Friday, December 21, 2012

I was gone, but I'm back, at least for today

Oh dear, I was just chastised for disappearing and indeed I did.  Now with the new year starting, I really do need to pay attention to the blog again.  My past months have been way busy trying to get the house in Arkansas renovation completed. And get this house sold. Between those two projects, twittering the book, regular for-pay-writing, this blog has suffered greatly.
Levonne and all my other 3 or 4 followers, I am sorry.  Thanks for the heads up.


Saturday, November 03, 2012

More Hurricane Sandy Info

OK, you are downright sick and tired of no electricity or gas by now.  You are cold, have thrown food away, can't get gas for your generators and are downright pissed because you see several hundred power company trucks from all over the country parked in your local Walmart or Kmart. They are playing cards, barbecuing and drinking beer. Why the hell are they not out there making my power go on?

Here's the deal:  These folks arrived from some other state.  Someone has to coordinate efforts to tell them where to go, what to fix and when to fix it. Because you are a union state, they can only work so many hours in any 24. You are not allowing non union companies from out of state to volunteer.  They drove a long way for nothing.

Anyway, some poor SOB has to communicate with all of them, give them driving directions to somewhere in a city they have never been in, work with equipment they have never seen with folks they do not know.  And their workers have to work together. They can't just walk up to some pole and rewire it.

We know you are pissed.  We Katrina survivors went through it. We watched the guys try to work as fast as they could with live wires.

Please try to understand.  I know it's hard.  But they are doing their best.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Surviving Hurricane Sandy



I survived Hurricane Katrina. I know it was 7 years ago that Katrina hit, but when a storm runs away with your house and all its contents, you remember.  Trust me, you remember.

Now many of you are trying to survive after the biggest storm so far this decade.

I learned a few things 7 years ago.  I would like to share them and just maybe they could help you.

First call FEMA.  Program in it your phone. 1- 800-621-FEMA (3362)
When you finally get through and it will take many tries and hours on hold.  They will give you a case number. Do not ever forget it.

Have your homeowners insurance declarations page .  Never put it down. Have it with you at all times. This dictates what you can collect. Same with your flood insurance.  Anyway, give that info to FEMA.  The 'decs' page determines how you will make it through the next few months.  You will become as familiar with 'decs' as I am.  In fact, you will learn an entirely new language.  

Get a small spiral bound notebook or use whatever you have to start making notes.  Every phone call you make, write down what time it was, who you spoke with and what happened.  You will not remember even if you think you will. Write it down.

Take pictures. Lots of photos. And then take more. Write down what they are and when they were taken.  You will need them when dealing with your claims adjuster. 

Go to your insurance agent's office. They do not have a claims adjustor there. That guy comes later. But often the insurance agency will give you an advance based on your future claim.

FEMA may also deposit money in your checking account, no questions asked.  They did after Katrina. You can use that money and the advance from your insurance company to pay immediate needs.  Even though you may not be able to work, all those bills still need to be paid.  You may not have a phone or electric or gas, but all those companies want to be paid.  Chances are your cell phone company will give you a few free months. Ask.  It's also possible your mortgage company will suspend payment for a couple of months.  You still have to make payments to catch up. They won't just tack the lost payments onto the end of the mortgage, but at least you can catch your breath for a month or so.

Your insurance company will send a claims adjustor to your home.  This man or woman is NOT your friend. His job is to NOT pay your claim or to pay the very least possible.  Be strong, be adamant and do not accept his first offer to pay damages. Do accept an advance if you have to pay for something immediately, like tree removal perhaps. 

If you are not familiar with current constructions costs, find someone who is. Even if you have to pay someone who does professional estimating. Find a person who has been an estimator, not someone who became one a day or so and after the storm.  

Churches and local helping agencies may help you meet your immediate needs.  They will give you food, water and ice.  They also have mops and buckets on hand.  They may even volunteer to help you clean up at your house, but if you are homosexual, butch up and do not mention that. You will lose that mop or bucket if they find out or suspect.  Or they may run out of water and ice when you drive up.  

