Pond Evolution 2008

The pond is 3 years old this weekend, so it’s time to reprise last year’s pond evolution post with the addition of this year’s photo.

Pond - August 2005

Year 0 means muddy water and no plants or fish yet. But, hey, ain’t that pretty mulch?

Pond - August 2006

Year 1: Things are starting to fill in. The water lily and water lettuce have taken over the lower part of the pond. The trellis is up, but not much is growing on it.

Pond - August 2007

Year 2: The grape woodbine and Dutchman’s pipe are starting to cover the trellis. In fact, the former is covering all the ground between the trellis and the pond, climbing up the biofalls berm, and snaking underneath the bench back by the side of the garage. The lobelia patch at the lower right corner of the pond continues to grow.

year 3

Year 3: Today.  The grape woodbine has now crept around the entire patio side of the pond and is launching an attack on the lobelia.  The water lily has recovered from last year’s pruning, and the water lettuce and water hyacinth have covered the pond, even though I keep pulling out handfuls of both to toss on the compost heap.  The Dutchman’s pipe (left 2 panels of the trellis) has really grown a lot since last year.

It’s clear that the changes are slowing down – the pond and the garden have matured.  Not that it won’t be nice to see the small trees (serviceberry to the left of the trellis, arborvitae behind the bench, and Japanese maple in front of the bench) get larger, but there isn’t a lot more to fill in.  Certainly with the grape woodbine, it’s time to prune like mad!

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8 responses to this post.

  1. I can’t believe how lush & mature it looks after only 3 years! What a great job you’ve done in creating a garden oasis. I love the Blue Lobelia, isn’t it just the best plant for late summer color?
    BTW, I’m trying to get all the Chicago garden bloggers together for a meetup sometime this month or early next month. If you are interested, leave me your email in a comment. I will delete it timely & contact you with info.

    Reply

  2. Posted by lakechicagoshores on September 3, 2008 at 8:03 am

    I get great enjoyment watching bumblebees try their hardest to squeeze into the lobelia – it’s definitely set up for much smaller bugs! It looks especially nice with the marsh phlox.

    Reply

  3. I agree with MMD that this is indeed an OASIS in the city. Wow, it just looks great and to have the pics from all three years to see how amazing plant life can grow in the right conditions is wonderful. Don’t be surprised if you find me in your neck of the woods one of these days relaxing on that bench in the back! 😉

    Reply

  4. Posted by lakechicagoshores on September 26, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Now I just have to figure out who or what is crawling into the pond at night and messing with the water lily and munching on the water hyacinth!

    Reply

  5. What a beautiful work of art you’ve created!! 🙂 I cannot think what might be causing such problems, if it’s not a raccoon…

    Reply

  6. Posted by lakechicagoshores on October 2, 2008 at 8:29 am

    I’m guessing it’s a raccoon, too, although I’m not sure how well opossums swim so I can’t rule them out. Maybe they’re hungry for water lily roots?

    Reply

  7. It’s very interesting to see the pictorial evolution of your pond. Do you have any postings on the actual construction? I’ve contemplated such a thing for a couple of years now. Does it take a lot of electricity to power the pump?

    Reply

  8. Posted by lakechicagoshores on April 15, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging when we had the pond put in in August 2005 (I should probably dig up those old photos…). Basically, we had a now-defunct Aquascape contactor do all the design, digging, and installation. It’s a pretty standard Aquascape Pro installation with a biofalls and a skimmer with submerged pump. It took them 2.5 days to do the whole thing. I did all the planting in and around the pond.

    We didn’t notice a huge bump in our electrical usage – the pump is pretty small. It was certainly under $10/month. We’re now on real-time pricing, so most of our usage is at very low rates since the pump runs 24 hours a day. This is not to say that we’re not considering hooking in some solar, but that would be more for our satisfaction than for any sort of reasonable payback period!

    Reply

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