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    "Pond Happenings"

    March 2002 Newsletter


    The March meeting will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 9:00 am (Please note that we're back to our regular meeting time). The meeting will be held at David & Amy S.'s house located in Scottsdale. Their pond was just filled at Christmas time and took about 15 months to complete from start to finish. It consists of a lower pond and an upper pond with a waterfall. There are goldfish, but not many plants yet, so Amy is hoping that she will be able to add some after the meeting! Long-time member and past officer, Laurie R. will be demonstrating how to divide and repot aquatic plants. This will be her third year giving this demonstration and we really appreciate her expertise! Watch out -- she packs a MEAN saw!! Laurie will demonstrate how to divide lilies and also marginal plants. By the time she is finished, everyone will be ready to head home to divide and repot! Bring any plants you would like to learn how to divide and also your lawn chairs. If you have any plants to share, please bring them also.


    Another beautiful day for our meeting! It was a little breezy, but the temperature was great. Ron and Betty R. have a wonderful backyard and pond. The waterfall is made of huge boulders and there is a wooden bridge across the pond. One end of the backyard is filled with Betty's raised gardens. There is broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, peas, swiss chard, and lots more. Fluffy, their black cat, made sure that she welcomed each and every person to her backyard! The meeting opened by welcoming visitors and new members and introducing the executive committee. The treasurer's report was given and a reminder was made that dues need to be paid for 2002. A thank you gift for our outgoing vice president, Don S., was presented to his wife, Janet. The two mugs with fish hand-painted on them will hopefully remind them that we greatly appreciate their year of service to GPPS. Ron gave a short history of the pond and its construction, then the meeting was turned over to the speaker, Scott Taylor. He showed many photos of the more exotic (and expensive) goldfish, such as the Oranda, Ryukin, Ranchu and Bubble Eye. As he showed the photos, he told about the fish and his experiences with them. Then he answered several questions from members. We learned that although there are several hundred varieties of goldfish, 38 different kinds are recognized for show purposes. Also, did you know that feeding goldfish a little bit of blanched broccoli will stabilize the black colors?! Tim from Water Consultants brought along a bag of barley straw for the members, and it disappeared quickly! THANKS!!


    Robert & Adrionna L. -- Cave Creek (welcome back!)

    Larry & Lois S. -- Phoenix

    Don & Diane S. -- Phoenix

    POND TOUR 2002

    The pond tour will be held on Saturday, June 8. We are still looking for more members to volunteer their ponds. Quite a few have volunteered, but the ponds are scattered all over the Valley and we are hoping to get a nice cluster in a smaller area. ALL ponds are welcome -- big or small. We also need to decide on an organization to donate the proceeds to. If you would like to volunteer your pond or have donation ideas, please contact our President, Dianne E.


    Mark your calendars now for the first Master Gardener sponsored Garden Tour -- "Real Gardens for Real People". Join local master gardeners on this educational tour of five master gardener gardens: the Cactus Garden (cacti and succulents), the Edible Garden (herbs, fruits and vegetables), the Shade Garden (POND and shade loving plants), the Xeriscape Garden (native and low water use plants) and the Flower Garden (annuals, perennials, wildflowers). All gardens are located in the Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert areas. A grant provided by the Arizona Tree Council will fund educational talks about trees at each garden. Tree topics include; tree identification and choices, planting, staking, pruning and irrigation, and special considerations for citrus and fruit trees.

    Additional educational talks specific to each garden will include; wildlife gardening, container gardening with succulents and cactus, integrated pest management, composting, wildflowers, and drip irrigation. An educational talk will be provided every half hour at all five gardens. Educational handouts will also be available at each garden. The tour is on Saturday, March 30, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. The price includes entry to all five gardens. For information about buying tickets, contact the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension office at (602) 470-1556 x1017 or