Marty's Garden, December 2015


I have cut down some of the perennials and filled up my compost bins, but left others for winter interest. I still have about seven bags with dried leaves for shredding and this weekend will be a perfect time to finish that job. Then this finely shredded material will be put in the back yard where it decomposes, adding nourishment to my garden.


The fish are still swimming about, coming up to me whenever I am around the pond. They probably wouldn’t mind getting a little bit of food, but I stopped feeding them weeks ago. They nibble off the sides of the pond, getting some sustenance. I added the pump to the pond to keep a hole in the ice open, if and when it actually starts getting cold and ice once more reclaims the pond. For now, though, the pump will provide extra oxygen to the water and I am sure the fish appreciate it.


The Spouse, now retired, has been put in charge full time of the lawn. He raked leaves (hence my bags of leaves for shredding), mowed and edged. Then he raked some more as the cherry plum tree was slow in shedding its leaves. As the temperatures remained quite nice, he mowed and edged some more as the grass kept growing.


Give us another seven months or so and he will be put in charge of the (bigger) front lawn at our new house rather than the (tiny) one we currently have. I also promised him I wouldn’t start converting lawn into gardens in the foreseeable future. No, this green swatch will be his domain for a number of years to come. Instead I will be busy turning an empty backyard into new gardens, dominated by a large pond for the koi. Already I am busy working with a company to get the (10,000 gallon) pond my koi deserve now that they pretty much have outgrown their 1,200 gallon pond. After pouring through tons of pictures of ponds and swimming ponds (i.e. natural looking and maintained swimming pools) I finally stumbled upon the one I want, with a few changes and additions. It has to have a waterfall; check. I managed to find a picture of the perfect waterfall, cut it out, glued it into my picture (yes, old school, cut and paste) and photo-copied the result. Instead of wood, I want to have some stone surrounding the pond so it will fit in nicely with the (yet to be built) patio next to the house.

Future pond in PA resized

It also needs a good filtration system to handle not just my current eight koi, but some additional ones and those babies that undoubtedly will hatch from eggs as my fish start spawning when conditions are right. After all, with a pond eight times the size of their current home there is room for expansion! Ah, but at this time the pond is still like pie in the sky.


With all the house plants back indoor, spread out in five different rooms, I try to stay on top of watering, once weekly wherever they are. Occasionally a few plants go thirsty and show their displeasure by wilting and dropping leaves. With winter only ten days away I am already looking forward to spring, moving and starting a new garden. It’s going to be a very long winter this year!