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Our garden

by Lisa Burns (Backyardgetaway)

Colorada hardy lily in our front pond
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We have lived in our home in Bradenton, Fl. for 22 years. During that time our garden, pond & water gardens have continously changed. We are very excited to be moving to a new 5.5 acre property with all new possibilities for our gardens & ponds, but at the same time sad to leave our gardens behind.



In our front yard we have a watergarden with a waterfalls & a stream that has deep bog pockets for growing Anacharis, Tape grass & Water Snowflake. The pond itself is only 18" deep partially raised with planting shelves for Iris, Pickerel, Thalia, Cattails, Mexican Petunia & more. Of course we also have a few varieties of Lilies too. Surrounding the water feature is our Butterfly garden (or as my grandson calls it the Butterfly Forrest). This area has been left alone to grow completely natural. the butterflies & dragonflies love it.




Our home sits on a corner lot so our "other front yard" is actually on the side of the house. Nestled between two large Carrotwood trees we have a pondless waterfall filled with Water snowball, Star flower, Cardinal flower, Parrot Feather & Blue eyed grass. this feature was created during one of our hands-on classes.



To get to our backyard we have a narrow (15' wide x 45' long) corridor that has been converted to our own private retreat. As you walk out the side door you step out onto a flagstone patio. Along the fence perimeter of this area we have several potted plants. Adjacent to the flagstone patio is a raised deck with a tin roof cover. One side of the deck hangs over our Koi pond & another hangs over a small preform pond. The preform was our very first undertaking into the water garden lifestyle, even after we installed the larger 5000 gallon pond we couldn't bare to part with our little 100gallon preform. We use it primarily as a hospital tank in case we ever have a sick or injured Koi.



As you sit on the deck you look out over our Koi pond through the rain curtain that is attached to the tin roof. The pond itself is unusually shaped due to space. The pond is an "L" shape with two seperate waterfalls at the point where the two legs of the pond meet. Facing the south deck is an area that is approximately 7'w x20'L x 2' deep with a 4' high sheer falls. The second water fall wraps around behind the first falls, stepping down into the pond. The second leg of the "L" faces east is about 8'Wx 22'L x 5' Deep & has a cement bridge that crosses over the pond. There are two wetland/bog filters, one on each leg that help to filter the water along with the skimmer boxes, bottom drains, pumps & external filter. The bogs have a variety of aquatic plants including, Water Zinnia, Lavender Lace, Pickerel, Arrowhead, Papyrus, Ruby Runner, Cat tail, Aquatic Mint, Society Garlic, Taro & maybe a couple others that I can't think of right now. One of the bogs has a bubbling rock for circulation while the other has a pvc pipe buried under the gravel, that has been drilled with holes& connected to a pump. Oh, one other neat, whimsical feature to this pond is our Water wheel. At the east side of the pond we have a large rain barrel that is disquised with a "house" facade. Along side the house is a water wheel that flows through a couple of troughs into a whiskey barrel that returns the water back to the pond. The illusion is that the water is coming from the "house" when in fact it is plumbed from the pond.




Sidenote: Our backyard pond was featured in the Designer ShowCase in Water Garden News Magazine January 2010 issue.

As you can see our passion is for water gardens & ponds. We are looking forward to our new adventure at our new home were we will now have the room to plant a veggie & herb garden as well as continue our Butterfly & water gardens!



amazing- I am drooling over the land you have! I hope you share more pictures so I can live vicariously :)
Seedling commented on 05/18/10
That first picture is stunning... as is your whole garden! While I'm sure it's sad to leave it behind and start over, I can only imagine what you'll do with 5 acres!! Please do us a favor and document your experience of putting it all together, from dream to reality!! Thanks so much for sharing!
chief cultivator commented on 05/17/10
Thank you for the lovely comment. I will post pictures & document the new place. The new place used to be owned by an animal rescue facility & has been empty for 1 1/2 years so it will take a lot to clean up & make beautiful but we are up for the challenge. While we were there on saturday we were exploring the two story aviary & found a really nice cement turtle pond. Now I have all new ideas for that area!
Backyardgetaway replied: on 05/17/10
So amazing! Looks like you worked on it forever! I know the feeling of leaving an old garden behind, but there is something so refreshing about starting over- clean slate and you can undo all the mistakes you did with your first one :) <br/> <br/>Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful water gardens!
FigTree commented on 05/17/10
Thank you, we have worked on it forever. haha. One thing I know I will do different in the new place is to try to plant only native. Don't get me wrong I love the Mexican Petunia & sweet potato vine but boy do they take over if you are not careful!
Backyardgetaway replied: on 05/17/10
My goodness, I can see why your pond was featured! Your photos are amazing - the lilies are gorgeous! <br/> <br/>What is a rain curtain? <br/> <br/>Good luck in your new place - I am sure you will make it just as beautiful as the old locations!
gardengirl commented on 05/17/10
Thank you. Most of the photos posted here were taken by a friend of ours who is a photographer. She takes beautiful pictures! A rain curtain is a simple water feature. Ours was created using 1/2" pvc pipe that was plumbed from the pump in the pond up one leg of our patio cover & across the front forming an "L" with the pipe & is capped off at the other end. The top horizontal piece of pipe is drilled with holes about 1/2" apart all the way down. When you turn on the pump it looks like rain is falling from our patio cover. We keep it on very low so it looks like a soft rain. I will post pictures of another one we created for a customer that is free standing. It's actually a Torii gate rain curtain. This is one of the easiest ways to add water to a garden & not very expensive either.
Backyardgetaway replied: on 05/17/10
What a neat feature! I look forward to seeing more photos of the free standing rain curtain!
gardengirl replied: on 05/17/10