Day 59-SIP-Thinning the Crop

Finally, we have a nice day and I was able to work in the garden. I don’t last much longer than an hour but each hour counts toward getting a nice view. Today, I completed removing pond grass from the stream in front of the water fall. The root system is enormous. I wound up cutting into the root mass and pulling the grass out that way.

When my pond was first installed, I had a small pool at the base of the waterfall. To give it interest, I planted a single grass plant on each side. Needless to say, over a period of twelve years that single plant spread to the point where several things were happening because of it. First, the grasses grew so high they blocked the view of the water fall. Second, the root masses grew so thick that they made the stream narrower and thus deeper. That meant the water often spilled over the banks. Thirdly, the grasses created a sieve which collected silt and fish waste. This also made the pool in front of the waterfall shallower which in turn caused number two to happen.

It took me three years of staring at the system to finally understand why I was losing water from the pond. The water progressing downstream was being sucked up into the root system by siphoning and then over the banks into the garden . Have you ever wondered why it is green next to a river?

To solve the problem I installed a special valve which allowed me to trickle feed the pond with fresh water everyday. My water bill showed it. The next chore is to cull the iris plants that have done the same as the grasses. They have managed to take over one end of the pond. It looks messy and out of balance, because there is too much growth in one place. I feel that pond plantings must be in balance to make the picture pretty. Without constant maintenance the pond would become overgrown and eventually turn back into land.

When I have finally completed the iris thinning I will install a new pump and restart the water fall and river. The last pump ran for three years without stopping and crapped out in January when it was way too cold for me to do anything about it. If you have ever had your bare hands in 32 degree water you know what I mean.

In between the one hour of garden time and the three hour recovery, I am finishing my latest intarsia project which I am calling Corona Tester? It is a teddy bear dressed to look like a nurse and she will be holding a thermometer.

The days are long enough now that I can take my walks or ride my bike in daylight after supper. Then it is time for a movie.

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