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    "Pond Happenings"

    February 2001 Newsletter

    Again, we had extremely good luck with the weather. It rained all day Friday, but surprisingly was a beautiful, clear, cool Saturday morning. Even more surprising was the huge attendance!

    The hosts, Rich and Ginger W. have a beautiful house and gorgeous backyard. A good portion of two sides of the house are filled with ponds, basins, waterfalls and streams. One area is covered with shade screen which allows plantings of lush shade-loving vegetation. Rich explained that the house is the oldest in Biltmore Estates and was built in the 20's by Mr. Wrigley. This was his residence while he was building the Wrigley mansion! At one time it was also owned by the Miller brewing family. A bomb shelter was originally situated in a part of the yard that now houses the pond system.

    The cartetaker, Tom Howdeshell, explained the construction and maintenance of the system. In keeping with our theme of "Inventions, Gadgets and Handy Tools for the Pond Lover", several members brought their own inventions and handy tools. Ron C. demonstrated a tool he designed made from a PVC pipe with a small kitchen strainer screwed to the end. He said Debbie uses it to scoop debris from the pond, to hook things and also uses it to twirl string algae for removal. Bert F. showed his fertilizer tool that he uses for the really deep pots in his pond. It is made from PVC pipe and a broom handle which fits inside ? very ingenious! Brian C. brought a UV light and explained its use and installation. Midge R. told us that she uses a long handled tree pruner to trim the stubborn lily stems when it's too cold to climb in her pond. Dianne E. brought a pair of kitchen shears that she uses for pruning (they don't rust when they get wet) and the old saw that she uses for dividing plants. She also made a fish feeding ring out of the top edge of a black landscape pot, then attached a ring of drip tubing around it to make it float better. She places it in the pond and then puts the fish food in the ring and the food stays in place and doesn't float all over the pond.

    We had a great time and went home with some good ideas! After the meeting we enjoyed Ginger's refreshments and our birthday cake.

    Our next meeting will be on Saturday, February 10th at 10:00 am instead of 9:00 am at Andre & Jeannine G.'s pond in Scottsdale. They have two ponds, each with its own waterfall, connected by a channel where they have aquatic plantings. The pond is about 18 months old and was built on the side of the house since the pool and patio take up much of the backyard area. They have koi and goldfish and also have a bridge to get from one side of the pond to the other. 

    We are very excited to have scheduled an interesting speaker with impressive credentials! Sterling Hermann from Desert Water Gardens in Salt Lake City will give a presentation titled, "The Poetry of Watergardening". His company specializes in pond construction, maintenance, seminars, gold fish and they have their own aquatic greenhouse. Sterling is a Master of Ponds, Master Gardener and has a Bachelors in Aquatic Biology. He is a member of the National Pond Society, the International Water Lily Society and the American Gold Fish Society. He will be in town for about four days and would love to see other members ponds. If you are interested in showing your pond, please contact Dianne. It should be a great meeting ? hope to see you there! As usual, please be sure to bring your lawn chairs and any plants to share.

    Brian C. ? Phoenix

    Clint M. - Scottsdale

    Dr. & Mrs. Michael S. ? Anthem

    2001 POND TOUR

    At the January meeting, six members volunteered their ponds for the tour in June. (Thanks go to those six!!) The only problem is that 2 are in Phoenix, 2 are in North Scottsdale and 2 are in the Ahwatukee/Tempe area ? pretty spread out! So, we still need more ponds! We have lots of members, therefore, lots of ponds. PLEASE help make the tour a success and volunteer YOUR pond! It doesn't have to be big and fancy ? the small ponds are just as wonderful and are a great addition to the tour. We don't want the tour visitors to think that small ponds can't be built! We are also looking for someone to be chairman and anyone else that can help out ? publicity, advertising, etc. Contact Dianne (our group's President) TODAY!!