The Garden in March-3/15/2012

English: Flower of Nelumbo nucifera, bean of I...

The weather here in Texas has been mild with, for us, quite a bit of rain. This past weekend, my garden received almost 2 inches of the wet stuff. We could still use a lot more as the killer drought of last year sucked all of the moisture out of the soil.

The rain coupled with the warm weather is making things grow with, of course, a lot of help from Mother Nature. Things are growing that I thought were dead. Just goes to show how resilient plants can be. In one of the ponds, stands a small cypress tree that my neighbour passed along to me last year. I had seen one in a pond at Emerald Gardens, a local plant store that also caters to us pond enthusiasts and when it was presented to me, decided to try my luck at turning this particular tree into a water version. It didn’t look good through the past year but I left it in the water and lo and behold, it is breaking out with new leaves and looks incredibly healthy. Who can tell. That and a couple of other plants that I thought were gone are the success story so far.

The fish are getting active and with it comes extra work as the filters need changing more frequently. I don’t mind as I view everything as a gift and am grateful that nature can make things so beautiful. Whatever time I have left on this earth, I intend to enjoy it as much as I can which includes cleaning filters.

It won’t be long before the fish go into their mating ritual. This is really a case of the survival of the fittest at least for the females as the males chase them around the pond and literally bump into them for what seems like hours which I suppose generates a trigger to release the eggs.

My apologies if you have heard this story but for those of you that haven’t heard it, read on. Last year, I was sitting quietly reading and I could hear the fish splashing as they chased each other around. There was this one extra loud splash but I didn’t think too much of it until I realized that my tearaway dachshund, Richie, was being awful quiet. I went looking for him and discovered both him and a large Koi at the bottom of the garden. Richie, being the enterprising young fellow that he is, had seen the fish jump clean out of the pond and had then carried it down to the bottom of the garden where he was busy eating the thing. I guess that as Koi originated in Japan Richie decided that he had his own Sushi to munch on.  The Koi probably weighed 15 pounds so Richie had his work cut out getting it to the bottom of the garden. All for nothing as I took it away from him and tossed it over the fence where all dead things go for the buzzards and any of Nature‘s clean up crew to finish off.

I don’t need any more fish and I guess that there are so many Koi, except in one pond, that they do a good job of eating the eggs and any hatchlings that do emerge. Last year, in the Koi ponds, I had four new Koi survive. In the goldfish pond, I had two goldfish survive. Those ratios are bearable because if ever they stopped naturally limiting the number that hatch, I would be over run with fish. Those numbers are also enough to replace the fish lost throughout the year.

I still have to mulch the entire yard and have been putting it off until I get over this vertigo. It is much better and I act almost normal. Not ready to play soccer yet though. That and new gravel on the walkways to freshen things up and then I can sit back and enjoy, that is except for cleaning those filters…

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