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Ornamental Pond and Garden Experts

Ornamental Pond and Garden Experts
We are here to provide information, photos, and ideas relating to ponds and gardening. We have a myspace page, and two websites. We own a company called Ornamental Pond Liner Co. Inc.

Articles

Curving Your Pathway
2008-01-14 15:26:00
Whether you build a path with flagstone, fieldstone, cobblestone or whatever other stones that can be used in a path, it is recommended to curve the path when possible. Curving paths look more natural and more pleasing to the eye. Now, you don't have to make it complicated and add twists and turns at every corner. A pathway shouldn't swerve just because you felt like having it do so (but, that is your choice); you need to have a reason to make it turn.The curve could accommodate a tree, shrub, boulder, birdbath, or any object you can route the path around. A curving path through a flower bed looks better than a straight one. Accent the curve by placing tall, distinctive perennials or a shrub on the inside of the curve. A curve or curves can help keep a path on a slope from being too steep. A path leading around the corner of a building should curve to provide the shortest route to the side yard.Making a path curve so that it disappears from sight brings out a bit of mystery. Peop...
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Flagstone Paths: Design, Use, and Cost
2008-01-13 17:16:00
Design and UseFlagstone is an excellent choice for paths in well-traveled areas. It brings a natural elegance to the garden and is suitable for both primary and secondary paths. When flagstone is fitted together tightly and care is taken to create a clean edge, the material matches the mood created by the most stately homes and formal landscapes.Fitted more loosely, flagstone pathways complement all other styles and sizes of homes and yards. It's preferred by professionals to use limestone and sandstone for pathways in shady areas, where the lighter hues (a gradation or variety of a color) of the stone make the pathway more visible (usually in the evening).GraniteIn hot, sunny areas, the darker tones of slate and granite create a cooling effect. Direct sunlight will also cause the rich and varied colors of granite and quartzite to sparkle and shine. If you like color and brightness in a garden, you might want to consider trying these types of stones.QuartziteFlagstone is sturdy wh...
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Flagstone Pathways: Characteristics
2008-01-12 16:56:00
Flagstone is a traditional favorite for stone pathways. It comes in various colors and stone types, looks great in all kind of settings, and is available in a wide price range. And the best thing is, anyone with some free time and determination can install flagstone paths that are as long lasting and attractive as those installed by landscape professionals. Now, we will be discussing a number of areas regarding flagstone pathways, from characteristics, to its design and use, and also the cost. There is a lot of ground to cover, so let's get started with Characteristics.Material CharacteristicsFlagstone is sold under two classifications:Flagstone - large, irregularly shaped sheets of quarried stoneFlagstone Steppers - smaller pieces of the same materialFlagstone is generally 18 to 40 inches in diameter. Larger sizes are heavy; much more weight than one person should lift (unless you are a bodybuilder). Flagstone is best used for pathways that are 3 to 4 feet wide or wider. Flagstone...
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Stone Pathways: Introduction (Part II)
2008-01-11 16:03:00
Secondary pathways lead out into the garden, either branching off from main pathways (like streets), or existing on their own. These paths can be narrower, with widths as little as 16 inches. Why? Because a narrow path slows walking to let visitors enjoy the view of your garden.When choosing pathway styles and materials, consider the materials on your home's exterior. Homes finished in brick, stone, stucco, wood, aluminum, or vinyl siding all have color. The color of the stone used when building a main pathway can match, complement, or contrast with the color of the home.The architectural style of the home is another important consideration. Sleek, mortared pathways of cut slate or bluestone will probably look weird leading to an older, cottage-style home. Nor will meandering paths of fieldstone of cobblestone match the mood created by a modern-style home.If you need some good starting points for deciding on what kind of pathways will look good, here are a few quick tips:Flagstone ...
