"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A little watergarden inspiration.

Yesterday my family and I drove out to visit Russell Watergardens and Koi.  I love visiting other watergardens for inspiration and to dream a little.  This place gave me a chance to do both.

As you walk into their very well stocked pond equipment store you are greeted by a large indoor pond with some of the biggest koi I've ever seen.  I tried to get a good picture of the white fish on the lower right with it's mouth open.  It was huge!

One of the people that worked there gave the kids koi food to feed the fish.  I'm not kidding when I say they almost jumped into their hands.  It was amazing!  They had many tanks stocked with Japanese koi for sale.  I think most of them were actually imported from Japan.  Their prices ranged from $50 to $500 for one fish, I did notice they gave discounts if people bought more than one of the same type of koi.  We didn't buy any, but it was fun to see other people choosing some for their own ponds.

Some of the unusual flowers we saw planted near the pond's edge.

Just one of the many display ponds.  All of their ponds had very natural feels to them, edged with large rocks and lots of plantings.  They were close to 4 feet deep in the middle which made me a little nervous with my 2 year old nearby.

Here is just part of the very large selection of water plants.  There was so much variety and the prices were very reasonable.  My husband and oldest daughter picked out a little plant that looked like miniature four leaf clover.  I know I'll be back to do some real plant shopping soon.

Another display pond.  I really enjoyed seeing what they planted in the pond as well as around it.

More interesting plantings in the ponds.  Most of these are marginals which only like to have the crown of the plant a few inches under the water.

One of the tanks that had koi for sale.  These were around 6 inches long and about $60 each.  One of the tanks was about 10 feet deep with some very large koi swimming lazily around.  It is so relaxing to just watch these fish swim.

This was probably my favorite.  I really liked the gazebo, and this pond had quite a few very large fish in it, including a catfish.  There were more display ponds as well as pondless waterfalls.  Pondless waterfalls are basically a waterfall that flows into a rock bed that pumps the water back to the top.

One of the very large butterfly koi, this had to be at least 2 feet long.  It was one of the biggest fish I noticed.  One day it would be fun to have a pond that could hold a fish this big!

The last time we visited Russell Watergardens it was quite a bit further away, about 45 minutes to drive there.  Now that it's in its new(er) location it's only about 25 minutes away.  I'm glad I'll be able to visit more often and shop in their plant nursery.  This was a really fun family outing and one I know we'll do again this summer.

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  1. what a pretty place! I want a water garden...but will wait till my kids are older...it seems they are having way too much fun in my fountain these days! lol

  2. I'm first again! Woohoo! I am always glad when I catch you early. Heading outside in a minute. I really love the sixth picture down. That pond is so my type of pond. Right now my pond consists of a bathtub, but hey, it works. The fish are happy. I just planted some horsetail rushes in it. I finally read the book you sent me while on vacation. The rushes will work perfect! Thanks again. I know those girls had a great time feeding the fish. What fun! But I could not ever see paying that kind of money for a fish. I guess I shouldn't say that, we all have our collections others don't understand.

  3. Not quick enough I guess. lol

  4. After getting to know you thru your blog the last few months, this would have to be one of your favorite places ever to visit. It just seems like everything you enjoy all in one location! Thanks for sharing all the pictures of the plants, fish, ponds etc. It would be tough to try and decide just what to buy!

  5. Mornin' Catherine, what a neat place. That pond is fantastic and the 2 foot Butterfly Koi - WoW! The first thing I spotted was the white fish you mentioned at the beginning with his little 'O' mouth. I started spotting that with all of my sisters fish because they look so cute like they're all puckered up for a kiss. I'll bet the girls had a ball.

  6. Great photos...!
    We could NEVER have a water garden up here....we would just get it set up and would have to remove all the fish or they would freeze....

  7. What a great idea... the pitcher plants/Sarracenia by the pond. There are always plenty of insects to catch there.

  8. What a cool place to visit. It looks so relaxing. Bet the girls loved feeding the fish!
    The plants on the water's edge are gorgeous too--the picture of the chartreuse flowers and variegated foliage is very striking.

  9. What a great review! Thanks for sharing your visit - I didn't know about that store. We'll have to take the family there. Maybe it will be the inspiration we need to get the pond installed. We have a couple of pond forms that we bought a few years ago but we were too afraid to install because of the children. The twins will be 5 soon - I think they might be old enough now. :o)

  10. Oh! I just love that green "daffodilly" flower in the third picture....Id like a pond but I still fear my son would do something dreadful and/or would always be covered in mud/slime..;-)

  11. Wow, talk about a slice of heaven. What an amazing oasis, Catherine and how cool that it's closer now. I got inspiration from your photos alone! I love the rocks and plantings and the display of plants for sale sort of made my blood pressure rise a little.... gimme, gimme. :)

  12. My bank card says it it good that I live so far away from that beautiful place. What a nice place to visit. I am a sucker for koi but won't pay the price. I buy Petsmart koi but my criterias are that is has to have fantastic colors like an expensive koi and it has to be under ten dollars, which makes it a small fish. I buy them and keep them in my indoor fifty gallon tank and in a couple of years the go outside and look great. Thanks for sharing such a great place.

