In a manner of speaking. This is our second year with a water feature, and I am beginning to recognize its value. Sure, there have been some emotional ups and downs, the same that attend any major gardening project.
Between the time that we first decided to have a pond and the time that it was installed and planted, I can graph a rollercoaster of happy, then disappointing moments, punctuated by a few angry outbursts and simmering periods of deep frustration. And there was also the trauma of the fish.
So it wasn’t until this season that we experienced the pond as an ambient presence in the garden rather than as an ongoing project/problem. And we’ve realized that the main thing that really matters about the pond is its sound. The sound has to be right, and it is. The perennials and vines around the pond need very little care, and a little algaecide—supposed to be safe for fish—once a week keeps it clear. As for the fish, we did without them this year, and I’m not totally certain they’re necessary.
Other parts of the garden have their ups and downs: once the lilies go out of bloom, I lose a lot of color; the shade beds may or may not be ravaged by slugs; and you never know what might happen with roses. The pond, however, is a constant, always flowing, always looking cool and refreshing, whether it’s early spring, midsummer, or late fall.
Though I still contend that I am attracted to plants to the detriment of design—and the beds show it—this little bit of water, with its ring of greenery, probably represents the best design decision ever made here.