Friday, April 13, 2012

A Pond Tour in Ray's Garden

As you all know I am now the proud owner of a pond with two koi. The ponds in this post are certainly not mine but Ray, the owner of the ponds, has had a big influence on my pond which I will tell you about as we browse some pictures of his wonderful shady 'mountain retreat' in Clarksville Tennessee.
We start in the front yard where Ray has a 4000 gallon pond. This is about five times larger than my pond! The koi are quite happy here and I don't blame them. Unlike the water in my pond Ray's ponds were crystal clear. He said the trick was to keep the filter pad rinsed out every few days. That is my new tact in my pond since I had to drain it last weekend and start over due to the great deal of mud in my pond. Whoever said ponds were easy must not have a pond! Back to Ray's ponds and streams. The streams were so splendid to listen to and I really think they must make the water more oxygenated when the water falls so far.
Here is a shot of the whole koi pond. I think this pond is about the size of my pond but Ray's ponds don't have shelves in them. They do have a step down ledge but no shelves like my pond. The shelves certainly lessen the number of gallons in a pond. Ray's ponds are consistently 3-3.5' deep. His ponds are truly what you'd call koi ponds as there are no plants in the ponds and the ponds are designed to suit koi. My pond is what you would call a water garden. I am more of hobbyist and like the new area for ambiance and interest and not so much for koi. But don't get me wrong-I love koi too and I have some huge new ones I'll show at a later date!
Now we move to the backyard and wow what a backyard! The yard is dominated by a long stream with a bridge crossing over it at the top of a hill. The stream cascades down to a 7000 gallon pond!
Ray's sweet granddaughter was playing with one of two of Ray's beautiful collies. As you can see the dogs liked the water and especially this spot. Ray says sometimes the dogs knock the rocks down into the pond so they can be a bother in a pond but isn't it cute the dogs have a great spot to cool off in our hot and humid weather here in Tennessee?
Here is a long shot of the big pond. Doesn't that bench look inviting? In addition to Ray having these wonderful ponds he is also a gardener and I could see the bones of the gardens even though not everything had leafed out yet. I so enjoyed talking to him that I swear I could've visited all day. In fact, Ray had extra rocks from his pond and allowed me to buy them for a very minimal price I might add. Those rocks enabled me to finally finish my pond. Without his help I don't think my pond would be done even now. When Mr. Fix-it, the Jimster, and I went back to get the rocks on the weekend we invited Ray over to our place for a visit. I was hoping for some pond tips and he didn't disappoint. Ray is the one who told me I have a mud problem. Of course this is what Mr. Fix-it said all along but don't tell him he was right-okay?
Do any of you play chess? I learned to play chess in elementary school when I joined the chess club. Chess is a thinking man's game and one I think everyone should learn to play by the time they are in the second or third grade. What do you all think? All of my children know how to play chess and can most likely kick my butt in it but it is still a fun game. Can you guess why I am bringing up chess? Ray actually made above beautiful chess board. It is made from leather that he pressed and carved. Can you believe it? I never even knew you could do this. Ray's work is very special.
You all get to meet Ray himself-here he is in Tiger Gardens! Can you guess what another of Ray's hobbies might be? Think beautiful cars!! This is a Karmann Ghia, a German car made by Volkswagon. Do you all know these cars? I bet if you do then you have a memory or a story about them. It seems many people know them but I foolishly did not. Jaguars are what gets my heart beating fast-very fast. They are my favorite car but I tell you this one was a real beauty with its nice restoration job....

in the garden....

Tomorrow is the hugest perennial plant sale in Middle Tennessee! It is put on by the Perennial Plant Society and is located at the Nashville Fairgrounds starting at 9 am. There are tons of cultivars and types of plants including many native plants. You don't want to miss it! Check out the plant list here: It is so big it was just shown on Channel 5 news! Go early to get your picks! Prices are all reasonable!

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Ray certainly has a lovely spot and is a very talented person in many areas. Thanks for sharing your visit.

  2. Hi tina!

    Your pond posts are very interesting! I love them. His pond looks really great with many koi. I read your former pond post and foud your pond really lovely, too. I was a little surprised to find that ponds should be cleaned and drained because the ponds here are usually muddy (shameful) but have some plants such as algae, irises and so on. I look forward a lot to your huge new ones!! Thank you for the tour!!

  3. Wow, those grounds are super good. Sounds like Ray is a very busy and talented kinda gut! Love the car but my favorite is the old 2 seater t bird.

  4. Love your pond. It seems to be more manageable. Rays look beautiful in it's setting. Boy, those cars are something else. They sure don't make them like they used to. I learned to drive in a 1950, black, 2 door, stick Chevy. Didn't know about the right side of the road & didn't know where the break was. lol

  5. I enjoy looking at these ponds so much. The sound of running water just seems to sooth the soul. Now, how does Ray get the water to recirculate uphill? I am eying that bridge also. I so want one over our Run-Off creek. I remember those cars and really am impressed with Rays. Wow, I bet Mr Fixit was impressed as well. Even though he is a Pontiac man…

  6. What a fabulous place. Ray is so talented. My husband had a blue 1967 Karmann Ghia when I met him. Unfortunately it was rear ended and the insurance company wrote it off. We have stayed loyal to Volkswagon by owning a 1965 Beetle, 1967 Vanagon, a 1988 Fox, 1997 Golf and a 2003 Beetle.

  7. Thank you for the tour of Ray's ponds, chess board and car. Obviously, the man likes nice pretty things that are durable. Those fish are beautiful. Swimming art! I can see why he is an inspiration and you've put in a pond. Get tons of great stuff at the plant sale!

  8. Wish I could be at the tose cars and my God those ponds and water features are amazing...that is a true gift to create and maintain!

  9. I love his ponds! I wish I had one in my yard. Nothing is as soothing as water trickling down a fall! Carla

  10. Wonderful pond designs! There's something about water that is so soothing and relaxing. I remember those father rebuilt Studebakers.

  11. I absolutely love the little bridge in the koi pond! This is like the one that lives in my head and the one I hope will live in my backyard one day!

  12. Great photos. That's a massive pond you've to there. You could create your own theme park and throw that VW in for good measure. By the way, it's the first time I've seen that model. I'm a big fan of the Beetle. That's my fantasy car.

    Enjoy your Sunday.

    Greetings from London.

  13. Boy his pond is truly an inspiration! Yes, I could sit on that bench and enjoy the water for a long time.
    Very cool leather chess board. Love the coat of arms on it.
    Cars, like the Karmman Ghia, LOVE the Audi TT. Red of course. :-)

  14. Wow! Three WOWs -to the pond, to the chess boar, to the car! Very interesting post, Skeeter!

  15. I always lose to my husband when we play chess. My mother has pond with koi. Last year at her place there was flood and many of her koi went missing. Ray's have really beautiful pond and stream.

  16. What a beautiful place Ray has! I love the waterfall with the bridge over it. I think Sophie would enjoy it, too:)

  17. Soooooooooo beautiful! The pond, stream and VW!