Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Small Pond = Big Rewards

I’ve never been involved in the building of a home. I’m told the process is arduous, but the results make it all so worthwhile. So it is with this little pond I made this summer in Bob’s backyard.

Here’s how it went:

February: I proposed a magazine story about a container pond, with fish and plants.

March: I ordered and received a clear, heavy-duty, plastic bag liner for a half-barrel.

April: I bought a half-barrel from Home Depot.

June 1: I inserted the liner in the barrel, trimmed it to size, bought plants, and put it all together. I admired the creation.

June 4: Bob bought three goldfish.

June 6: The liner leaked, a little.

June 7: The liner leaked, a lot.

June 8: The magazine story was cancelled.

June 11: The fish died. The half-barrel needed to be refilled twice a week.

June 12: I was tempted to throw in the towel.

June 13: I ordered a hard plastic half-barrel liner (about $20) from Dries Do-It Center.

June 19: The hard plastic liner arrived.

June 20: The hard plastic liner was made for a genuine half-barrel, rather than the cheap garden version. It didn’t fit.

June 20: The barrel now needed daily refilling. It was making a muddy mess of the patio.

June 20: I was tempted to throw in the towel. Seriously tempted.

June 21: I dismantled the plastic-bag-lined barrel and put the plants in a leak-free bucket.

July 26: I dug a hole in the ground for the hard plastic liner, inserted it, leveled (very important step) and filled it, and added plants. I stood back and admired the creation.

July 29: Bob bought three more goldfish.

August 8: A visiting frog arrived!!

How sweet is success! The goldfish are subsisting on algae, floating water lettuce roots (maybe), and mosquito larvae (hopefully). The frog is not eating the fish. Plants are thriving. Butterflies are happy. Life is good.

And all it took was two hours of digging!


  1. Seems easy enough. Can you tell me again where I can find the cheap plastic liners which create months of frustration? ;-)

  2. John, the source has been permanently erased from my memory!