Dog disasters, algae, hummer, and (no longer a) mystery plant

So it finally happened. One of the dogs jumped into the raised pond yesterday and knocked over several soil-and-pea-gravel-filled pots of water plants. Add tearing into two mulch bags to that (and while we were outside dealing with that dog, the husky inside the house got my husband’s dinner off the table). We were not happy campers. I had just taken a shower and was in nice clean clothes, then I found myself standing hip-high in the pond trying to collect gravel from the bottom with my toes and a hoe, and saving surface-preferring bog plants from the depths of our hot-tub pond. Eventually I gave up and just reached down and used my hands to get the pea gravel, drenching me pretty much from head to toe in pond water.

I suppose that looking on the positive side of things, I got to do a little check on the placement of plants in the pond, as well as remove any dead leaves from the plants that would otherwise have been difficult to reach. And it will force me to finally get those last two bags of mulch off the grass (what remains, anyway) and into the garden beds where they belong. I guess the only thing positive I can say about the dinner incident is that perhaps my husband didn’t need those pizza calories anyway… I’m pretty certain there’s nothing positive my husband would say about that one, though!

I do have to say that either the additional plants I got in the middle of the algae bloom or just the natural process of pond establishment has put the clarity of the water back on track. I can see the goldfish again, and they are happy. Here is one next to a lily bloom, the Perry’s Baby Red. I worry that the pond is looking a little crowded with plants, and yet I’m determined to get a horsetail reed in there as a native plant.

Goldfishwithlily.jpgToday I saw my first visiting hummingbird! It was as startled as I was to see it, and it zoomed off before letting me take its picture. But I’m ecstatic and can’t wait to see more.

And finally, I figured out the mystery plant in my garden. I’d planted three of them there in the early spring and forgot about them — in fact, I hardly watered them, but they are thriving. They are Fall Asters. I read today that I should prune them some this month to make them more bushy and covered in fall blooms. Hmmmm….

fallaster.jpg

11 thoughts on “Dog disasters, algae, hummer, and (no longer a) mystery plant

  1. Hello Meredith of Great Stems – saw your comment at Dirt Therapy and found a fellow Austinite. Your pond looks wonderful and your posts are fun. It’s funny that you were able to turn yourself from an Iris to a Lily on Hanna’s What Flower Are You test…I didn’t want to be a Snapdragon but even after a two-year gap, couldn’t manage to change my petals.
    The usual advice on fall asters is to cut them back by 1/3 but it’s so hot and dry now you’d probably have to water them for awhile afterward to help them recover from the chopping.
    Happy Blogging!
    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. Hello there Meredith .. I had such a good laugh (not funny for you at the time I know .. but ?) picturing all the disasters happening at one time with the dogs .. we are cat people, but they can get into trouble too .. they are just closer to sainthood than dogs are, most times ? LOL
    YES !! … this is the time of year, where I am at least, to pinch back asters, sedum, mums, any Autumn flowering plants that get too leggy and floppy other wise .. the method works well and there is a great book called The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DeSabato-Aust .. think of it as the manual for maintenance .. it really is a back bone book for gardeners !
    Good luck with the dogs and the pond .. and I finally just this afternoon got two big bags of mulch out of my car trunk .. too funny ! Joy … meowwwww ! LOL

  3. Hi, Annie — thanks for the info about the asters. I’ll give it a try. They’ve been so healthy without much water so far, hopefully they’ll do ok with a little extra attention for a change, haha. And yes, however it happened, I’m glad I became a lily. It fits me so much better! I enjoy your blog, too — looking forward to your next entry!

  4. Lol, don’t get me started on cat stories! Actually, there aren’t too many of the catastrophe variety with them. We just have one cat that for whatever reason has starting peeing where she shouldn’t, and it’s a nightmare. At least it’s happening in a room where I can shut the door! Well, the same cat was also guilty of pulling out my succulents from their pretty little container, but we had a dog do the same thing, so I guess they’re even on that one. Ooh, I’ll have to check out that book. I’ll go look for it right now! Thanks, Joy!

  5. Thanks, Linda. I’m so glad I thought to ask now instead of, say, in September! Thanks for the help — I will confidently go out and give my asters a haircut tomorrow.

  6. Hi Meredith, what a story you had to tell! The truth is often funnier than a contrived tale! Ponds are something I don’t feel very good at…we had one but it was such a problem to keep up that we took it out.
    I have some mums that I’ve been looking at that I know I’m supposed to pinch back…most years I don’t, as it seems to take up too much time! I think I will cut them instead of ‘pinch’…it will be quicker. I have some spring/summer blooming asters that I did that with already. They are already sending out a 2nd wave of blooms!
    Our dog has eaten food off of plates when we’ve left the area for a moment…he’s been so in trouble those times and he KNOWS better. They think they are above the law…but not as much as cats do! I have a cat, too…and they are just, well, ‘above’ rules;-)
    Have a great day! Jan

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