We held our General meeting this past Monday evening at the Zilker Gardens Meeting room. As to be expected following the Pond Tour, this meeting was really directed solely to discussion of and the viewing of a slide show that Glen Hubenthal had worked on.
As we usually do, we munched on sandwiches and fresh veggies before the meeting started and chatted for the first fifteen minutes or so before Bill Brister brought the meeting to order.
Most of the business was focused around the Tour and by all accounts, it was as succesful as ever even though the actual number of people visiting the ponds was down a little from last year. Many members spoke up all with very positive comments and remarked on how nice the people were who actually visited their ponds. I had nearly 300 people at my house and a lot of them took the time to sign my Visitors book. All of the comments were very positive.
I think I understand a little better what makes us as pond owners, invest so much time and effort into the preparation of our ponds and gardens just for a single day’s worth of allowing the public in to see those efforts. The obvious appreciation of the visitors for the hard work is reflected in their comments and questions and for most of us, every kind word evokes a feeling of pride in our accomplishments. Many, if not most of the visitors will not have ponds of their own but they may well have beautiful gardens and for them comparing what they have created to those on the Tour probably gives them lots of ideas for their own yards. Those that do own ponds can appreciate the efforts that it takes to get them ready and again, will probably leave with ideas on how to change or improve what they have.
President Bill made a short speech singing the praises of B.J. and for all of her efforts in making the Tour so succesful with her unflagging energy. He presented her with a small plaque commemorating the event plus a $100 Gift Certificate at the Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop. Right on B’J’s doorstep. The members gave her a resounding round of applause as we all recognized that without her efforts and enthusiasm, the Tour would have not gone off so smoothly. Thank you B.J.
There were some other items that were briefly discussed. Darren spoke about a list going around the room for volunteers to help clean out the Zilker Garden ponds and also talked about a Water Lily show coming up in San Angelo on Sep 15.
Mary Word stated that there are very small Koi available from the Gardens and to “put your name down if you are interested” and Karl talked about a new Austin Pond Society website that he has been working on which will be available shortly to replace the existing one.
With the business out-of-the-way,the main part of the evening was filled by the slideshow of the Pond Tour courtesy of Glen Hubenthal and narrated by B.J. Many of the owners shown in the slides came to this meeting to speak about the efforts they had put in and the different problems they encountered along the way. They all had some great stories of how much work it took to build the ponds and landscape their yards and seeing the pictures, it was easy to understand some of the difficulties for the work involved. Many of the ponds were incredible with a lot of planning and plenty of imagination in the building.
All in all, it was a very successful meeting with a little over 40 members in attendance. The next meeting will be on Monday, July 16 at Zilker Gardens.
I will try to follow-up with the actual slide show as soon as Glen can shoot me a copy.