Have you ever had a water garden and then got tired of it?

aachenelf z5 MplsMay 12, 2014

I've had a small pond for years and years and have really enjoyed it. It's only large enough for 1 water lily and few water hyacinths and 3 large goldfish I've kept going for about 10 years now. They were just wee little 49 cent fish when I picked them up and it's been fun watching them grow up.

I think I'm finally getting tired of the maintenance. Granted it doesn't take a lot of effort to keep this this pond functioning, but after once again having issues with racoons ripping everything up, I'm starting to think the time has come to let it go.

After 2 nights of attacks by those critters, I did put up the mini electric fence which sometimes works like a charm and sometimes the 'coons figure out a way around it. Even if it does work, it's still ugly and IMO really detracts from the look of the pond. But what is one to do? If you have racoons, there isn't a whole lot that will stop them other than a jolt of juice. Also found out today, Minneapolis has one of the largest urban populations of racoons in the country. Aren't we lucky!

I would have more space for regular plants if it were gone. That could be a lot more fun. I wonder if I would really miss it? Anyone else with a similar experience?


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MaeT(z5 NL, Canada)

Yep I am getting tired of maintaining my small pond. Hubby didn't want a pond put in the garden when we put it in. I mentioned getting rid of it this year and he wants to keep it,go figure. He was really against putting it in, in the beginning.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 11:02PM
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I've never had a water garden... neither has my daughter who is also an avid gardener. I think the two of us share a common goal to make our garden beds as low maintenance as is conceivably possible. Factors such as curb appeal, attractive design, season-long colorful displays + textural contrasts took precedence over special features (aside from my granite garden bench, of which I continue to be happy I went ahead and indulged myself by setting in one bed + her full-size & functional wishing well).

My original and continuing primary goal has been season-long blooms, from early beauties such as primrose & Pulmonaria/lungwort to late season show-offs like Cimicifuga/snakeroot & Tricyrtis/toad lily.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 11:28PM
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We had a medium size pond for about 7-8 years. We really loved it, but it was a lot of maintenance and I finally decided to give it up. We were fortunate to find someone who came and took the liner, filter, plants and fish, dismantled the waterfall and installed it in his yard. Now I can visit my pond but don't have the maintenance issues. I did miss hearing the sound of the waterfall so last year we bought a bird bath with a small fountain in it so we can hear the sound of running water when we sit on our patio at night.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:07AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

have maintained at least one for over 30 years Have a full sun and full shade now . Don't think I'd have them if I had to contend with ice and snow . though lol
Certainly some of the worlds most spectaular flowers .

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 6:03AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I've often thought of a pond, but could never bring myself to commit to one. Between winter, critters, fish being picked off by heron (as is the fish from my friend's pond) and general maintenance, I've just felt that time could be used elsewhere in the garden and there would be less stress. I have been thinking about those rock bubblers though which are natural looking and sound great. That's about as far as I'll go for a water feature. Funny, I just yesterday had a friend at work say he was hoping to fill in his pond after years due to the maintenance.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:04AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Always wanted one - never got round to it....but our woods are surrounded on 4 sides with streams and land-drains from the adjacent reedbeds - have been sowing primula, trollius, even meconops and gunnera.....so, just starting down this watery path.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:12AM
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I had two ponds connected by a stream. After the "dereecho" a couple of summers ago that dessimated our lower pond, we got rid of the stream and the lower one and now have just the one upper pond. I am glad for less maintenance. I still think having water of some kind in the garden is wonderful. The sound of the frogs in March is the first sign of spring for me. We do not have fish anymore because of the raccoons and herons. If I could just have a small water 'feature' I think that would be the way I would go at this point. Removing the bottom pond and stream DID give me more room for plants, which is of course what every gardener wants!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:23AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