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Stone Pathways: Introduction (Part I)
2008-01-10 17:42:00
Pathways will lead us somewhere. That is their sole purpose. When you are walking in the woods, you usually see a trail. When you walk outside, you have streets intertwining with one another, or even leading to a dead end with a trail into the woods. When you ski down a hill, you might see flags to show you where to go, because if you go elsewhere you might get hurt. These are all pathways, because they guide you.Pathways not only guide you from place to place, but they guide your eyes as well. When designing pathways, consider both the practical and aesthetic possibilities within your yard and garden. Depending on your taste, you might go for one or the other specifically.Make sure to start your design by laying out the main pathways. These paths are the routes leading to and from the house. Also ask yourself this question:"Where do I travel most in my yard?"If you travel to your shed (if you have one), that might be an ideal place to have a pathway. But, the main pathways for most...
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Stone Landscaping: Stone Uses (Part II)
2008-01-09 17:11:00
Hello, today we are going to finish up "Stone Uses". There are a few more different uses for stone in a garden. If you are into having nature at your door, or having an ancient-like appearance in your garden, read on. Fountains/Water BowlsA manufactured stone fountain or a custom-built fountain of your own style can add an important element to your garden-the sound of water splashing. It gives that feeling of true nature. Just think of stone fountains as audible sculptures; any garden can be brought to new life by their presense.Ruins Even if you don't have a centuries-old stately manor or a castle, you can still have a stone ruin in your garden. Stone structures built to look like the remains of a stone wall or structure from centuries before, become a delightful surprise when visitors (friends/family) discover them in a garden.Water FeaturesPools, ponds, streams, and waterfalls bring a soothing sight and sound of water to a garden. It's a great visual as well, putting the mind a...
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Stone Landscaping: Stones Uses (Part I)
2008-01-08 17:00:00
Besides stone's use in pathways, walls, steps and patios, stone can be used for many other things in a garden. These are much smaller projects, but still can add new life and value to your garden. It'll also help people notice your plants better, because the stone will accent the plant. Rock GardensThe rock gardens of today take many more forms than those of Victorian times. Early rock gardens were usually on sunny slopes and made to resemble windswept, natural outcroppings. Only true alpine plants were used. Today, rock gardens can be in any part of the garden, and can include any plants you desire.Outcroppings and AccentsOutcroppings of boulders can carry the rugged, permanent presence of stone throughout the landscape. Make sure to arrange boulders carefully, so they appear to have been in place long before the house was built. This is one of the most appealing displays to the eye, and the most natural-looking.Planter Boxes If you want a good stone landscaping idea, I got two w...
More About: Landscaping , Stone , Part , Stones
Stone Landscaping: What are the Possibilities? (Part II)
2008-01-07 23:59:00
Are there other possibilities for stone landscaping? Yes, since I only covered three, I will conclude the possibilities today. There are three more possibilities to arrange stone. There are more uses for stone, but we'll cover them next time. For now, let's discover the possibilities.Patios and Outdoor Living SpacesYour yard can become an extension to your own home when you develop outdoor "rooms" that define and showcase your family's way of life. Stone is great for creating a place for dinner when you have family and friends over. It's also great as an entertainment area, or a place to sit back and relax.Container SpacesStone is great for developing surfaces where you can put containers filled with plants. A pot of annuals set on a small gravel or flagstone floor with the garden bed can become a bright and colorful focal point. Stone pillars of different heights, topped with plant in containers, also provide great displays of a garden.Garden EdgingAny kind of stone can be used...
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Stone Landscaping: What are the Possibilities? (Part I)
2008-01-06 19:16:00
Choices, choices, and more choices. When it comes to choosing how to use something, you might not think of every creative way to use something. When it comes to stone landscaping, there are a lot of ways to use stone. With some planning and hard work, you will have a scenary that will catch anyone's eye. And even with every category of stone landscaping, there is even more variety. The only limitation is what your mind can think up.Stone PathwaysStone pathways can be constructed in many ways, each with a different look and style reflecting the artistry of the person who put it together. Pathways serve the purpose of providing a route through the garden to any visitors. The look, size, and style of a stone pathway is an important landscape accent, and can be considered a part of the garden itself. Stone WallsNot many features in a home garden can not match the charm and ageless appeal of a stone wall (look at the great wall of china, and historical landmarks all over the world). The...
