Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Water Lily Project

My mother visited from Florida last week.

She is always my partner in crime when she visits, because we have to hit every nursery and fish store in town.

Which means that we both end up with new fish and plants. But mom has to take her fish and plants back to Florida, so she can't be too crazy. This doesn't stop her however from stealing loads of baby Chicks and Hens from my yard. She also made off with five Tillandsias, a Plumeria I bought in Hawaii and a handful of water lettuce.

We just happened to be passing by Hughes Water Gardens and had to stop in for just a look. With my birthday around the corner, my mom is always looking to get me something while she visits.

This trip I was the proud birthday daddy of two new water lilies ('Escarboucle' & 'Nigel'). 'Escarboucle' is a red. 'Nigel' is a pretty pink. Not a very manly color for Nigel however.

With two new water lilies in hand, I now had to return home and figure out what to do. Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot buying plants you don't have room for.

The existing horse troughs were pretty stuffed with lilies and the smaller barrel liners are only suitable for one small-sized lily. These two new lilies were not going to be sneaked in... 

So off to buy new water dishes I went. I ended up getting three new dishes, even though I only had two new lilies. I figured one of the other lilies ('Mayla') needed a new home as she gets way too big to share a home.

This also meant buying more rabbit wire to keep the raccoons out and some new fish to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
Looking pretty stuffed!

My friend James, suggested digging out a new area for the water dishes next to the driveway and in a moment of extreme weakness, actually suggested that he would help me dig the grass out.

I immediately grabbed the shovel and got us to work! I wasn't going to let free help go to waste!

A new bed near the driveway made the most sense as I was recently gifted an outdoor glass table and six chairs that have become the new sitting area.
The before pic.
And so the digging begins.
Luckily, near the driveway there was a lot of fill gravel in the soil, so the grass came up very quickly. It also helped that I had watered the night before. 
Sweaty work! My help in the back is regretting saying he'd help!
Three new dishes in place.
This time I was conscious of the new water. We waited 24-hours before moving anything (plant or fish) so that the new water could come to temperature and could dechlorinate naturally.

The dreaded sod pile - to get rid of or compost?!?
I eventually moved one of the existing matching dishes to the space on the right and one of the smaller barrel liners to that little hole on the left.

The potted plants and the table and chairs got rearranged in the expanded sitting area and all was well with the world. Time for a well deserved gin & tonic!

Nymphaea 'Perry's Almost Black' on the left and Nymphaea 'Mayla' on the right.
Nymphaea 'Perry's Almost Black'
My lovely mom enjoying watching us work.
A bumblebee diving into 'Nigel'
The final project! And Mom!


  1. Digging in all this heat ! Those new dishes are great . Maybe you can turn the lawn into a giant pond one day or is that crazy ? I have my first water lily bloom , all ways very exciting !

    1. I have thought of that believe me. It would be nice to have something big, wide and deep, so that the lilies could really spread out. But I have decided something less permanent is probably best. I'm sure that I will keep buying lilies, so some future expansion planning will be needed.

  2. Nice work, that really is a good use of space and looks wonderful.

    1. Thank you! It made the most sense and also got rid of a couple weird kinks in the old existing flower bed that made it hard to mow.

  3. Looks great and I LOOOOVE that Nigel! Wow.