One of the very best things about my job is learning about and sometimes helping with the creative projects underway in your yards and gardens. It's exciting to hear about your plans, see your photos, and to devise ways of bringing the whole thing together with you. I'm amazed at the ingenuity and talent at work in our neighbourhood!
This past week, I shared Connor's glee when his mum and dad finished constructing their family pond out of a beautiful galvanized water trough, and our young customer could finally pick out his very own fish. Connor tells me that Turbo, Goldie, Ghost, and the others are swimming around happily in their new home. What fun!
I've also been reading, with great interest, the adventures of Jocelyn Durston and her friends. Jocelyn and company are young folks who've embraced a farming lifestyle, and are working a 2.5 acre property just down the road from us. They call it "The Farm for Life Project
" and their hard work is paying off in a bounty of fresh food. Much of their produce can be purchased at the Haney Farmers Market
. The name of the game here is sustainability, and the farmers have the magic touch when it comes to re-visioning scrap into treasure. Check out Jocelyn's portable potager
(and let her know if you have any red paint you'd like to be rid of!).
We're also planning our autumn displays, and we're looking for a good source of straw or hay bales. Let me know
if you can offer a local lead. Of course, if we plan to line the front of the store in bales, we're going to have to move out some of our summer planters. So, we've put them on a Goodbye to July* clear-out sale
. All the details are below--you won't want to miss out on this opportunity to refresh your summer spaces!
*Sale in effect now until Monday, August 6 only. Discounts will be taken off products' regular prices, and cannot be combined with other offers. Discounts may not be applied to special orders, or to past or future purchases.
|Pondering Disappearing Pond Water|
Ah, the sounds of a burbling brook... a whispering waterfall... a slurping pond pump. With gorgeous summer weather comes the astonishing disappearance of pond water, leaving pumps struggling and pondmasters pondering.
So where's the water going?
It's not uncommon to lose an inch or more of precious pond water to evaporation. Some folks report as much as three-inch losses during particularly hot, arid weather, or on ponds with several waterfalls and cascades.
If you suspect that evaporation isn't the culprit, it's time to look for the leak.
Fortunately, most liner leaks aren't really leaks at all. Quite often, settlement of the ground, erosion, and overgrown pond plants, can cause the water to spill over the edge, dampening the soil, mulch, or gravel around the pond's margin. During hot weather, when plantings happily make use of this water, it can be hard to spot these overflows. Water can also wick up through folds in the liner.
The first place to check for over-spill or wicking is at any place where the pond was originally built up from the ground (along stream beds or waterfalls, for instance). Here in our display pond, we're contemplating a low spot against our planting bed; chances are, the maple tree roots and shifting of the raised wall cause the settlement and lapping water. Smaller water plants can cause the same issue. To fix the leak, we'll need to backfill and compact the soil, and build up the slump--being careful not to strangle the tree trunks by raising the soil level too much!
Hunting an actual hole in the liner is an exercise in patience. First, shut down your pump for a day and see if the pond level is dropping dramatically, in order to rule out the issues above. If you have heavy fish populations, you may need to supplement their oxygen using an aerator. Second, drain down the pond a few inches at a time. Using a sponge and towels, carefully dry the exposed liner. Wait and watch patiently... even pin-holes should be revealed as the moisture seeps back through the liner.
A pond water dye could also be employed (I've read that milk works similarly, though haven't tried it). With pump off and once the water has stilled, add the dye slowly, looking for eddies or movement of the dye. In theory, this should lead you to the leaky spots.
Adding Fresh Water
|MICROBE-LIFT Aqua Xtreme|
No matter the source of water loss, it is extremely important that you de-toxify the water as you refill. Even small amounts of chlorinated water can be detrimental to fish. We are great fans of MICROBE-LIFT Aqua Xtreme, which is designed for koi and goldfish ponds, and:
- Detoxifies nitrite
- Removes chlorine and ammonia
- Destroys chloramines
- Detoxifies copper and heavy metals
- Boosts alkalinity
- Adds essential electrolytes
- Supplements fishes' slime coat
- Helps to reduce fish stress
- Instantly "ages" pond water.
To use MICROBE-LIFT Aqua Xtreme, shake well, then apply 1 teaspoon (5ml) per 10 gallons of water. For larger applications, add 1 fl. oz. per 60 gallons of water. Use Aqua Xtreme whenever conditioning water in new ponds, when adding fresh water, or before adding new fish or plants to your pond.
Goodbye to July Clear-Out Sale
Enormous 50-85% savings on summer stock!
- 4" and 6-pack bedding plants - now half price
- Basket stuffers and seed geraniums - 4 for a loonie
- Geraniums, begonias, and veggie starts - just a dollar
- Large regal geraniums - now 50% off
- Hanging baskets - any size or shape, just $15
- Summer planters - any size or shape, just $20
- Deep discounts on selected pond products, pumps and decorative spitters - check out our clearance tables
|Store Hours |
Open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. except closed on Tuesdays.
|Goodbye to July Sale|
On now through
Monday August 6
Discounts not valid on past or future purchases, or on
Arriving in time for the weekend
|Coreopsis Route 66|
|Echinacea Big Sky Sundown|
|Lavender Ruffles Strawberry|
|Echinacea Southern Belle|
|Penstemon Grape Taffy|
Summer Gift Basket Draw
Congratulations to Jennifer A., who signed up for our e-newsletter and won a planter filled with more than $150 in gardening treats and accessories!
"Like" us on Facebook, and you'll be entered for a chance to win our summer draw: a gardening tool tote overflowing with seeds, tools, organic flower and veggie food, and more!