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    "Pond Happenings"

    May 2002 Newsletter

      The May meeting will be held on Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 am at Rob H.'s home located in Carefree. Rob's home is situated on 6 acres above Desert Mountain. His 2 and 1/2 year old pond is approximately 55,000 gallons. It is two levels and has two waterfalls and a stream. It contains more than 100 different plants and lilies, frogs, toads, 4 shy turtles and about 50 happy goldfish. Filtration is achieved through an 8 foot deep bog pond filled with plants and hyacinth. Rob sees wildlife at his pond daily including deer, javalina, rabbits, bobcats and a variety of birds. If anyone wants to take home mosquito minnows or anacharis, Rob says to bring a pail because he has an excess! Our speaker this month is Janet from Paradise Ponds/Carefree Nursery. She will be answering any and all questions about ponds and watergardening in the Valley. Bring all your questions and problems! Please also bring your lawn chairs and any plants to exchange.


      Entering Thom and Sharla B.'s backyard, one follows a brick pathway through a beautiful garden and past a cute New England child's playhouse. Up a few steps and there is an expansive covered patio with a wetbar. Next is a large pool with a fire-breathing waterfall. A little further and there is a bridge covering a gorgeous pond. Standing on the bridge, to the left is the huge stairstep waterfall and to the right is the pond. The large, colorful koi have been trained to come to the bridge when Thom pats it and will inhale food from his closed hand. There are lush plantings all around the pond. Alas, April 13 was the last day to see the pond. After our meeting, the koi were to be moved to a holding pool and the pond was being torn up to be replaced by a bigger, better pond!! We were also lucky enough to be allowed to see Thom's train collection. As if all that wasn't thrill enough, Andre G. brought one of his toys ­ a VideoRay. It is a submersible video camera equipped with two propellers to move it through the pond. We were able to see Thom's koi on the monitor as if we were swimming with them! THANKS ANDRE! There was so much to see, that the meeting didn't begin until about 9:30. It was opened by introducing the officers and volunteers and Ed T. gave the treasurer's report. An update was given on the pond tour. It was announced that Boyce Thompson Arboretum had notified us that they are updating their donor wall and GPPS would be added. (Last year's tour proceeds were donated to them.) Since it was suggested last month that GPPS start a library, book suggestions and donations were requested. Norm H. had suggested a method for checking out books and Ed T. suggested storing the library in an ice chest with wheels. Brad J. told us about his adventure with the Game & Fish Department the Friday before. He joined a group and spent the day counting fish and checking the stomach contents of the fish (Ask Brad how!). A watergardening book was raffled again this month and Rosaly N. was the winner. The meeting was turned over to Thom B. for his presentation on "Maintaining Water Quality". He's a great speaker and gave us lots of information. Some highlights:

      1. Don't scrub the walls of your pond or the bacteria that are helping with water quality will be destroyed.
      2. Every spring, remove the muck from the bottom of the pond.
      3. Expect an early algae bloom as the temperature changes. Additional plants, barley straw or a low level of salt are options. (2 cups or 1 pound of kiln-dried solar salt per 100 gallons placed in pantyhose)
      4. Important items for pond: aeration, surface area, filtration
      5. High water quality produces successful ponds, healthy fish and healthy plants.
      6. Plants and algae are necessary to complete the filtration cycle.
      7. Test kits are essential. Buy the pond version not the aquarium version. Type of kits to buy: Chlorine, Ammonia, Multi-5


      Our annual tour will be held on Saturday, June 8 from 8 am until 3 pm. PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!! A great big THANKS go the 6 hosts. Harper's Nurseries has volunteered to sell tickets at their three nurseries and the Moon Valley Nursery on Tatum between Bell and Union Hills is also selling tickets. Our tour will be mentioned in the Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine, Phoenix Magazine and the Scottsdale Life Magazine. If all goes well, Scottsdale Life will have a small feature article. The Arizona Republic and Tribune have been notified, but nothing concrete in the way of articles yet. New, bright yellow directional signs and front yard signs with our logo have been ordered. If anyone has publicity ideas or suggestions please feel free to contact Dianne.


      William & Kay B. ­ Phoenix

      Vince & Lola C. ­ New River

      Debbie M. ­ Glendale

      Edward M. ­ Phoenix

      Peggy O. ­ Scottsdale

      Russell & Marilyn R. ­ Phoenix

      Kenneth & Christine R. ­ Queen Creek

      Dr. & Mrs. Donald R. ­ Scottsdale