myself...' or words to that effect :-) The other main complaint was that the owner/gardener was only present and available to talk to in one garden. (And we mainly talked about dogs with them - their dog was a theraphy dog and we volunteer at the local training facility for service dogs (guide dogs for the blind; hearing ear dogs for the deaf; assistance dogs for the physically disabled; seizure response dogs; autism companion dogs - all very interesting.) So the dog issues were more interesting than the garden ones there! Have fun next weekend - I hope the weather is nice, but not too hot!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 1:03PM
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This bowl must be for fish what underwater glass tunnels are for us humans... who knows, you might be helping fish develop a concept of a New World Out There!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 3:09PM
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woodyoak mentioned not having water features because of the mosquito problem. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the circulation of the water, via a pump, keeps the pests from breeding in the pool - or at least, being successful. Also, mosquito dunks are readily available and can be safely used with fish in the pond.

Hope this makes sense. I'm overly warm right now.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 3:43PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

rosiew - yes, I know about moving water and dunks. But the place I'd put a water feature if I was going to have one has no access to power to run a pump to circulate water and I'd probably forget to add dunks! :-) Fish could help take care of the issue too but that they'd need feeding and either catching and bringing indoors for the winter, or replacing every year. I just don't feel that it's worth the effort. I'm happy to just enjoy pictures of other people's ponds or see them in other gardens.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Yeah, hot, ain't it?

Woody's right to be concerned. Mosquitoes are the national bird of Canada and often not that dissimilar in size to the American bald eagle. And besides West Nile virus, you have to worry about Western Equine Encephalitis, which is even nastier. Geez, half the year, you can't go outside here without special precautions because it's dangerously cold; the other half, you can't go out because it's dangerously bug-gy.

I have 4 fountains in all and the pond so I worry too. Moving water and mosquito dunks do work well as do natural predators like dragonflies, pond fish, bats and swallows. Unfortunately, most other human control is largely illusory in the long run. The larva are so well adapted that the mosquito can hatch in any damp area of the garden - even just wet leaves in the underbrush, as Woody says.

And let's not even start on horseflies (affectionately known locally as bulldogs) and no-see-ums...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 4:33PM
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adrienne you have turned up a favourite topic of mine. I was talking with two friends outdoors today and although I was being feasted upon they were not bothered and it is hard not to take this personally. I never knew spiders could bite before I landed here.

See I wonder about ancient wisdom: did the original settlers arrive in summer or winter? If they arrived when everything was frozen, privates and all did they think "let's stick it out the summer is sure to be better or...... I have people advising me to cover myself in mayonnaise letting them bite for the first day because this build resistance and never washing. If I told you how many times I scratched my head while writing this would that be any more convincing?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:47PM
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No, no, no.

If you don't wash, you will attract mosquitoes.
If you do wash, the bulldogs will get ya.

I got to try the mayonnaise trick though...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 6:22PM
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