It’s pond tour season!

pond getting pretty

The pond is heading towards its midsummer glory! Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica – lower right) isn’t blooming yet, but it will be soon. The pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) in the pond is blooming, though, as is the replacement marsh marigold (the older plants were killed off by our late winter cold spell). The Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia – left, along the rocks) is spreading really nicely this year.

July is the month for pond tours, at least up here at latitudes where winter lasts for months on end. If you are interested in ponds (or just at peeking at other people’s back yards), the quickest way to find a tour would be to Google “pond tour” plus your state/province/town/area. Another resource in North America is the NAWGS pond tour search, although I think their results may be a little incomplete.

In greater Chicago, I know of two tours coming up. The Chicagoland Pond Tour is a free tour that runs for 4 weekends in July – see their website for which counties have ponds open on which weekend. It’s associated with NAWGS. The pond tour that my pond is on is run by the Midwest Pond and Koi Society. It runs for 4 weekend days in July, and tour maps cost $15.

I’m very excited and a little bit apprehensive about showing the pond and the backyard to strangers. I’ve gone on three previous MPKS pond tours, and most people have ponds that are bigger and filled with koi. On the other hand, there are very few “small yard” ponds, so perhaps our yard can convince folks in the city and in older suburbs that they, too, can have a peaceful pond in their lives.

So are you going on a pond tour this year? Try it, you’ll like it!


7 responses to this post.

  1. Your pond is absolutely lovely!

    I read in another post of yours that you deal with heavy clay- have you ever tried adding gypsum to it? Worked well for me when I gardened in similar conditions in my ( former) city garden.


  2. Posted by lakechicagoshores on July 1, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Ilona – no, I haven’t tried gypsum. What I’ve done so far is to dig in compost (mostly from bags), and it is getting better. Then again, we’ve had such a dry couple of months that I’m appreciating how heavy the soil is!


  3. How utterly beautiful ! Your pond seems so peaceful.

    We have just decided to embark on the unknown path of getting a compact waterfall installed off our deck . I have been trying to figure out where there is a fundraiser touring ponds and waterfalls this weekend.

    Would you have any knowledge of this? Also, I cannot find a website that can give me information on the tours in July.

    I hate to bother you, but you’re the only reliable source of information that I could find, Would you help me? I sure would be grateful.

    Thank you.


  4. Posted by lakechicagoshores on June 12, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Hi Peg! Depending on where you live, it may be a little early for pond tours. Here in Chicago, they tend to be in mid to late July. The pond tour that we are on is described at – fairly soon, there will be a list of locations to buy the tour guide at. Try Googling “pond tour 2009” plus your location.

    If you are in the Chicago area, there are a lot of ponding resources around here, including gardening centers (Lurvey’s and Sid’s), clubs (MPKS), and manufacturers (Aquascape).


    • You are wonderful1 Thank you for this information. We live in Barrington and are looking for someone to design a 6-8foot waterfall for us. Any suggestions??


  5. Posted by lakechicagoshores on June 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    If you are in Barrington, you might want to start by visiting Lurvey’s in Des Plaines and the big Aquascape center in St. Charles and see what looks interesting to you. Unfortunately, the folks who built our pond are out of business now, but we found them by looking for Aquascape contractors in the near west suburbs. There’s several, so we just picked the ones whose designs we liked best.

    It looks like the NAWGS pond tour in the far west ‘burbs will be the last weekend in July, and the MPKS tour is the last two weekends of July. Tours are a fantastic opportunity to see all your different options – it helped us decide what we wanted and what we didn’t want before we even started thinking about contractors.


  6. Posted by Ron and Angie on July 18, 2009 at 12:49 am

    after our pond had to be rebuilt, we found a company in the northern suburbs by Libertyville, Midwest Pond Design, in case you were looking for a company to assist you.


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