Friday, September 2, 2011
The Montgomery County Water Garden Society 2011 Pond Tour Part I
Last Saturday, August 27th, was a day many east coast folks won't soon forget thanks to the visit of a hurricane named Irene. It is also a Saturday I won't soon forget because the day dawned with a gorgeous sun, light winds, and low humidity-a real rarity in Middle Tennessee in August! It was also the day the Montgomery County Water Garden Society chose to have its annual Pond Tour. Mr. Fix-it, much to my delight, agreed to join me on this lovely day and I must say we had a fabulous time.
It is a little known fact that folks who love water gardens also generally love gardens. This landscape designer and passionate gardener decided a pond tour was just the thing even though I only have a very small water garden of my own (a mere 35 gallons but it still rocks as far as I am concerned). Nonetheless, even while not being big into koi and water gardening the originality and creativity of all of the gardeners on the tour was a real treat. There were a total of seven water gardens on tour and I'm sad to say Mr. Fix-it and I only made it to six of them. The day was very long and the gardens very spread out but so worth visiting. Next time we do it we'll have to plan a bit better. Today's post will be a part one of two posts on the tour.
We'll start at a wonderful garden in Ashland City Tennessee. This was the longest drive (24 miles) and took us through a low lying area near the Cumberland River in Ashland City. Unfortunately this area was one of the hardest hit areas during last May's historic flooding in Tennessee. We did not realize this until we stopped for lunch next to a Wal-mart at Don Panchos and saw pictures of the beautiful building we were dining in under water. Wow on the redo but let's head on to the garden tour. P.S. I highly recommend the Don Pancho Mexican restaurant in Ashland City-it was very reasonable (under $20) for sit down dining and the food was delicious and very generous.
Back to the water garden. I am not a fish aficionado but I know there are many out there who are. I am told the owner of this garden travels to Japan every few years to hand pick his koi. The koi are then allowed to grow in mud ponds for a few more years then are shipped over here where they grace one of the two ponds located on this rural property that flowed by a wonderful natural stream. These koi were the largest koi I had ever seen. Absolutely gigantic! They were very pretty too but honestly I couldn't tell one from another. I know, I know, sacrilegious! I apologize for my views. Nonetheless these fish were special. Some of them are even champion koi because they've won awards in competitions. Very neat on that! Now that you know about the koi let's look at the ponds and the site-my favorite part!
We parked about 100 feet away and had to walk across a stream that meandered down to the larger stream behind the home. As we came to the driveway we were welcomed by a nice sidewalk leading us down to the ponds. See the gorgeous Japanese maple and beautiful arbors? The two ponds were under the arbors.
This pond held the female koi. The females are actually bigger than the male koi. The ponds are spring fed though I am not sure how this all worked.
Here is another look at the beauties. If any of you reading this understand about the markings please comment on these fish if you know anything about them. They are brightly colored and unique and I am sure there are pedigrees with koi just like with dogs and cats but I just don't know anything about them. I'd love to learn though.
Here was the upper pond and I believe this small house may have housed the pond equipment and may also be the spring house to bring in the fresh water. I'm not sure. The males swam serenely in this pond.
The wonderful arbors overhead were a recent addition to the garden. Since the sun was so bright it was hard to get good shots but the one thing the sun did do was allow us to see the great shadow patterns on the ponds below. I loved these arbors for their enclosure, pattern, and the structure they added to the garden.
Once we walked past the ponds we were told we could walk around the huge deck built over the creek. We were even able to walk down to the creek and dip our feet in the crystal clear water where little minnows swam about. The site and location were idyllic.
I took many more pictures here including some of the Japanese maples, trees, and entertaining area but will show restraint and show you this last picture of part of the entry garden. Hummingbirds were buzzing us everywhere and the rudbeckias simply stopped us in our tracks with all their color.
Do you remember when I started this post that this garden was the furthest away from Clarksville? Not only was it a good distance but in order to get to the home we had to travel down a one lane road through some of Tennessee's finest backwoods. It is here that you can truly get the feel for Tennessee and its citizens. This one lane road was filled with roadside gardens of the wild type that included such things as zinnias, ironweed and even the occasional happy cedar man we spotted on our way out. Isn't he great?
in the garden.....
Come back Monday and see the other five gardens we toured.
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden