Picket Fence Weblog

Time To Get Your Garden Pond Prepped
March 14, 2008, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Garden, Links, pond

That’s right, winter is slowly receding.  There are plenty of us who are more than rejoicing at that fact.  It’s time to put away your skis and take out the golf clubs.  Well, maybe were not quite ready for that, yet.

Some of you may remember that I had started digging a garden pond at camp during the January thaw.  That turned out to be a pretty bad idea.  Now, the spring is practically here.  I am ready to get back down to camp soon (probably after Easter with family and friends) and get my project back up and running.

Floating Water Lillies

Now that most of the digging is done I can start focusing on cleaning and decorating.   There are quite a number of way to go about both.  Click here if you would like a little more information on getting your garden pond crystal clear.  Or click here if you want a few ideas for decorating and personalization.

As Always, Art.


Backyard Pond Garden and New York Winter
February 5, 2008, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Garden, pond | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I wrote not too long ago (jan 28th blog entitled “a small breakthrough”) about how during a thaw I went ahead and ‘accidentally’ started digging my garden pond at camp. I actually have not been back since, due to a busy work schedule and regular life. But, I have continued to research more about ponds so when the moment is right I can go back and finish the job I have started. The problem that I am now facing is that research I read has stated that starting the pond and not finishing it in the same day is not good. I didn’t think of this before, but since, it has made much more sense.

What happened was, the area in which I dug out last week, filled with snow after a couple of solid days of snow. That was last weekend. Starting last night, the weather warmed up over 50 degrees, and the rain came pouring down. This did indeed melt all the snow, according to my neighbor. This caused all the snow from the hill to melt and rush in a stream of water into my yard, filling my half of a pond full of water, which doesn’t sound like a bad thing. But, since I never put a lining in, most of the soil in the pond washed away and created a rather unsightly half hole in my side yard. If I would have put down a liner, and some rocks around it to redirect the water, this wouldn’t have happened. But I am indeed an amateur, and am learning as I go.

If and when you create a pond, it is common that rain run-off and soil, dirt, dust, and other particles will fill it. Your pre-filter and filter should take care of most of this. Sometimes, though, ponds become murky and need to get cleared up. Shoppicketfence.com has some excellent products to get your pond cleared up.

Here are a few products that you may want to check out:

barley straw treatmentPower PondPro Clear

Please feel free to contact me if you have a similar story. I would like to hear it!
As always, Art.

A little More Security
January 30, 2008, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, Winter

I thought that I would touch on some more security features and products that shoppicketfence.com has.  I had been blogging about ponds and pond gardens, but today, here in western NY, it is freezing cold, windy, and snowy.  So, gardening, ponds, and lawn care are about the last thing on my mind.

At shoppicketfence.com there are more security products than just the camera that looks just like a flood lamp.  We also have a wireless driveway alarm, too.  This sends a signal to a transmitter that sounds an alarm, so you know if someone has pulled in to your driveway, or started up your walk. Many people like and use this product so they do not miss deliveries.  It’s great for businesses too.

There is also the Transonic Pro.  This is not so much a measure of security or alerts as it is to keep pests away, which is a kind of security.  The Transonic Pro can drive pests away from your garden, home, garage, or storage space.  It keeps small and large pests and rodents away for good.  I’ve heard of some folks who use this in the spring and summer for their garden and then use it for their garage and/or storage in fall and winter.  They really are multi-useful.

Just a few unique products from the QCI Direct

As always, Art.

A small breakthrough
January 28, 2008, 11:37 am
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, Winter, yard fun

Ok, I know in Western New York it is still winter, but we’re having a little bit of a warm up. In fact, it is supposed to be in the middle 50’s by tomorrow. It wasn’t all that warm this weekend, but it was sunny enough, and by gosh just warm enough, for the topsoil to thaw slightly. I decided to go up to camp and make sure everything was ok. I mean, as long as the weather’s good I may as well spend a little time there. It also got me out of chores around the house. Anyway, it was even warmer at camp then in the city. I thought that maybe I would measure out the are I was thinking for my new garden pond and place markers in the ground, surrounding it with twine, so I could see the shape of the pond.

