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Low-Maintenance Water Gardens

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    Painless Water Gardens to Enhance Your Peacefulness . . . .

    Do you love water lilies? . . . Koi? . . . the sound of falling water? . . . the jeweled rainbows of a fountain's spray? Do you have a bad back? Are you busy? If you answered 'yes' to at least one question in each of the first two paragraphs, this is the book for you! Water gardening is something that I have always wanted to do, but was daunted by the sheer volume of work . . . and the risk of what could go wrong if I made a mistake. With Ms. Nash's help, both problems can be pleasantly removed. The book starts by helping with planning and construction. What effects do you want? Sound? Fish? Shape? Match to your home? Lilies? Fountain? Put it in full sun well away from trees and shrubs. Pick a spot that is elevated so that there will be no run-off into the water. Also, be sure you are well above the water line. The book goes on to help you select materials, considering the initial costs versus the maintenance involved. You also get a sense of what maintenance is needed during each season, and how you can use preventive maintenance to avoid work later on. The book contains many practical principles and ideas that I never would have considered. For example, you can put a screen over the water during the season when debris is most likely to get into the water. There is also an inexpensive skimmer you can make that works automatically. How you filter the water is an art in and of itself. I loved the concept of how you can use a combination of natural filtration and an easy-to-access pump to create clean water. As an example of another great idea, Ms. Nash suggests having one white fish if you plan to have fish. Changes in that fish's color then will help you monitor the quality of the aquatic environment before unnecessary stress develops. If you aren't sure what kind of water lilies you want, the gorgeous color photographs should be a great help. The appendix even has all kinds of useful ratios of the sort the new water gardener is likely to need to know, but will probably not remember. Unless you are planning to create something on the order of Monet's garden at Giverney, you will find this book tells you more than you could possibly need to know. Keep it as a handy reference, and you'll soon be enjoying a marvelous water garden designed to suit your own preferences! After you finish enjoying this book, I suggest that you also think about what other changes you could make in your garden that would make it more peaceful for you . . . with minimal effort and maintenance. Do you have a bird bath? Do you have a set of wind chimes? Establish a natural balance by thinking through the processes that need to be established and maintained . . . in all parts of your life! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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