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Stone Landscaping: What is it?
2008-01-04 19:06:00
When you are in the wilderness, you might see a real pond, river, or lake. These weren't built by man, nature created these designs. Nature has ways of telling us the great ideas and things we can do with our own garden. Do you see the picture? It shows stones and a waterfall going into nature's pond. Well, who says you can't have that on your lawn. If you have a lawn, then it might be very possible to have a similar (but more modern) look as this picture shows. Or, possibly something better.No material used in the creation of landscapes can equally match up to the versatility, impact, and power of stone. Putting stones into your garden design opens a door to infinite design possibilities. That is because no two stones walls, pathways, or patios can look exactly the same. Why? Well, no two stones or slabs look the same. If you do happen to have two or more stone walls that look the same, you would probably be a good candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records.Large, jagged s...
More About: Landscaping , Stone
Koi Food: Fads/Trends & How Winter makes Fish Slim (Part 4)
2008-01-03 13:29:00
This last blog of this multi-blog series discusses two last topics with koi food. We will be discussing food fads & trends, and also how winter can help your fish.------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------- -------------------Fads/Trends There have been fads for koi food, some which have been proven, and others that provided little nutritional value for fish. Let's take a look at a few popular ones.One fad to come along was vitamin C. It was praised by food manufacturers, and was put into every type of fish food. It eventually lost its appeal after being on the market for a while, but made a comeback when stabilized vitamin C was introduced.Later on, color additives started to become popular. They are still used today, but have decreased in popularity and usage after researchers found that too many additives caused undesirable pinks and whites in koi.Other fads that came around were high protein (read past posts about how much protein a koi reall...
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Koi Food: Filter & Weather Influence on Feeding (Part 3)
2008-01-01 22:51:00
Our next topic in this multi-blog series is how the filter and the weather can influence how you feed your fish. Let's start with your filtration system (if you don't have one in your pond, now is the time to invest in one). After that, we show you how to feed according to the current weather.--------------------------------- ----------------------------------------- ----------------------All pond owners (with fish of course) know that the type of filter, and the number of fish in any pond, determines how much you should feed each day. The filter's performance and resulting water quality can show if you are feeding too much. Make sure to watch your water, because that indicates if you feed too much or if there is too much waste.Some fish foods put a higher organic load on filtration systems (no matter how good or bad the filter is), which include extremely high protein foods. A safe protein amount to stick to in fish food is 36 percent, since it gives less load on the filter and a ...
More About: Weather , Food , Part , Part 3 , Filter
Koi Food: Pellet Diversity & Fresh Fish Food (Part 2)
2007-12-29 21:32:00
Welcome back! We last left off discussing how a fish is made up biologically and what nutrition they need to stay healthy. Next, we go more in-depth with food pellets and why you should buy fresh, dry fish food.------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------- -------------------Pellet Diversity Food pellets come in a variety of packages, sizes, and contain different ingredients. Well, which variety and brand is right for your specific "koi"? Is it really the right food, or just hype with pretty packaging? With so many types of pellets to choose from, a few guidelines can help you pick the right food for your "koi".Pond owners don't agree on the percentage of protein content that is best for their specific fish. But, the one thing every serious pond owner does agree on is reading labels and buying fresh food. It's very important you do this, so you know what you are getting.Federal regulations set standards for what can be used in animal feeds. If a packa...
