The continuous extreme heat and dry conditions this summer are making it really difficult to maintain the garden. Last night though, a storm passed over bringing much needed rain. Yet at this point, we're basically trying to just keep plants alive. So we haven't had much to harvest compared to years past. Yet one crop that is producing are the grapes. The plants themselves have been doing well, and this is the first time since we planted them a few years ago that we've gathered a crop. Yay! To deter the birds, who also really love grapes, we have several meshes covering the plants. We still have been picking lots of grapes and let me tell you, they are tasty little jewels! I'm thankful for them.
A bright spot in the garden is this new little pond and water garden. In the spring I showed you the beginnings of it. Now it's pretty much finished, although we want to transplant irises into the spot in front of the wall.
I can take no credit for this project. My husband did all of it, including constructing the form to pour the concrete fountain. It was rather complex. Water is pumped up through one side of the form and then the water trails down over the top. Inside the circular openings he made recesses for plants. A "red creeper" plant is there in the middle. The water lilies and lotus in the pond were gifts from a co-teacher of mine who has a water garden. The others we purchased. Of the whole project, the biggest expense were the patio rocks.
The pond water is mostly rain water collected from a rain barrel. The plants and submergible plants help control algae growth. We're still deciding whether to get a couple goldfish to help with algae and mosquito larvae. But since our pond isn't deep enough for fish to overwinter, we'd have to find another pond for them at that point.
I can't tell you how much enjoyment and nourishment this water garden brings. Lots of birds and insects visit it daily, including sparrows, goldfinches, catbirds, and honeybees. When it's this hot and dry out, it's so refreshing to hear the babbling water, and to see an oasis of happy green plants!