Spring is an exciting time for koi pond owners. As the water temperature warms, the fish slowly become more active. After missing them under a sheet of ice all winter, it’s blissfully reassuring to see they’re still healthy. Today I’m sharing photos of my pond that were taken last fall. I love this little oasis that exists just outside our kitchen door. (All photos courtesy of Aquascape, Inc.)
The koi and the water lilies are the things I love most about my pond. There’s a peaceful enjoyment watching the koi swim about while listening to the soothing sound of the waterfall. And every time I see a waterlily poke its pretty head above the surface of the water, I get excited like a kid at Christmas.
Feeding the fish is always a joy for me. If you’re patient, you can train them to eat right out of your hand. Koi are quite friendly. When I need to step into the pond to prune lilypads or remove the faded flowers, the koi will always glide up against my leg, just like my cats do when it’s feeding time. And on occasion, they’ll nip at my toes thinking they’re worms. It doesn’t hurt, it’s just a little startling (in a good way) when it happens.
Believe it or not, each fish has its own unique personality. Some are shy, some are skittish, and some act like they’re happy to see you. The fish will survive the winter if your pond is at least two feet deep and you keep a hole in the ice. Or in my case, I leave the waterfall running all winter and don’t need to worry about keeping a hole in the ice. The waterfall provides adequate oxygen for my finned friends.
Koi don’t hibernate, they go into a state of dormancy called torpor. Once spring rolls around, they come out of that state and start swimming around. I don’t feed the fish until the water reaches 50 degrees, when they’re able to fully digest food.
Here’s another view of the pond from the patio next to the deck. I have a tendency to overplant which creates an air of intimacy around the koi pond. Lavender, hardy figs, ornamental onion, coneflowers, and more, are all planted in the dirt around the pond. Inside the pond are both tropical and hardy waterlilies, yerba mansa, aquatic hyacinth, rain lily, and a few others. Most of the pond plants are annuals so I change it up every year. It’s truly a backyard oasis.
Near the pond’s shore is a Rose of Sharon that attracts hummingbirds. My friend Lisa captured this photo for me. The koi pond also attracts frogs, toads, dragonflies, butterflies, and bumblebees. It’s amazing how all these critters find your pond once it’s installed. It’s the sound of water that draws them.
At night, the lights come on and the pond takes on a magic all its own.
I can’t imagine living without a koi pond. Each year we add a new plant or two and watch the water garden grow and evolve into the oasis it is today. We begin and end the warmer days here, drinking coffee in the morning and enjoying wine and conversation at night. Or sometimes I enjoy the pond by myself listening to nature and enjoying the therapeutic affects of the waterfall and surrounding beauty.