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Koi Food: Proper Nutrition & The Biology Behind It (Part 1)
2007-12-26 23:53:00
The above picture is a picture of your typical "koi" fish. I used this picture as an example, being that a beginning hobbyist might not know what a koi looks like. I'll have more pictures of the fish I am using for this multipart blog. I could discuss history, anatomy, or how to raise a prize koi. But, I am sure you are just a home owner, who wants to keep things simple.So, what is one thing you need to know about "koi"? Well, you need to know how to feed them. You think something like that would be very simple. But, it's a broad subject that needs to be thought out. Or else, you might have to do trial and error and find what helps your fish and what doesn't. To be honest, I would prefer you know "koi" fish food basics.Biology of a "Fish"All pond owners who have "koi" should know some basics about fish biology. Well, consider this "Fish Biology 101". If you know how the fish digestive system works and the nutritional needs of fish, you'll know what fish food is good for the fish...
More About: Food , Nutrition , Part , Rope
Water Plant FAQ For Beginning Pond Enthusiasts
2007-12-17 20:33:00
Question #1: I have put some water plants in my pond, but when am I supposed to fertilize them? What can I use to fertilize them? Help!Answer #1: Your water plants should get their first dose of fertilizer in the spring. The exact time to start fertilization would be when your water plants start to sprout. A majority of water plants do well with consistent monthly feeding, with biweekly fertilizing in July and August (around the same time you are tanning in the sun). Stop Fertilization a month before winter in your area.You can use any general plant fertilizer for water plants. The only problem you should be concerned about is how to get the fertilizer to the plant without turning your pond green. Algae feeds on fertilizer. How can you combat against this problem?Easy!Just use a fertilizer in tablet form. Be sure to push it into the soil and cover up whatever hole you create with more soil. This will prevent the fertilizer from dissolving and releasing its nutrients back into your ...
More About: Water , Pond , Plant
The Fight against Pond Algae (Part 2: The Solution) - Aeration & Testing Th
2007-12-11 00:24:00
Welcome back, it's been some time. This is the last part of our "Fight against Pond Algae" series. It's been a long road, with a lot of information, but our journey comes to a close with two final ways to kill pond scum. AERATIONSince algae needs oxygen to survive, as well as fish, the fight for oxygen can give your fish more of a struggle surviving (aside from grabbing their fish food before the other fish does). But, increasing oxygen through aeration can give your fish that oxygen supply it needs. Aeration allows the water to move continuously, which disrupts algae growth and dead spots that refuse to go through your filtration system. Also, when oxygen levels are down, your filtration goes down. Air pumps, water movement (like water falls), and diffusers (air domes) help give your pond optimum oxidization. Another helpful way to increase oxygen levels is to replace 10% of your entire water supply in the pond on a weekly basis. This will get rid of pond bacteria and fish pherom...
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The Fight against Pond Algae (Part 2: The Solution) - Fish N' Plants
2007-12-05 19:17:00
We left off our last blog discussing ways to get rid of pond algae. I mentioned two ways to get rid of pond algae, that you probably already have in your pond or should have. What could those two things be? This should be easy to guess (hint: It's in the title). Give up?The answer: Fish & Plants Now, you might be thinking, "Doesn't pond algae make fish sick and kill them?"Yes, if pond algae builds up and isn't taken care of, it will kill your fish eventually. But, the formula works two ways. Fish can eat up algae. The best type of fish to get the job done would be koi fish. Having one or two of these bad boys can do your pond some good, just as long as they play nice with the other fish. Make sure you don't have fish too small with your bigger kois, or your koi fish might perform a disappearing act on your small fry.The stocking rate for fish should be 250 gallons per fish. This can depend on the size of the fish. Our pond has a koi and two catfish, along with other cold wate...
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The Fight Against Pond Algae (Part 2: The Solution) - Filtration101
2007-11-28 03:06:00
Welcome back and sorry for the wait. We last discussed Pond Algae, and why it's a problem as far as ponds go. Well, how do you go about getting rid of this pond scum?You can ask yourself one thing for starters:"How is my pond filtration system?"Can you consider your pond filter great, the best, decent, okay? If you don't know how good or bad your pond filter is, or don't have a pond filter (I highly doubt this), then you might have found one of the culprits to your green pond problem. Filtration is a key element in keeping a pond clean. The quality of the filter will reflect the water quality of your pond. Keep in mind two things with your pond filter:A. The Filter SizeB. Turnover RateNow, to figure out the size filter you need for your pond, you have to do some calculations. You can calculate by pond volume, or surface area. ----------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------- ---To calculate total pond value, you must find the area and then multiply...