Do not hire anyone who knocks on your door and tells you they can fix your roof or driveway or walls or anything else. Chances are they will overcharge you and possibly just take your money are run.  Use trusted companies you know.  Or check the company at the BBB or even online review can help. Do not use an out of state contractor for anything. They only came to get a piece of your insurance money.  They really don't care if they do any work or not.

Watch out for price gougers at gasoline stations, grocery stores or hardware stores.  If prices seem outrageous, call your state attorney general and report it.  It does and will happen.

I could write dozens more pages here. If you have specific questions, I will be glad to answer them here.  

Good luck and write everything down.

I survived

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pond Equipment Winter Care

Pumps, filters and UV lights 

When temperatures drop, winter pond care is necessary. Algae growth stop, so you can disconnect your filter and UV light if you have one. Remember you only need filters and UV lights if you feed fish. If you make them work for their room and board by eating submerged vegetation and in turn fertilizing it, you have no need for filtration or UV lights. 

As the temperatures drop to 39 degrees F, turn off all pumps and fountains. Fish like to stay in the bottom of the pond where the water is warmer, so don't stir up the water and lose the bottom layer of warmer water. 

Remove your pumps now, check the hoses for leaks. Clean your pump, clean and wipe down your filters and UV lights. To clean tubes and remove lime scale, you can wipe them with vinegar. 

De icing 

When the pond freezes over, you must create an ice free opening in the ice, so gasses can be exchanged and the fish can breathe. You can buy deicers, but if you do, buy the ones that are used to keep horse trough water from freezing. They cost about 1/4th as much electricity and work better. And cost much less to run. Another way to keep a hole open is with a plastic jug that milk or water came in. Put a couple of cups of water in the jug, tie a string on it and float it in the water, tying the string to something you can reach easily. If the pond stays iced over in the morning, pull the jug out and you will have a hole in the ice. If the temperatures stay below freezing all day and you expect them to stay there, you must use several jugs or a different method altogether. You must be vigilant if the temperatures continue below freezing because ammonia and carbon dioxide build up from fish breathing. Ammonia is also generated from decomposing plant material and fish waste. If these gasses can't escape, your fish can die, plus they need oxygen to breathe. 

If your pond does freeze over completely for more than a day, do NOT whack it with a hammer to open it. The shock can kill your fish. Use warm, not hot, water from your inside faucet to open a hole. Just run it over the ice or put it in a pot or bucket and put it on the ice. You can also run water from your garden hose and the ice will melt, unless you live where the hose is frozen too. I have heard of people putting a piece of black visqueen on the ice to thaw it, but have never tried it. Let me know if it works. You can do these things daily, but I think the plastic jug is easier. And, of course, the deicer is easiest, but also costs a few dollars. 

Some people build a frame over their pond, like a cold frame, out of PVC and visqueen to keep the pond warmer and protect it from debris falling in the winter. This can be a good idea because we tend not to pay as much attention to the pond in winter and a small problem can become a disaster if not prevented. 

Do not run a pump that brings the warmer water up from the bottom of the pond to the top. Pretty soon all the water will be cold. If you do put a pump in the water, raise it to only 10 or so inches from the top. That will leave the warm water at the bottom where the fish are more comfortable. 

Fish food, liquid bacteria, fertilizers 

Now is the time to discard all fish food, if you have been feeding fish. It loses nutrients over time, so throw it away and buy new in the spring. 

Buy all the pond things now that you might need this winter because no stores stock pond supplies in the winter. 

Be sure you have enough dechlor, Microbe-Lift and any fish meds you may need. 

If you do these few simple tasks, your pond will come alive happy and healthy next spring. 


Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Day Off


Didja ever open your eyes in the morning and and decide to just write off the day.  

Yup, that was the idea when I woke up.  A couple of weeks of packing and moving and driving and unpacking and searching for the other half of whatever I needed made a day off sound pretty good.