  13. What a wonderful place! I wish there was someplace like this near me so I could go and get inspired. Of course I'd be a lot poorer because I wouldn't be able to resist purchasing plants and/or fish! My little feeder goldfish seem really cheap now compared to 50 - 500 for a fish! I think I'll look at the photos again and see if they will get me moving to finish the edge of my pond!

  14. Tootsie - When we put our pond in we just had one and she enjoyed the fish. I think I would've waited if we had more kids to watch at a time.

    Tina - You were close :) I'm going to get some horsetail rush too, I really like how it looks. I thought it was related to the weed horsetail but I learned yesterday it's not. I hope you'll show some pictures of your watergarden sometime!

    Mildred - You are so right! All my favorites in one place. I can't wait to go back again to see what it looks like in the summer.

    Linda - That fish had by far the biggest mouth ever, maybe that's why he was the biggest. My girls let the fish nibble their fingers here, but I think these ones were a little scary!

    The Retired One - We are lucky that no more than a few inches freeze here in the winter, although this winter we did lose some fish because it just got too cold.

    Donna - Thanks for the id! My daughter said they ate insects, maybe one by our pond would be fun to try.

    Aerie-el - I wish I would've asked what that plant was, it was like a reverse daffodil.

    Renee - I bet your family would love it just for a little family outing. It was so much fun and very inspirational.

    Julie - I'm almost tempted to call and ask about that flower. It just caught my eye right away. These ponds would be too deep for kids for sure, it scares me that it's over their head.

    Grace - Don't you just love these types of places full of ideas? It would be a dream to design these ponds for people. The plant selection was the best I've seen.

    L.D. Burgus - Yes, it could get expensive there. Our two koi are from Petsmart, and were under $10 also. Maybe one day if I'm rich...

    Kathleen - Your little fish are perfect. I think some people actually show their koi at koi shows!! Can you imagine? I'm happy to just watch them in my pond.

  15. Enticing. We want a koi (or small goldfish) pond in the back too... but may wait to see if a very large Elm grows old and dies first. It's gettin g tough to find room for both veggies and garden features. I'll take a look back at your older postings about your pond for some inspiration.

  16. That looks like a wonderful place to shop and visit. I can't believe the size of some of those fish.

  17. What a wonderful place! I love the unusual yellow flowers.

  18. The koi are beautiful, especially the 2' butterfly.

  19. Ah you have stolen my heart :D.I love koi/goldfish. In fact its what brought me to the garden hobby. I'm currently in the process of building a 2k us gal pond that I will be placing wakin goldfish in. I can't wait for it to be finished XD.

  20. Carole - Our pond really wasn't too difficult. There are definitely things I would do different next time, but I still love having it.

    flowrgirl1 - It really is a lot of fun having one, I'd love to have one like these.

    Susie - It's amazing to see how big they can get.

    Phoenix - Isn't that flower neat? I've never seen anything like it before.

    Sweet bay - It was really relaxing just watching them swim around, every display pond had quite a few in them.

    Ben - Your pond is going to be big. I think a pond adds so much to a garden, it's fun planting in and around them. I've heard of Wakin before but I'll have to look them up to remind myself about what they look like.

  21. It looks a great place inspirational.

  22. Hi Catherine

    Don't ponds just change the atmosphere in a garden. Tranquility.

  23. Looks like a fun place - the koi always fascinate me. They are so beautiful and big! I've always been afraid to try fish in my garden because we have cats and raccoons visit at night.

  24. Joanne - It was and I already want to go back.

    Rob - They really do, I can hear the waterfall in parts of the house too and I really like being able to.

    Phillip - Our neighbors cats are in our yard all the time and they don't bother it. Raccoons though really make a mess of it even if they don't catch any fish.

  25. Here you are again inspiring me into Koi Joy!

  26. Aaahhh! I wouldn't have left the place! It's such a beautiful place! What wonderful pond designs and the kois! They look cool! I too like the pond with the gazebo - a mermaid would have completed the scene perfectly.

  27. Oh, I forgot to mention the Gnomes! I love the Gnomes around your pond! The gazebo needs those lil' creatures...


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