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The Fight against Pond Algae (Part 1: The Problem)
2007-11-21 03:42:00
There are over 5,500 species of green algae that can manifest itself in fresh pond water (well, water in general that is subjected to the outdoors). Spring and summer time is the worst season for green algae, because it gives algae everything it needs to harvest at a fast rate. Why is that? Well, because a plant needs three basic ingredients to grow: sunlight, nutrients, and oxygen. During spring and summer, it gets all of these to its roots desire. Algae can come in single-celled or multi-celled forms. Single-celled algae (phytoplankton) is 15 microns. Multi-celled Algae can grow up to 5 feet and form blanket weed. Blanket weed can grow up to a foot a day under nice sunny conditions. Some of your experienced pond contractors will refer to this spring time problem as "New Pond Syndrome". What this means is that when spring comes and your pond is up and running (with filtration working), you will get green water. In the winter, a lot of people will shut off their filters because of t...
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Garden Islands: Great Home for Plants and Ponds
2007-11-19 03:02:00
A Garden Island is a good way to define an area in your yard. Let?s say you have an undeveloped area in your yard and want to create a garden island there, you simply put markers three or four feet away from the adjacent planting in that area. Now, you use a hose to make a design pattern. The design should be free handed and look pleasing to the eye, keep it free flowing. Use the other plantings that border the garden island you?re creating, to give you a lay-out pattern. Your design will flow parallel and evenly spaced to the adjacent plantings in that area. If your yard is undeveloped, a good place to start is the center of the yard. Now create a pattern you like and a size you can handle. Later you can create other garden islands off the first one and keep on going, forming a puzzle or paisley effect, creating walkways between all the garden islands. Later you can view pictures of Garden Islands , on my web site, but for now let?s talk about construction. Garden Island constr...
More About: Plants , Home , Great
The Fish Factor: Goldfish
2007-11-17 18:22:00
A pond is not complete without fish to occupy it. Whether it's a pond built by man or Mother Nature, most ponds contain fish. Choosing what kind of fish you put in your pond depends on how much you want to spend, the size of the pond, and your personal preferences. Let's look at pricing first. Pricing can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, and that can be for just one fish! Let's have a small breakdown on the type of fish you can get for your pond.There are many types of fish you can put in a pond. Let's first start with goldfish. Goldfish are considered fresh water fish, which means you don't need salt in your pond for them to survive. Now, there are several types of goldfish, with prices that might range. Let's look at a few different types of goldfish:CometsYou have large red and white comets, which might cost around $10.00. They are around 4" in size. There are also Shubunkin Pond Comets, which can cost around $10.00 and range from 3.5" to 4". Comets are the...
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What a pond wants, what a pond needs!
2007-11-13 21:43:00
Ponds require a lot of maintenance, and some knowledge. What do you need to maintain your pond? Well, here is a list of things required for keeping your pond clean, clear, and your fish alive:1. Pond Test Kits - The water in your pond is an essential factor in how your fish will live. If you neglect your duties at pond sanitation, your fish will pay the price. Pond test kits test ph(measuring the acidity of a solution), salt, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. In the beginning, you might have to check these levels frequently (at least once a month). Over time you might not need to do it monthly, but it's still a good habit to do pond water testing.2. Quarantine Tank - There are arguments on whether this is necessary. Well, if you sent a diseased fish (even if it's an expensive diseased fish) into a small environment with other fish, wouldn't they get sick? I'm sure they would. One diseased fish can wipe out your entire pond population.3. Filter- A good, high-qual...
More About: Pond , Needs
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