I'm learning by observation, trial and error. That works, but I know some of you out there have a lot more experience than I do at gardening. I have to decide soon if I'm going to dig up the other half of the pond filter and clean out all the debris. I dug out half of it the first summer we lived here and that improved the quality of the water immensely. But the other side is all root bound too. So. . . . I thought I'd start by looking at pictures of the pond over the years to see if I can see any patterns.
Here's what the pond/solarium looked like in 2008 when we moved in! The house had been empty for a year.
OKAY---going way back to 1988 where the water cleaning system started in tubs in the solarim. They were also trying out aquaponics and other things.
Sadly the wood had to go because of the infiltration of slugs. They were so bad that apparently you couldn't walk out there with stocking feet for fear of stepping on a slimy slug! Yuk. I guess they didn't want a duck.
The water cleaning system moved to the basement because of filter flies and smell as I recall.
I don't know when this was. I'm going to have to guess sometime in the 1990s. The vine isn't there yet and the plants are mostly potted.
This must be from the early 2000s. Bob, the builder, was doing talks around the state and this was from his slide show.
In the back around the pond that very tall airy plant is dwarf papyrus. I haven't tried that one yet. On the right side of the pond in front of the dwarf papyrus was a green tall plant that stood upright until it got tall and then it fell over. It never bloomed. It was kept (I was told---
because it grew despite the aphids! :-)
I see the ivy was growing along the sides by this time.
Winter 2004???? I'm just guessing. There's no more dwarf papyrus. It looks like lots of geraniums and begonias. Way in the back on the right side is a jade plant. It was dead when we moved in, so I replaced it. It seems to like growing in the corner---not too much sun.
Our first summer here: 2008. It was rainy and we hadn't started cutting trees yet. It's funny that we bought a palm tree. Obviously that died even before the summer was out--too cold.
The white on the leaves is just sunlight---no flowers. This is BEFORE I cleaned out half of the bio-filter which was root bound. It's also before I started cutting back the ivy.
I put in a bridge to the back deck door---you can kinda see it back there.
Early summer 2009 -- the summer I cleaned half of the biofilter. That was the summer with sun and we had cut down maybe 5 trees so more sun could get into the solarium.
|Cleaned out and new plants added.|
|The 'Not Cleaned' side of the biofilter----the cattails are fake|
Here's the pond during the summer of 2009
We were trying to cut the amount of sun into the pond because it grew algae. We put duckweed in the pond. We had so much duckweed that summer (hot weather?) that we made duckweed soup. It tasted like broccoli soup. I tried Hostas in the swamp that summer and they grew well until fall and didn't come back the next year.
You can see all the things I tried growing that year in the biofilter around the pond. I had many pots there covering up the gravel. I planted the irises, ivy and the cally lilly directly into the gravel.
THAT WAS THEN(March 2008)
THIS IS NOW(February 2011)
What's next??? To clean out the right side of the pond's biofilter or not???
What edibles will work?