ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Slipshod Gardener 5: Pond Development and Defeat

Updated on June 19, 2013


In its heyday, my little pond was a magnificent oddity. At the same time I started my pond, a neighbor was starting hers. One day as she passed my place on one of her regular walks, we shared our visions for our ponds and I mentioned wanting cattails. What I meant was miniature cattails. But before long she arrived at my house with a wheelbarrow full of a sloppy mess with the long fronds of full-sized cattails. I could hardly refuse the gift after hearing her story of extracting them from a church pond and her effort in delivering them to me. Besides, if I was willing to have pumpkins, why not six foot cattails? So for the next two years, my house was easily found because it was the only one on the street with cattails in the front yard. I acquired Louisiana iris for the pond as well, giving it a decidedly spiky character.

The second year, I bought a cheap water lily to replace the ill-fated expensive one of the first year. The cheap water lily thrived and the frogs enjoyed the lily pads.


Life within the pond was settled but life around the pond remained problematic. After the squash bug disaster of the first summer, I had planted chrysanthemums around the pond because it was fall and they were just about the only thing available. I have never liked mums much and didn’t buy them with any enthusiasm. They are annuals, though, so I expected them to die over the winter.

They didn’t die. They came back stronger. They grew into large, robust mounds that nicely offset the spiky iris and cattails. They produced their first full head of blooms in mid-June. Once those faded, I sheared them like a hedge and they continued blooming every few weeks until cold weather curtailed their vigor.



That fall my scavenger beau and I passed a construction dumpster filled with concrete slabs being cut from the floor of a store being renovated. My beau saw patio blocks for his place. Since he lived furthest from the treasure and time was a factor, the first batch salvaged was unloaded in my back yard.

The third spring of the pond, I began eyeing those blocks. My pond was now charming enough that I wanted to sit by it. Out came the pick-ax. I made a vertical cut in the house side of the mound. I don’t know if watching me getting each block into a wheelbarrow would have provided more comedy or suspense, but I didn’t break any bones and a short, forlorn wall with pond-level seating resulted.

Too many complications

Unfortunately, fire ants decided the space between the seats and the pond was ideal for them. And the frogs and the fish all dove for cover whenever I approached, so the purpose of the seating was never fully realized. I was better off viewing its life from my porch with binoculars.

Opposite the seating area, grass was taking over. I didn’t have enough money to keep it heavily mulched. I put some rocks around the pond’s edge, which the fire ants also liked and the grasses simply went under.

I’ve never had a good relationship with weed-eaters and I didn’t want to spray herbicide so close to the water’s edge. In the spring of 2012, I admitted to myself that keeping up the pond’s edges was too much for me. I put the liner on Marshall County Freecycle. It was gone within a week. The pick-ax went into action filling in the hole and the mound shrank yet again.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)