The Leprechauns are at it again…

New Faerie Pond

New Faerie Pond and stream

Apparently, the leprechauns were dissatisfied with the entry-level pond at Shady Glen so this week they put in a new pond and a stream. They even managed to find some koi!

You can view the complete set of pictures here.

Cleaning the Willie Birge Memorial Pond at Zilker Gardens 2015

Cleaning the Ponds at Zilker 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

One of the tasks that volunteers from the Austin Pond Society perform every year is to clean out the Willie Birge Memorial Pond located in front of the Meeting Room at the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Usually, the work happens the first weekend in March but this year, the weather was not kind and the work was delayed until this past weekend, March 14, 2015.

For as long as anyone remembers, the leader of the group of volunteers has been Darren Bayhi who is also the Membership Manager of the Austin Pond Society. He has so much knowledge of what needs to be done which not only includes draining the pond and cleaning it out but also to re-pot the lilies and lotus plus all of the other pond plants that call this pond their home. Luckily, apart from many Gambusia, a very small fish often called mosquito fish mainly because they do a good job of eating the mosquito larvae, the pond does not have any other fish to add to the difficulty. It was interesting to see the care that the volunteers gave to these tiny fish. When they were spotted mixed in the mud on the bottom of the pond, one or the other of the volunteers would very carefully pick them up and place them in a bucket of water put aside for this purpose.  Several frogs were also caught and kept safe to be returned after the pond was re-filled.

Along with Darren, his band of merry men and women composed of our President Jeannie Ferrier and her husband Steven Monfrini, our Secretary Julienne Smith and the rest, a happy group of men, Phil Prokaski, Charlie Melear, Chuck Graves and Bruce McDonald. I was also there but did not help out much as I was too busy trying to get a record of this event. At least, that was my excuse. It was pointed out several times that I was the only clean one in the group. The others were up to their collective ears in mud.

The group also worked on cleaning one of the smaller ponds further down the hill and also the Rose Garden Pond where they added plants and made adjustments to the new fountains that have very recently been installed. I told them I had a very important job but I don’t think they believed me…

The entire process took a little over five hours and the end result was that the pond was clean, the lilies and lotus were replanted and fertilized along with a couple of Papyrus and Pickerel. Give them a month and the new growth will be showing for a glorious display of water flowers for the entire summer for the visitors to the Zilker Botanical Gardens here in Austin.

Many thanks to all of the people who helped out on this Annual project. it would have been very difficult for Darren on his own. On the plus side, we all got a free lesson on how to re-pot lilies and lotus, knowledge that we can put to good use in our own ponds.

Attached are links to the three different videos about the re-potting process. Easily worth the membership fee to join the Pond Society.

Re-potting Water Lilies
Re-potting Lotus
Re-potting water plants.

All of the above were supervised by Darren Bayhi with the volunteers from the Austin Pond Society.

Cleaning Zilker Pond 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

March 2015 Zilker Gardens in the Spring

I was at Zilker Botanical Gardens filming the cleaning of the Willie Birge Memorial Pond along with a couple of others by volunteers from the Austin Pond Society and in between shots, wandered around a part of the grounds taking some pictures. Nature is just beginning to wake up for our enjoyment.
I have assembled them in a slide show below. Enjoy…

Zilker Gardens in March 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Faeries at Zilker Botanical Gardens

Faerie House

By BJ Jenkins – Faerie Construction Company

The Woodland Faerie Trail at Zilker Botanical Garden will be open from March 16 through May 26. Throughout the wooded area past the Herb Garden, faeries have been busy constructing new homes and tidy little gardens. The Austin Pond Society has a new split level complete with pond and stream aptly named “Shady Glen.” As you enter the Trail, turn left and go to the second area on the right. The APS faeries built their home in a secluded spot next to a display by Gypsy fairies representing the Organic Gardeners. Unfortunately, before the APS faeries could move in, the structure was taken over by leprechauns who are keeping watch from the balconies. There goes the neighborhood!

The “Faeries by Starlight” will be open for night-time visits on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. Fees are $6 per person or $15 per family.

Join APS

Splash Party leadin (1 of 1)If you are interested in ponds and all things connected, like plants and fish, why not become a member of the Austin Pond Society.

Meeting are held eleven months of the year which excludes December, at the Zilker Botanical Gardens Meeting Room on the third Monday of the month starting at 6:30 pm. They usually last about two hours and are generally attended by around fifty or so of our current membership. We usually have a speaker talking to us on the different and various aspects of ponding and many of them are from the local Gardening and Aquatic businesses around town. They are always interesting to listen to and provide a wealth of knowledge to the laymen (us). Incidentally, many of them are our sponsors and one of their benefits is a discount at many of their stores and places of business.

We have a Hospitality person who provides us with a light meal before the meeting. Deserts are also provided by the many members and some of them are out of this world. We also have an extensive library of books all related to ponding, for the D.I.Y person, plants, fish and everything else related to water gardening. The books are loaned free to members. Another benefit is the Sale or Swap link on the website if you are in the market for used pond equipment.

We hold social meetings at some of the various restaurants around town and sometimes have members only tours set up to visit one of the local ponds, usually of one of the members.  I can promise you that you will get to meet a very nice bunch of people all with the same interest.

You can join in two different ways. One is by following this link.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software

or the other is to come to a meeting the third Monday of every month at Zilker Botanical Gardens and join there. Membership is for either an individual or a family and both cost the same at $30.

If you have any questions you can contact either Margaret Boeneke  Membership or Francis Allcorn Webmaster

Hope you can join us.

Some of the Benefits of Membership

Membership in the Austin Pond Society is a wonderful way to meet other pond lovers and learn about the many joys of having a backyard pond. In addition to our regular monthly meetings where you’ll hear professionals speak on pond building, plants, fish and other wildlife. you’ll get to participate in hands-on demonstrations and give back to the community by helping us out at the Zilker Garden Center and area elementary schools where we teach and assist in building and maintaining their ponds.

  • As a member, you also receive these member-only benefits:POND-O-VAC – one week with a suggested donation of $25 plus deposit
    125 GALLON TRANSPORT TANK – $25 per week donation plus deposit
    GENERAL MEETING EACH MONTH – wonderful speakers, great food and friendship with like-minded folks
    THE MARKETPLACE – sign up and receive notification whenever pond equipment, Koi, goldfish and plants are being given away.
    POND STARS – experienced ponders can help with advice on your pond problems
    APRIL PLANT SWAP – bring a variety of plants and go home with your car full.
    MAY SPONSOR NIGHT – come and meet our APS sponsors and check out the newest products and enjoy great discounts.
    MEMBERS-ONLY EVENTS – outings to members’ ponds, garden centers, water-lily growers, fish hatcheries
    WEBSITE – contains information on all aspects of APS activities
    THE STREAM – MONTHLY CALENDAR – keeps you current with the month’s activities
    COMMUNITY SERVICE – volunteer at Zilker Botanical Garden, the Zilker Garden Festival, and the Austin Pond Tour. Participate at the annual pond cleaning at Down Home Ranch or other sites that need our assistance
    AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT PROJECT BLUE SANTA – volunteer to wrap and / or deliver gifts to needy children at Christmas

DISCLAIMER: While the information contained in this newsletter was carefully collected and compiled to be as accurate as possible, there are no expressed or implied warranties that the information contained herein, including paid advertisements, is correct, of any value, or suitable for any purpose. If you use this information in any way, you assume full responsibility for the results of your actions. In no event will the author or others be liable for any results or the lack thereof.