A day off what, you ask?  I am retired from a 'real job' and all I do to make a living is write…..and we all know how easy that is.  But today was MY day. To putter in the garden, maybe even to take a ride to see the fantastic fall color in Mountain View AR today. 

I managed to eat breakfast by about 10 am and the phone rang.  It was the company that provides water to this part of the world.  In this little town, the water company calls when they think you have used more water than usual.  She asked me if maybe I had left a hose on. That's how much excess water I used and my bill reflected that. And that was the end of my day off. 

First run around the house to check all possible places water could be leaking.  Silence everywhere.  OK, now off to turn off the water to the whole house and see if the meter was still running. The meter is about 200' from the house near the road.  Meter was still running.  I could see a Ditch Witch in my future. A huge yellow monster in my yard making a long hole and costing hundreds upon hundreds of dollars.  

Checked the house again.  This time I opened up the closet that the water heater is in.  I heard some sort of hissing sound.  Huh?  Felt for water up, down and all around. No water. Opened the relief valve.  The hissing sound stopped. The meter stopped running. Shut the relief valve off.  Meter was stopped.  Go figure.

And so went my day off.  

Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Pond in Winter


We are coming up on winter. Many of you have cold days and freezing weather at night already.  The pond looks like a gray hole in the ground sitting in the landscape.  A few basic things will get your pond and fish through the winter safely.

•  Put your tropical aquatic plants in the garage.  You will probably lose them anyway, but there is a chance they will be OK.  Even if they die back, they will most likely come back in the spring.  

• If you have hardy water lilies, put the at the bottom of the pond and don't worry about them. They will be back in May, none the worse for the ice and snow.  Same with any hardy plant.  If the plant grows naturally where you are, it will grow just as well for you. Most aquatic plants are only pretty weeds anyway.

•  Remove your pump from the water. They don't like to be frozen. Put it in the garage with the filter. (Take this opportunity to clean it thoroughly.)  Check all the tubing and replace the old, hard and brittle stuff with new.  Hose clamps too.  The newer ones made in China don't last very long, so buy new if they are deteriorating. 

•  The need for a pond heater has been debated for decades.  Some folks use them to keep a hole in the ice.  Pond does need to have a hole in the ice if it freezes over and stays that way.  But there are other ways to do it. Throwing a gallon jug with some water in it, keeps a hole open. Remove it in the morning and put it back at night.  The pond heater works, but is expensive to run, so alternative methods can work just as well.  The pond heater will not keep your pond from freezing solid, just keep a hole open so gasses can be exchanged.  The fish go into torpor, but still need some oxygen and the carbon dioxide the breathe out needs to go somewhere.  

•  If you built your pond below the frost line where you live - you can find that out from your county extension agent - the fish will be fine. They just stay dormant at the bottom of the pond, but you must still keep a hole open. Tropical fish will not survive and must be brought in when the temps go below 55ยบ.

*  Do not run your pump to keep your pond from freezing.  It mixes up the water and brings the warmer water to the top. Leave the warmer water at the bottom so the fish will be happier.

*  Winter is a difficult time for the small ornamental garden pond, but performing these few duties yearly will bring your pond through the winter and it will come back just as beautiful next spring.

Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Things I think about.


Each year somewhere around my birthday, I have a look back at my ever increasing years and write down things about myself that seem important, at least at the time

1) I cannot seem to recover from PTSD following the loss of our house in Hurricane Katrina even if it has been 7 years.

2) I once took a year long motorcycle trip and visited every national park in the US.

3) I am so glad I did so much traveling when I was young and could enjoy it more.

4) I spent so much time in church as a youngster, I said I would never ever set foot in one again and haven't

5)  I spent years studying organized religion and realized that it is a huge power trip by the leaders who want only power and control over many.  National politics is much the same.

6) I am very spiritual, knowing that we are all part of the same natural web of life.  I find myself and all others in nature.

7)  I am probably the shyest person on earth.

8) I am completely at ease with a microphone in my hand standing in front of 10,000 people.

9) I question everything. Always have and always will.  It got me in lots of trouble and still does.

