What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– water garden pond liner with DIY stand

on March 25, 2016

Twenty years ago—how they’ve flowed down what watersheds!—Nimue and I moved to northeast Georgia so she could start her Ph.D studies at the nearby state university. Among our inheritances from the Previous Occupants of the house we moved into was a fish pond. The male P.O. had dug a hole in the side yard, lined it with plastic from an old waterbed mattress, installed a pump, and filled it with goldfish and a foot-long koi.

That arrangement didn’t survive the gap in occupancy between the P.O.s and us. When we moved in, the view out the bedroom window was of a hole in the red Georgia clay, holding a scummy few inches of water, around which a sheet of plastic flapped in every breeze.

As soon as I had a spare moment, I determined to yank the liner out and fill in the scar in the earth. Until I watched as frogs plopped! into the scant water that was there. This, I realized, was someone’s habitat—and it would be a long, hot, dry hop and crawl to reach the nearest fresh water.

Nimue and I researched and re-thought. We could, we realized, fairly easily patch the holes in the liner, rim the edge with locally-sourced stones, add plants and fish and snails, and have—hooray—a water garden! It turned out to be not quite that easy, but it almost was, and it gave us a lot of pleasure until frosts threatened.

The hardy water lilies would overwinter outside, but my goodness, I had all of perhaps $15 invested in the water hyacinths and water lettuce. So I bought a rigid plastic pond liner, built a stand for it, and moved the tender plants and a few goldfish inside for the season.


By moving this today, did I perform a kidney transplant?

That’s how we wound up with our above-ground pond. We’ve hauled it and a water lily to three more addresses since, though none of the places we’ve had for siting it have been ideal. It finally occurred to us we don’t have to do so anymore. We’ve downsized to a modest tub, in which our 19-year-old “James Brydon” can still thrive. I listed the liner, stand, and cuttings from the lily for sale, and today handed them off to their new owners.

shedding style: resell
destination: a new water gardener’s garden

Comments welcome … I think there’s no “less” in this at all, only “more.” What else in our world, I wonder, might wear that mantle if we’d see it that way?



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