So I put stakes in ground and set up the string and stood back to look at it. The shape was great. I could tell it was going to look natural. Since the ground was warm, I decided to plunge the shovel into the ground, just to see how many rocks were going to be in the soil. Since the camp is so close to the river, it’s mostly sand for the first foot or two, and after that its actually not all that bad. Sparse large rocks posed a problem but they were easy enough to cast aside. Before I knew it, I had almost dug the pond out.

About half of the pond is already dug out. It’s a lot easier than I thought. My pond is only going to be about 7 x 12 feet, and about 3 feet deep, so it’s not all that large. But the ground, it is still partially frozen, but because the river is close to the lake, it wasn’t frozen all the way, which actually made it easier, I think. I realized that I had spent most of the day digging, it only took a few hours to dig half out. I stopped though, and cleaned up and headed for home. It’s really made me excited for spring, to have a new project ready for me when the sun comes out and the snow quits for good. It is a small breakthrough, and it sort of cured those winter blues a little, plus, there is no turning back now, I have to put a pond in. Unless I want to return in a few weeks and fill it back in. Which dosen’t seem likely. I’ll keep you up to date on what my next step is, which as of now, I’m not sure of.

In the meantime, check out some of the fun spring categories at shoppicketfence.com. Pond, lawn and garden, and patio, deck, and pool are some of my favorites.

As always, Art.

More about Garden Ponds
January 24, 2008, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, yard fun

I have been searching around for more articles and blog spots about garden ponds.  It’s been really great.  There are some truly fascinating stories out there about individuals who built their own ponds, or folks who are trying to build their own garden ponds, as I am.  It’s nice to see a community of people out there who are true DIYers (Do It Yourself-ers).  I guess that probably comes from upbringing, or maybe just the quest for knowledge and pride.

I have finished designing where I want my pond and what shape I want it to look like.  Its going to be a small oblong oval shape.  I made it so it was not completely oval, it has some strange curves to it.  I tried to make it look as natural as possible.  I’ve started looking for liners, which is a technicality, because I’m more into what is going around it and how I am going to finish the overall design.  I know I am going to put a bird feeder close by, possibly a fishing boy, and maybe even a flamingo.  I’m not sure that I’ll be able to fit all that in the small space that I have designed, but I will try.

I’m going to put rocks up on one side, and then let the grass come up on the other.  I’ll probably place a lawn border or maybe a fence there, to keep the grass a few inches away.  I hope it attracts some local wildlife, which everyone tells me is one of the best benefits of having a garden pond.  I’ll write more when I get more decided.

As always, Art.

A Simply Amazing Garden Addition
January 21, 2008, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Garden, pond, yard fun

As most of you know, I love to garden. It is a joy of mine to plant and grow, and to use my fresh vegetables and herbs in cooking. I am learning the art of canning and freezing too, in order to provide myself with my own brand of veggies throughout the winter as well. It’s a great way to save money and provide yourself with good food.

But up until just recently I have always planted my garden for utilitarian purposes and left little room for aesthetics. I’m not much for growing flowers, which are naturally aesthetic and eye pleasing, so I wasn’t sure how to make my garden look more like an oasis. I showed some friends pictures of my garden and was partially confused when someone suggested adding a pond. My response was that there wasn’t a pond near my garden. I told them that the body of water they were seeing was the Chaumont River. They then explained to me that a garden pond was mostly decorative and could be easily installed by using simple landscaping techniques. I decided that I would do some research into this and write a blog each time I have some new information and every time I take a step forward in the development of my pond.

The first step is designing how you want your pond to look.  It is not going to do me a lot of good to go out to camp with a shovel and start digging one now, since winter has officially set in and the ground is frozen.  But the other night I decided to draw up what the area looks like around my garden.  I made it rather official and used graph paper to get size as accurate as possible. I’m not quite sure of the size as of yet, but I do have the basic shape down and where it is going to be placed in my garden.  It’s a good idea to start planning for these ventures now, so when spring comes and you are ready to get started, all the kinks have been previously worked out.

There are hundreds of great websites out there that can help you plan your pond and garden, and the more research I do, the more of them that I dismiss for not being accurate.  But I have found of few that have piqued my interest, I just haven’t finished going through them all and checked all their sources.  But I have found myself getting excited about this project.  There are some awesome products at Shoppicketfence.com for  ponds. Reviewing products like these can really help you decide what you want your pond to look like.  I will be researching how to build one of these soon, and I will post my findings as soon as I know more.

As always, Art.

garden pond