Good morning! Deacon (the naughty black lab in Tiger Way Gardens) says hello! He is standing on his now completed dog ramp, that could someday double as a wheelchair ramp. This ramp has been a lifesaver for Deacon's buddy AJ. AJ has hip problems and cannot climb steps all that well. The dog ramp also doubles as a runway for the dogs to come straight out of their room into their dog pen; which, true to form; has nothing in it for the dogs to destroy like they did in my other garden. It is a simple 50' x 50 dog pen. Although, the naughty lab has managed to pull his wool blanket out into the dog pen so he can tear it apart. Let me tell you, labs can be very destructive and I had no clue when I first got mine!
This is another view of the dog ramp looking toward the house. The dog ramp wound up being 30 feet long, 4 feet wide and the slope rises about 30". It is a pretty easy ramp to traverse and Mr. Fix-it and I built it well and to last. The ramp forms the northern boundary of our soon to be patio area. I have a lot of old bricks that I have salvaged. They will be laid down on the gravel area as soon as I am able to. To the left of the patio area is the new koi pond-now nearly complete. I just need to finish the landscaping and camouflaging the waterfall area.
Here is a big picture of the pond looking toward the dog pen. You can see Deacon and AJ sorrowfully looking at me because they no longer have free run of the yard. I was using the wireless collars to keep them contained around the house and I strongly recommend these collars. My labs were kept inbounds and even when I try to get Deacon to go out of bounds when we go for walks he refuses to budge from his imaginary boundary. Those collars work great! The bad thing about the dogs free roaming was they had access to the pond, the house, and patio furniture and all sorts of things they could get into. Deacon decided to shred one of my patio chair cushions one day when he felt he was not getting enough attention. I feel much better with the dogs in the pen now. They can safely bark at all the wildlife that surrounds our home. And those dogs can pick up scents really well! Of course, when the coyotes start howling just after dusk there is no scent needed. The dogs return the howls.
Along one side of the pond I planted a bunch of mondo grass as a groundcover under some azaleas and next to the pond. I am hoping the mondo grass will fill in and make a nice groundcover that is easy to care for. The mondo grass also compliments the pond. I had purchased three pots of mondo grass when I visited the McCorkles Giant Plant Sale with my friend Skeeter this past fall. The results above are from dividing just two pots. What a buy!
I hope to begin moving the koi from my other pond soon. I have read where dormancy is a pretty good time to move koi. In fact, I was able to catch one quite easily without even really trying. If I had a bucket it would've made the journey. The pond is 40" deep and there are three plant shelves in it. The plant shelves are fairly deep too. I am hoping that the depth of the pond and the fact the pond is quite close to the house will help to keep the koi safe from night time marauders. I also plan to use some fishing line to dissuade the blue herons from feasting here during the day. Hopefully it all works out.
I hope everyone's year is off to a great start! I am still moving gardens and household items and all sorts of things. I am sad I am running out of time and I have to make a choice between garden plants and household items because I can't do both. I still need to move some rather large doublefile viburnums, edgeworthia, hellebores, daffodils, and maybe a few other shrubs. This task is best done during the winter and as we all know spring will be here soon. Now back to patio building....
in the garden....