10) I love learning and never want to stop.

11) I read drug store trash novels.

12) Motorcycles mean freedom to me.

13) I only worked to feed my travel addiction.

14) Retirement is OK, but getting on a ladder or picking up something heavy is much harder to do.

15)  Surviving Katrina was the hardest thing I ever did. No, quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did. Surviving Katrina was the second hardest thing.

16) When I came out, the whole world suddenly came clear.

17) I think swimming is staying alive in the water, but I loved to water ski.

18) Sailing is a great way to spend any amount of time.

19) I rarely leave the house without a camera, but am not a great photographer and it's time I accepted that.

20) I am a hack writer. Most all writers are better than I am, but I still keep grinding out words.

21) Everything I have done in my life to make a living was a success.

22) I was 48 years old before I found my passion and earned a living at it.

23) The politicians of the United States are owned by corporations. Their running of the government is only an attempt to keep their jobs.  

24) I think my great-nephew is a cool kid.

25) I just moved to Arkansas to my dream house.  This house and land makes retirement fantastic.

Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hanging Pictures

Isn't one of the last things one does in a new house to make it home is hang pictures?  I have been doing that and at least one room looks like home. A messy home, but that's normal as well.
And another thing that makes you know you are at home is problem that needs fixing.  Mine?  A stopped up toilet.  Do I know where the plunger is?  Of course not.  Good thing I live in 6.5 isolated acres.

Don't forget my book. It's a great holiday gift for the gardener in your life.


Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ

Friday, October 12, 2012

Moving is a Mess

I am still moving to Arkansas.  Seems like it's taking forever. Maybe because it is.  One more trip and lots of craigslist postings/garage sales, freecycle and I hope to be here for good.
Let's see what's been happening beside moving.  I turned 71.  All this physical activity drives that home.

Garlic is in the ground here.  I am in Arkansas for at least another month to 6 weeks until the next trip.  So I planted garlic. I'm told the deer will not eat it this winter.  Crimson clover is coming up down by the pond. (Isn't there a song named Crimson and Clover?  Those words sound good together, don't they?)  Just seeded that a few days ago. That is for the deer to eat come winter.

I am also hoping that the deer realize that they cannot be shot while on my 6.5 acres, so they come here for safety during this hunting season.  Guns boom at all hours around here this time of year.

Reducing the stuff that was in a 3000 sf house so it fits in a 1300 sf house is not a job for the faint of heart.

While you are waiting for the blog to start or winter to be over, buy my book and read my website.


Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It might be fall where you are

But it sure isn't fall here in New Orleans.  We did have some cooler weather for a few mornings, but it was just a tease until the real thing comes along in a few weeks.  So, down here, our ponds still look like this with tropical plants making the landscape lush and green.

And misters turning the garden into a magical place where faeries live.

Up where you live, you are perhaps looking at your first snow
Me, wandering around Mt Rainier

Or writing me letters wondering how to overwinter your pond and pond equipment.

To find those answers, you can:
Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ


Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Pond Care

Those pretty tropical pond photos were fun, but now that the seasons are changing, it's time to concentrate on some of the nuts and bolts of pondkeeping.  Here's an article I wrote about fall pond care.

http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/fallpondcare.html

Sadly, very soon we will be talking about winter pond care.





Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.


I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Even more pond design pics

Want to hear lots and lots of water.  After packing this pond chockablock with plants, pumps, tubes and waterfalls, the client wanted to hear even more waterfall sounds.  So I attached a hose to a pump and pointed the hose up.  The higher the hose was, the more water came shooting out.  You can do this with a small pump and hose if you just want a bubbling sound at the top of the water.   It's easy.


This was not just a pond building job, but an entire garden landscaping job.  In fact, it won a city wide design competition. The owners were thrilled. We all were on television....in our pond building clothes. But we had champagne.  At 8 am.  

We had mostly sun to work in. The owners wanted no grass at all. They certainly were my kind of clients.  
After removing the grass, we dug the pond hole and build the pond first.  Then we installed that lattice you can see to help hide the yard from the neighbors. 

