Posts Tagged ‘Technorati’

Introducing the Water Garden Blog

December 7, 2008

Welcome to the Water Garden Blog, my name is Zac deGarmeaux and I have been a water gardener since I believe the summer of 1991. Only a youngster with a love for gardening and fascination with water and fish I bought my first water lily as a tuber from a pet store.

With a few goldfish and a poorly built pond of probably only 100 gallons at the time I embarked on my first water gardening experience. My mother and I built the pond in a single day while my father was at work as he would not have permitted this idea.

At the time we did not know much, the rocks were scraped together from various places and I think we used a grey tarp as a liner because there was no place to buy liner in our are in 1991. Upon returning home my father was introduced to our quick one day project and was not extraordinarily happy but was not upset either. Soon after the original pond (truly it was not what I would call a water garden as there needs to be plants in a garden, we had 1 water lily from a fish tank and I don’t think it was properly planted) was completed my dad asked me if I wanted to make it look a little better, I could read up on the subject and he and I would take his truck to a local creek for better rocks (northern panhandle of West Virginia has wonderful creek rock) and then we would “redo” the pond a little better.

I was ecstatic, I would much rather have something amazing, like with a waterfall than the little pond we scurried together over a few hours. I raced to the library and got every book they had, which wasn’t much. I think I watched a video or saw a program on TV. I had the opportunity to build the ultimate pond, just like the incredible ones in the photos of the books and on TV, this time with plants and a waterfall. I began ordering all the free catalogs, and sometimes paid catalogs from the back of books and magazines. Lilypons, Perry Slocum, and Van Ness Water Gardens, and fish hatcheries like Zetts in Pennsylvania. At the time catalog ordering was the only place to find these items. The following spring I had everything planned out for the ultimate pond, there was no way Id get the chance again I thought so its gotta be great. I had laid out plans for a two tier pond with a waterfall into the first pond and creek/stream between the two. The top pond was all shallow probably eight inches deep and the bottom pond was probably 400 gallons about 20 inches deep at the deepest part. My dad’s friend Bo Tribbet and his family had a pond before I and I think that is what started my fascination. The fish and plants, he had great koi and water lilies and provided me with some.

The second building of the now two tier pond was a thousand times better though not great at all by today’s standards (it is my experience about 90% of water garden growers go through is process of bigger & better ponds at a minimum of 3 times before they are happy or use up all available room in the area of the pond.

On to year three, I was again unhappy and new this could be better, neighbors were very interested in the second pond and my dad having been a big part of the restructure did not mind me working on the pond the following spring as he enjoyed the daily interest of people asking 100 questions. I raised the original bed of the top pond, enlarged it, completely landscaped it and it became a great upper pond falling now about 24inches down a waterfall into pond 2. I now found local (if you can call neighboring states local) water garden outlets. Trickers in Independence Ohio and Lily Blooms a little closer to home but still a trip. I went and visited the sites once or twice a year picking out many new species of pond plants and having fun with the Annuals. I will never forget my first Tropical water lilies, the Leopardess or first night bloomer the Antares. So many people all these years later have still not ventured into annual water lilies. For $25-$30 it is no more than a great hanging basket or two flats of flowers. The blooms are 100 times as amazing as the perinnial water lilies and you should have one or more of these lilies in your pond each spring.

Over the next few year neighbors began asking me to install water gardens in their yards. This mean more trips to Ohio and plenty of people to talk about my new hobby.

Before I left home for college I added a third pond to my parents home and spent the last few years basically running a water garden department of a local pet store and water gardening had really taken off.

In college about two hours away in Ohio I got a summer job at Lily Blooms, the water garden store and spent the rest of my spare time installing ponds and fixing leaks or completely redoing ponds for people in Canton Ohio and surrounding areas.

After graduating from College I began managing Pond Megastore, a national distributor of water garden plants, water lilies, pond fish and supplies. They began a website in 2005 and have broadened a market of selling a huge class of pond plants, pond snails, and hybrid newly developed water lilies from Florida to Virginia, and through Ohio. Water lilies can now be sent to any home in America. This conglomeration of six water garden facilities joined together to distribute the largest selection of quality grown pond plants in the world.

     I stopped installing water gardens completely and we focused on working with the growers and developers of aquatic plant species. As I work with customers today I find it still upsetting that so much knowledge about the “garden” aspect is lost. Many landscapers seemingly know nothing about water gardens. They install quick ponds with large sandstone (warning cheap and will eventually crush like sand in cold climates) and big pumps that make a short term impressive waterfall but lack any instruction of water plants or water lilies. They even tell customers plants cause algae when the exact opposite is true.

Landscapers also tell people not to plant aquatic species in soil. This too is untrue and we can dive deeper in future posts. I hope to get into some deep discussions on the water gardening subjects and introduce some in depth analysis into some amazing plants you may only see in botanical gardens but I will be more than glad to show you these can easily be grown in your backyard.