No! No! No! No! Never could I have a garden without a pond.
It is the centre of the garden. It is the first place that visitors go to. Small children delight in the fish and dragonflies. Older people sit and dream beside it.
When I was working, the first thing I would do when reaching home, would be to make a cup of tea, or pour a glass of wine and sit by the pond. I could feel all the tensions and stress melt away as I just sat there watching the pond creatures, admiring the water plants and hearing the gentle waterfall.
Ponds are magic.
Fair enough, I have never had to contend with racoons. I think if I did, I would build a small walled and gated garden just for the pond.
I have had problems with cats and herons in the past.
I found that when I put a few drainage pipes on their side at the bottom of the pond, the fish learnt to go inside them when the heron was about. The pipes became their air-raid shelter.
I have always designed my ponds so that maintenance is easy. The pond is always raised so that I can sit on it both for sitting and dreaming and for ease of reaching things.
It is always large enough to find it's own balance, but not so large that maintenance is difficult.
My present pond is tiny, but it is a complete delight.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:34AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Daisy , those are magnificent pictures !!! What a gorgeous , full of your talent garden.
We had a nice koi pond in pa . My husband did all the work but he loved it. Our dog loved to go after the frogs , and I loved to watch the fish. Not sure he ever got tired of it! But if you are tired of yours, then do what's best for you ! I like the idea of just getting a small fountain for the sound !

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:40AM
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Well, mine looks pretty pathetic compared to Daisy's, but here it is in the shade. So no lilies.
Daisy yours is absolutely fabulous!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:53AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Well, both look absolutely lovely.

Shady - Is that a real dog?? If so, he looks very, very content.

Well, it looks like the electric fence may be working. No damage last night. Hope it lasts.

Count yourself lucky if you've never had to deal with racoons. The first time this season I realized I had a problem was the evening I left the pump running all night. I should have know better because these critters love moving water. The pump is just a small recirculating pump with an intake valve on the side and an outflow valve on the top where the water shoots out. I attached a small piece of tubing to the outflow valve so the water would bubble up closer to the surface and cause that nice sound of moving water.

Well, one morning when I woke up, I opened my bedroom blinds to take a look at the garden as I always do. The pond was empty of water. The 'coons had managed to move the pump so the outflow valve shot the water out of the pond and drained it. Luckily, there was still about 6 inches of water in the bottom so the fish survived at least. After refilling it, the next night the critters ate all the water hyacinth. These were the water hyacinths I'd over wintered inside the house for the last 6 months. It's funny, but they don't bother anything else in the yard or garden. Just the pond. Once the water lily starts blooming, they eat the flowers and buds.

For now, at least this summer, I'll keep the pond, but I have a feeling it's going to go at some point.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:59AM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

I tire of the raccoons, but not the pond. I always have one tucked somewhere, even if it is just a tiny little watering hole in size. If a large pond was getting too maintenance heavy, I would probably convert it to a bubbling fountain with a shallow rock bed for the birds.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:02PM
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the "dog" is a statue and drools in the pond. We used to have English Mastiffs. Gyr>>I love the very natural water feature.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:34AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

easy to see that you do alot more than sip wine !! What a delightful mix of temperate and tropical plants !! I prefer pools above ground mainly because I can then smelll the waterlily.
Count your blessings that you don't have raccoons A wall to keep them out would be at least 100 feet tall preferably electrified and with guard dogs a few armed guards would be helpful lol
In my case they push pots over and are generally obnoxious but not fatal.
When I had a larger ground level the neighbors dog would do a few laps . Most interesting for me are "diving water birds " need a lot of water cover to stop them.
can be prevented by making the pool shalllower BUT
makes it just right for waders Above ground generally stops turtles but not the bane of pond keeping here "Cane toads" I do have a colony of southern leopard frogs which don't sing too much and seem to discourage the canes
Anyway beautiful garden !!! gary

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:10AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Shadeyplace, your pond in the shade, gives it an air of mystery. It is a magical place.
Gry, The branch over the pond and the old tree stump are brilliant touches. Great photo.
Thank-you Kevin, Lilyfinch and Gary. I am lucky that I don't have anything as bad as racoons. Just herons, cats and polecats!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:57AM
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ilovegardening(10a San Gabriel Valley of L.A.)

In March, I decided I'd had enough! There was a pre-fab pond in my backyard that my brother had installed some years ago for my mom. The problem? It was in FULL SUN--so fighting algae was like a full-time job. I don't use or allow any chemicals on the property because of all the wildlife, including peafowl, that visits, so fighting algae wasn't fun. My mom's gone now, and it's my property now, and I debated whether to remove the pond because I knew she really liked it...but in the end, out it went. I had its hole filled in with potting soil, and I now have several gardenia bushes and a ton of perennials growing there. I'm very happy with my decision.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 2:51AM
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