Saturday, April 09, 2011

How to make a water feature out of a pot

Water features are always an interesting and attractive addition to your garden.
They are easy to set up once you have chosen the pot that suits you and your garden.
Don’t worry if the pot has holes in it as they can easily be filled with strong filler.
Obviously you must have a large enough clay pot that will keep the water cool enough during our hot summer so the fish do not boil.
My smallest pot contains about 150 litres of water.
The first job is to hose out the inside to get rid of any loose particles.
Then the pot must be sealed, my preference is for water based bitumen paint, I give the pot two coats within two days then leave to dry for a minimum of 10 to 14 days.
There are a number of sealers you can use, just visit your local hardware store for a selection.
Use tap water not rain water as tap water contains more mineral content, then use a chlorine neutralizer and a pond conditioner, I use a product from a pet store called ‘blackwater’, basically it ages water..
I then place a besser block on the base with the holes free for fish to shelter and place the water plant pot on this.

Cover the dirt in the pot with loose gravel as this will stop the dirt from making the water cloudy.
Do not use organic soil, use pure dirt.
Put your fish in and a bit of waterweed and you have a beautiful feature in your garden.
I collect my fish from a local creek and they are very hardy and learn to live on mosquito larvae and any other insect that falls into the pot.
You will probably need to clean out the pot every couple of years so there’s not a lot of maintenance.
If you are in Queensland depending on height of pot you may need to make it cane toad proof.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

March garden news 2011

It has been a very busy month in the garden. The garden has had to be in virtually ‘open garden’ condition for the whole month as we have had a stream of visitors through.
First to visit were Aspley Garden Club unfortunately they were running late and left within half an hour, this was extremely disappointing as they did not have enough time to see the garden. We provided morning tea which was probably a mistake as a lot of them did not get out from under the back patio, the visit left me very frustrated.
On the following Sunday the Gold Coast Bromeliad Society visited, stayed for the afternoon and really enjoyed the garden. Then on the following Saturday Judy and I drove down to the Gold Coast to give a presentation to their club. My presentation was exceptionally well received and we were very impressed with this club’s organisation. It was also good to see John and Jenny Catlin at the meeting.
A bus load from Indooroopilly/Kenmore Garden Club visited and thank goodness they stayed for the whole morning and were able to enjoy every bit of the garden, we also provided tea and coffee, they bought some homemade cake with them. This was a visit we enjoyed.
So much to do in the garden as it had to be in tip top condition seeing how we have had three bus tours through this month and with all the rain we have had everything is growing very fast and there’s lots of trimming and pruning to be done.
I finally took all the horizontal beams down from the shade houses as they were cca treated and were poisoning the plants, it was a very difficult job but well worth doing.
This is so true.
I had 25 square metres of ‘Sweet Smother’ grass delivered to be laid in a couple of shady areas, the previous load of this grass has been a real success.