A new garden development is always a little harder than it sounds. When this area was first looked at for the pond area it was nothing but scrub bush, dead roses bushes and garbage that was dumped over the bank in the 1940’s. In truth if Katrina had thought how much time it would take, the money it would cost and years of maintenance that came with it, the area may have been left alone.
In 1990 Calgary was new to the pond in the garden concept. Loaded with nothing but enthusiasm Katrina and the Vale’s Greenhouse staff started into the 6-week journey of “the pond.” Trees were cut down, a huge hole was dug and a large liner was purchased. Keep in mind that when you look at this pond there is nothing natural about it. Rock was hauled from the river and each piece was put in place. The waterfall starts from the biological filter and all the water in the pond flushes through the filter about once an hour.
In the garden, a pond adds a different dimension to gardening. Water plants are not unlike traditional garden plants, except they grow in the marginal area in the pond shallows, softening the edge of the pond and creating shade for the fish. These plants also use nutrients in the water that may create algae and many of these plants are also oxygenators, which put oxygen back into the pond's water that helps reduce the “pond scum”. We also use floating water plants that bob on the surface, and lilies that are place at the pond depths. Katrina loves the different plants and effects that come with a pond garden.
Our pond is indeed beautiful and we love how the finished area turned out. Many people have had their wedding, grad and special pictures taken in the garden area. This garden pond has also been on the Cover of Garden’s West Magazine, and been photographed, painted, sketched and enjoyed by many.Oh and if you are wondering about the fish, they live inside the office all winter in a large aquarium. But as soon as the pond is ready each spring they love to get out.