This is a piece of our Contemplating Garden. It is, in fact, an inherited pond. It came with the house. It is cement and when we first saw it, our immediate response was to plan a jackhammering event as soon as possible. Sometimes, I still feel that way-sort of. Maybe not the jackhammering part, but in a get-rid-of-the-work sort of way. Especially in the early spring months, when it seems there is an endless amount of debris from old leaves, grass and even flowers. All of which must be cleaned out with a rake. A shovel. A siphoning tube.
The cleaning takes weeks because even after the debris is gone, there is the fresh algae bloom and once that's cared for, there is the brown water. We have 'good bacteria' tablets that are tossed into the water, but we must be patient for them to do their work. There is a quick route to clarity of water, but this is a temporary fix...good for parties that occur before the tablets work their 'magic', but otherwise, pretty much useless.
The water of the pond drops from a top pool into two lower pools before cascading via a homemade waterfall into the main body of the pond. We have thought to turn this system into something smaller and simpler. The contemplation was to fill in the lower pond with cement, perhaps embedding mosaic tile into the new floor, and then make the little pools recycle water through themselves so we could still have the sound and sight of water.
If it weren't for my love our pond fish, I think we would have done this -and the possibility remains that we yet will-sometime far into the future when our backs can not longer handle the strain of pond cleaning.
But today, I am glad we took the 'stay with it' option. For seven years, we have planted, raked, sown seed, painted over the old aquamarine blue (ugh!) a former owner used, tended fish, de-mosquitoed, and yes, cleaned this pond. We have watched the 'wild' vines begin to grow up its blob-like form, allowing them to remain just to see if we like the final product.
We did. They first made it look like a verdant hill of life, then blessed us with small white flowers in the early fall...We call it Fall Jasmine because it is prolific and has a glorious smell like Jasmine. (If it is not Jasmine, I have decided that it should be.)
Jim's addition of a bridge allowed us, and all visitors, to dangle toes in cool summer water, giggling as we wait for fish and tadpoles to kiss our toes. It also gave a place for contemplating and praying...for weeping and thinking, deciding and finding peace.
As the glory of the pond garden has evolved over the years, our love of things growing has expanded into the rest of our yard. More on that another time, but the point is, our not giving in to the easier way...the road more travelled...has ended by giving us an ever-growing blessing of earthly paradise.