Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lily Time

I mentioned in my gibbering about going up to our friend Mark's goat ranch in the wine country that he had gifted me with some of the mosquito fish from his pond (which is the size of small lake, or maybe a big golf course water hazard) for my new lily "pond" (which is the size of a generous bathtub.)

I bought a stock tank online with the idea that I would use it for a free-standing planter, but once I wrestled it up the back stairs into the patio with the help of my dear friend Magda,  the appeal of using it for water lilies seized me.  Magda encouraged me in this and let me just say one of the absolute best things about him is his enthusiastic embrace of my most crack brained concepts.

The only thing holding me back was my uneasiness about creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  Consider it a holdover from my Gulf Coast youth.  Enter Mark's mosquito eating fishies, and yay for them.  Still, my skeeter based unease was increased when the cutie pie owner of one of my favorite nurseries here, which used to specialize in water gardens, told me all the nurseries in town had stopped carrying water plants because of the West Nile virus.
Mosquito fish in their new home, pre-plants.  Now, weeks later they're still industriously at it with no food from me, so either they're eating the mosquito larvae, like they're supposed to, or they're eating each other.  Cannibal fish!  Eeks!

I was bummed, not only because my dreams were as ashes, but also because I had already filled up the tank (you have to let the water stand for a while to get rid of the chlorine before you put the fish and the plants in) and now had to empty it of 167 gallons of very heavy water.  By hand.

Imagine how thrilled I was, then, when another nursery (my favorite, actually, and fuck that first guy, even if he is pretty cute.) sent me their regular email blast announcing a sale on water lilies.  I was there that afternoon and snagged two.  The tags explaining what colors their flowers are were missing, so I have no idea what's coming, but they're lilies.  How bad can it be?

15 comments:

  1. Great Post!

    Love everything about it. Being a native Floridian, I have had many ponds with fish & watersnakes, turtles and frogs & such, along with all kinds of flowering water plants...

    You will be so happy!

    PS - you couldn't scrounge up a nekkid cowboy scrubbin up in one of them tubs?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I second the idea of a nekkid cowboy! And we need pictures, lots of lovely phhhhotos of said nekkid cowboy!

    One idea you may wish to explore is to fit your little stock tank with a reciprocating pump (as in an aquarium or indoor fountain). Mosquitos like to reproduce in stagnant water, not moving water. This may be very useful if you install a second tank with nekkid cowboy and soap.

    Hope the water lily blossoms exceed your wildest dreams. That is, your wildest dreams about water lily blossoms ;-)! When will you start planting lotus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know mosquitoes don't like moving water, but neither do lilies, so it's a trade-off. Now I just found out the concrete pavers I used to hold the pots at the right height may be toxic to the fish. Dammit.

      Delete
    2. Hit the thrifts for old glass or ceramic bowls and vases, or find a source of glass blocks. Or remove lilies and fish, then substitute a nekkid cowboy.

      Delete
  3. Excellent ideas both...the cowpoke and the reciprocating thing. Re lillies and how bad can they be? Remember Cleopatra from the Addams Family? Yeah. BTW even this little slice of your garden is GORGEOUS,my darling! Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  4. i'd say you're a shoe-in to win mj's garden contest.

    of course, if you come down with west nile,
    we'll just have to imagine you on the red carpet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IF he submits his photos by the deadline, Norma.

      Delete
  5. kabuki shall refer to this momentous occasion as 'The mysteries of the lillies'. How freaking gorgeous is that lil pond.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that pond/bath! No matter what colour the water-lilies turn out to be, they will be gorgeous. They always are! Jx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful Mr Peenee, Water features are a must in any garden, and water lillies are just divine whatever their colour. I'm looking forward to photo's when they bloom! And nekkid cowboys bathing too!

    I have found that Vietnamese Mint grows really well in a pond. Makes it deliciously available all year round for use in curries and asian soups....

    ReplyDelete
  8. West Nile be damned! It looks like Cleopatra's palace up in there now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figure if I survived all those Gulf Coast years without Yellow Fever, how hard can West Nile be?

      Delete
  9. Honey, it looks wonderful! There are also little thingys you can buy to float in the water to keep mosquitos away. People use them here in birdbaths, so they must not be toxic to other creatures. Let me know if you want me to smuggle some from the wilds of Austin when I come out.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this, it makes me very happy. Kudos, darling!

    ReplyDelete

In Which We Take a Trip

  I was reminded of the following story by this charming illustration I stumbled across on Tumblr.  It is a sheet of blotter acid from back ...