These folks lived on a busy street near a very busy city intersection.  The picket fence was already there, so we used it as part of the design.  The path leading to the picket fence was flanked with spots of specimen plants and underplanting just where the windows were in the house.  

We used the same rocks to make the path as we used to make the pond.  Arkansas moss rocks in case you are shopping for some.  

Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.

To learn more about pond design read my book.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ





Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pond Design, Continued

Let's keep showing pond design solutions.  I know it seems simple just to dig a hole and fill it with water and in many ways it is, but making that pond fit where it's dug is as different as the people who will live with the pond in the garden.


This client had a long, narrow back yard. He wanted to hear waterfall noise.  In fact, he installed a baby  monitor outside the bedroom window so he could hear the sounds inside while going to sleep.
This pond is 22' long and about 8' wide. I built a hill in the yard, so we could put a path behind the pond and it could be viewed from 'behind the set'.  Of course, that meant there was no 'behind the set', so I used plants on both sides of the path to cover the back of the waterfall where the tubes and hoses are and against the wall that formed the back of his yard.   You can see both waterfalls. For some reason two waterfalls worked better than one long one.


This pond was mainly in the shade so the plant palette had to be specific to shade plants.  Notice the ferns and even a croton in back of the waterfall.  Putting plants behind a waterfall and in front of a fence solves two problems:  Covers the back of the waterfall and separates the pond from the fence. One of the biggest mistakes DIY pond builders make is to back the pond right up against the fence.  Water does not come out of fences and we can't figure out why we don't like the way it looks. Put plants in between and you will suddenly like your waterfall more.


Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.



To learn more about pond design read my book.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ
Learn to build your own pond.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Formal Pond Design


This pond was at New Orleans' famous Broussard's Restaurant.  I did not build it, just needed to make it work again after being a festering hole for years making their courtyard a not-so-nice place for dinner.  After installing and plumbing the bronze cranes, I added aquatic plants and tropicals to soften the look of bricks and make the space more inviting.  If customers wished, they could even sit on the sides of the pond and enjoy the subtle splash of the water coming from the cranes.  I changed the seasonal color with the seasons.


You will find this pond in the courtyard of Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans.  That huge vase-like structure in the middle leached lime to the point of starting stalactites into the pond.  Of course the water chemistry was so far off, plants would not grow.  I started adding vinegar by the gallon when the officials of the church would not redo or remove the vase.  Each week, I dropped by to add more vinegar.  Finally these plants grew and soon after, the pond was supporting water lilies and more.  It was a losing battle, but vinegar took care of the hugely high pH as long as I poured vinegar in it.  It smelled like the congregation was dying Easter eggs or was having Caesar salad after services each week.  
It was a beautiful structure, but never really successful as a pond because of poor materials.


Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.

To see more photos and get more ideas, read my book.

A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ
Learn to build your own pond.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More pond design

I am continuing the series of photos giving ideas about how to best design your pond to make the most efficient use of space in your garden.   A well designed pond 'fits' in your garden and in your lifestyle.


Sometimes a pond is HUGE. This waterfall is so big I had to climb up the bottom to build the top.  It has an artesian well flowing over it, down a creek and into a 7 acre bayou.  I had to add pumps at each of the 3 waterfall levels to create enough water sounds to make the waterfall look and feel right.
You have to have the space to make a pond like this one work.


Wow, what a bad photo.  This photo was taken a few minutes after the pond was finished, as most of my photos are.  I used color to make the water feature stand out in the partial shade it was in.  Using foliage colors and broadleaf shapes is a great way to make a pond look as tropical as this one does.  It should, as it's in Bay St Louis, MS.  Tropical is easy over there.  The Chinese fan palm backs up the waterfall. That's almost a signature of mine and makes a great backdrop for a waterfall.

Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.

To see more photos and get more ideas, read my book.

A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ
Learn to build your own pond.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pond photos

Maybe you can get some design ideas from ponds I have built.  Most of these are free form ponds with flexible liners.  Occasionally a formal pond done with concrete pops up, but not often.  My first love was making a pond look like it was there before a house was there and the house intruded.


