I had the pleasure of attending the monthly Pond Society Meeting last evening held at Zilker Botanical Gardens. The usual suspects were there with a couple of new enthusiasts hoping to gain knowledge and insight to the wonders of water gardening.
As usual, the first fifteen minutes was devoted to feeding ourselves on the food supplied to help start the meeting off feeling good. This week, we had sandwiches, cheeses, carrots and cucumbers, crackers, chips and dip followed by a wonderful cake. I am usually pretty frugal when it comes to eating the sweet stuff but I always allow myself the luxury of sampling the cakes brought to the meeting. I have not been disappointed yet.
Following the delicious food, the meeting was called to order by the President Bill Brister to address several items of business the most important of which was the discussion on the sign up sheet that was being passed around. Bill and the rest of the Board members are actively seeking information from those in attendance about the subject matter for the meetings. The sign up sheet was designed to allow the members to indicate what they would like to see happen. There were a couple of other items one to do with volunteering for a project due to happen today, Tuesday and the other was about joining the National Koi society.
Our good friend B.J. Jenkins who is in charge of the Pond Tour made an announcement looking for members who would like to put their ponds on the tour this year. So far, she has only eight ponds, way short of last years total of twenty. If you would like to put your pond on display for all to see, contact B.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org . It is a lot of fun and you get to meet some really nice people most of who are extremely complimentary of your efforts. Last year, there were 225 people who walked the five ponds at my house and I think I must have spoken to every one of them. OK, not really, but I did more talking than I normally do as it is easy to discuss or explain something that you are passionate about and people always have lots of questions. Last year was not the best of years for the vegetation as we were in the middle of 100 degree days and things had just not grown. Hopefully, this year will be better. I plan on putting my ponds on the tour again this year and have already made a good start with the preparation with lots of new plantings. If we don’t get a killer frost, we are going to have a head start with the growth especially with all of the rain. Even it you don’t have a pond or do not want to show it, B.J. is looking for volunteers for several different spots including manning the tables set up outside each pond site to welcome and collect the money and sell tickets. If you are interested, B.J. has a spot for you.
Following B.J’s passionate appeal, the meeting was divided into four separate groups meeting at different tables with the idea being that each group would hold a discussion based on any members questions. The groups were Pond Construction with Kal Tinsley acting as the host, Fish with Glen Hubenthal, Water and Filters with Ed McEnany and lastly Water Lilies and Plants with Darren Bayhi as the host. The idea being that any member might have a question and anyone who had an opinion could respond with the host having the final word.
I joined the Pond Construction table and one of our group brought along a very interesting question about supplying water from the pond into to the bog and then back into the pond. It raised a lot of good discussion within the group and my only fear was that we supplied so much information we might have confused the poor guy. Another one of our group, Rick Perkal was in the process of collecting information to build his ponds and had many questions. Turns out that Rick and his wife spoke with me at last years Pond Tour when he stopped by my ponds. Small world.
Bill Brister conducted the drawing for the door prizes to round off the evening. When I left, a couple of the groups were still in heavy discussion. We have a large selection of books that members can borrow to help them with their research or just to plain enjoy the pictures. These are loaned out free to members.
The group idea will be a part of every meeting from here on out. So, if you have a question and can’t find an answer to a pond, fish, water or plant problem, come to the next meeting of the Austin Pond Society to be held on March 19 at 7:00 pm at Zilker Botanical Gardens.