|Waterfall and pond at my old house.|
While we are waiting for better weather it can be fun to look at various elements that can be added to our yards. An increasingly popular element is the natural pond. Today's ponds are a far cry from the old concrete and stone ponds of our grandparents day -- the ones that seemed to crack at least once a year and let all the water leak out.
Today's ponds are lined with a non-toxic and flexible liner, are run with very efficient recirculating pumps, and contain both physical and biological filters to keep the water clear.
A system like this allowed me to keep a separate little ecosystem going for 20 years now. Over 20 fish have lived among the flowering waterlilies and other plants. The sound of the waterfall combined with the colorful flashes from the darting fish were mesmerizing and worked to smooth a furrowed brow many a time.
The maintenance chores required to keep this system going were less than that required by a lawn. Once a year you have to do a serious clean-up. This is a wet and muddy job, but you can always hire someone like me to do it for you.
Pond plants, like other perennials, need to be trimmed and deadheaded once or twice a season. The rest of the year you have to "top off" the pond when it gets low and make periodic adjustments to keep the pond ecology in balance. For those who find turning on a garden hose straining, an automatic filling system can be added.
In short, despite appearances, having a pond is something that works even for lazy people like me.