This one was in a front yard.  See what happens here in the tropics when the plants just keep growing without being tended. Cutting back rather than encouraging to grow is how we tend our gardens.




Another example of our plant palette here in zone 9.  Isn't it wonderful?  I took this photo five minutes after we finished the  work. The rest of the crew is still cleaning up.


Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off what you have done.


To see more photos and get more ideas, read my book.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ
Learn to build your own pond.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

More design ideas

I found early on while starting to build ponds for customers that most of them didn't want formal concrete boxes, but free form natural looking ponds. They wanted to feel like their back yard was part of a forest.  I loved building those kinds of ponds.  And a side effect of all those ponds was that the pond was part of a backyard habitat that allowed critters a place to get a drink of water and probably find food as well.  Yes, often that food was our goldfish, I know. But since we stole the habitats of the wild critters, perhaps our ponds could help pay them back for that theft.

Here's what I mean:




I sorta put critter pics up. I promise design pics tomorrow.


Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off what you have done.

Don't forget my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ
Learn to build your own pond.



Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Recalling Ponds in Pictures

During these last days of the heat of August, I will continue to post photos of ponds I have built over the years.  Some were easy and others were more than difficult.
By the way, the owner usually made the difference.  People, if you treat the folks who are working at your house with respect, you will get a better job.  Yelling at me always resulted in walking off the job and never returning.

Now on to pretty pictures.
I built this pond for a delightful couple who loved color.  We put color everywhere around the pond and the rest of the yard. Both were inveterate gardeners, so they had lots of input into the color pallette.



We had a spot that demanded a peaceful feeling, so next to the pond, I placed round river rocks to make a bit of a dry stream bed.  It lent a zen feeling to an already relaxed garden.  Sadly the entire house was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.  The pond survived, but the owners moved to another city.






Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off what you have done.

Don't forget my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ
Learn to build your own pond.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Summer is still here even if Isaac isn't

Although much of Slidell is flooded and without electricity, all is OK here on our end of town.   So it's time to call the emergency over and get on with what needs doing.

Oh, I got word from the carpenter at the Arkansas house that the sliding glass door is installed in the master bedroom. That makes the entire wall facing the ravine glass.  I will be setting up the above ground pond just off the deck when we get there for good.  It's gonna be a combo pond and birdbath.  The critters need water and the birds love their baths.  It's the greatest entertainment in the world.

Building an above ground pond is easy.  I built this one pre Katrina.


Here's how it's done:

In fact, this is the pond that the article documents. Above ground ponds are more expensive than in ground ones because they use so many more rocks. But they are certainly worth it. They allow you to have a pond when you can't dig a hole for whatever the reason.  This pond was under too many trees to allow digging a hole.

If you fill one end up with rocks, you have a birdbath. Easy.

Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off what you have done.

Don't forget my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ



Monday, September 03, 2012

Life returns to normal

I went to replenish all the groceries we lost from the freezer and refrigerator yesterday.  I shoulda stayed home.  The shelves were almost bare.  I was reminded of photos of stores in Russia (or was it one store and only in Moscow) that we were shown photos of in the '50's.  They were always bare and folks were queued up waiting for a moldy potato.  Or something.   Hey, I was under ten years old.

Anypotato, I ventured out for the first time since Isaac visited and at least I tried.  Frozen veggies had been there since before the power went out and then just allowed to refreeze when the power returned.  Meat and dairy shelves were empty.  As a vegan, I eat nothing from those shelves, but it still looked strange.  Fresh veggies were scarce and very possibly were 5 days old.  I did pick up a few that were not soft or mushy.

I did find out that when store supplies are lean, I don't spend much money.  I sure do miss all of our garden frozen freshness.

Visit my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off what you have done.

Don't forget my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ


Sunday, September 02, 2012

Isaac is officially gone

It's getting to be fall in parts of the US.  Down here in New Orleans, it's still summer and filled with heat and more heat and will be for another two months.  But in the northern parts of the country, fall is starting to show up in the mornings and evenings.
So I am talking about fall pond care today:

http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/fallpondcare.html

This article is on my website at pondlady.com.  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off what you have done.

Don't forget my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here http://ow.ly/btFJQ

Saturday, September 01, 2012

After Isaac

Isaac has come and gone. He did significant damage, much more than  I expected.  At our house,  the biggest problem was loss of power. We were HOT HOT HOT!  I finally plugged in an inverter in my car and ran an extension cord in the house to power a fan.
We lost everything in the freezer and fridge.  We expected that, but are sad to see our garden veggies in the garbage can. We could have cooked it after the power came back on late yesterday, but were just too tired to do so.
So the grocery store will make a few bucks from us today.  I am so glad to have AC. We don't realize how much we need it until we don't have it.

Read my book about ponds to learn more about these almost maintenance free beauties: Get it here.

Join us at http://www.pondlady.com to discuss your pond and any pond problems you might have.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

Our local media is spending 24/7 on the air whipping folks into a frenzy over Hurricane Isaac.  Isaac is supposed to come ashore on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and follow the same path.  Therefore we are having flashbacks of that awful time.

But Isaac is only a category 1 storm and Katrina was  a category 5. That's a big difference.  So big that aside from making extra ice and storing extra water, we are planning a few days of relaxation.

People in South Louisiana are already evacuating, but so would I if I lived a few inches above sea level and tides were expected to rise several feet.  Wind pushes the ocean inland as well and those levels can get much higher, sometimes up to 20 feet.  So, yes I would be pushing north if I lived there.

We are a grand 12' above sea level here and some 6 miles from Lake Pontchartrain.  I am pretty sure we are safe.

Oh, what do we do to our ponds to keep them safe during a storm like Isaac or Katrina. Absolutely nothing, that's what.  And that's nice.

Read my book about ponds to learn more about these almost maintenance free beauties: Get it here.

Join us at my interactive pondlady website  http://www.pondlady.com

And here's a pretty photo just for something nice to look at while we watch storm clouds coming in.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Photos continue

This pond is in filtered sun and under lots of pine trees.  The empty spot screamed for a pond, so I built an above ground one with cinderblocks and a liner.  Because of the shade, I was able to plant taro in the water.  Gotta be careful of taro tho. It's invasive.



I got this pond on Bainbridge Island in Washington State up and running again to the delight of this guy who greeted me in the morning and defiantly claimed it as his.

I wrote a book about ponds.  You can buy it here.

And don't forget http://www.pondlady.com if you want to show off your pond or get your pond questions answered.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ponds I have built

I am gonna post some photos of ponds I have built through the years. They might give you an idea of how to design your pond.

Pics keep me from having to think of a real post......

This is pond on concrete and the second floor of a condo complex. Because of its size and that it was in full sun, I used a UV light and commercial filter at a cost of nearly $4000.00. There are 12 tons of Arkansas moss rocks there....and we hauled them up to the second floor by hand. Whew.


This pond was a joy to build. Or I should say rebuild. Someone did it wrong, so I had to fix it.  The clients loved plants, so we did the best we could to add plenty of them.



Oh and buy my book:
Click here

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Hard Copy, Maybe.

I am working on getting my book published as a hard copy, one you can hold in your hands.  Even take into the field with you as you dig a hole.  I don't know all the details yet, but will let you know as I find out.

Hold a good thought.

You can get it via ebook now.

here


Come visit us at pondlady.com for answers to your own pond questions from experts who also hang around there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

About My Book.

I pop up when you least expect it.  Like a bull frog in a pond.
Have you seen the ranking of my book, "A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond?"

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,681 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)


Kewl, yes?  The book was published February 10, 2012 and has rarely sunk below the top ten best sellers in the genre.  

If you are here looking for pond information, then you need to buy one.  

Just click  HERE and in less than a minute, it will be on your e-reader, photos and all.

Have a great day. 

Jan