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|Experimenting With Water Features|
Once a water feature has been setup and established there are some interesting things to do as side projects. These auxiliary exercises are somewhat like the process of pruning a Bonsai Tree over the course of time. They can also be compared to the exercise of tracing designs in a sand garden, such designs changing over the course of time along with the circumstances and personality of the tracer. It becomes a further fine tuning of the water feature, and like a Bonsai Tree that will look different depending on how it's owner cares for it, a water feature will also take on the influence of it's owner over time.
Growing Moss On A Water Vessel
Growing moss on a water vessel is a beautiful project that requires patience and regular care. Certain materials should be used for this exercise. Terra cotta or concrete materials are the best to use for growing moss.
Porous materials like Terra Cotta and concrete have a rough textured surface that contains many small crevices and cavities. These indentations provide small protective shelters into which moss can thrive and grow. It's much more difficult for moss, which are in fact small plants, to grow on smooth surfaces like ceramic or metal over which water is flowing. This difficulty stems from the lack of a foothold for the plants to latch onto without being washed away by the water. A surface with imperfections prevents the moss from being washed away by the water.
Growing moss requires a good degree of patience and regularity. During initial growth moss uses the moisture left behind from watering to grow uninterrupted. Moss grows best when water is present but not continually flowing. Once plants have taken residence in surface crevices they act to contain added moisture which enables the moss to develop at an accelerated rate. The small crevices and cavities on the surface material of the water feature also work to hold water long enough to facilitate moss growth. As more plants take hold they maintain water longer preventing evaporation and this is what results in the beautiful soft green carpet growth of moss we are all so familiar with.
Growing water feature moss takes time and patience. Water should be supplied regularly to both enable the moss to grow and to prevent it from drying out. Without regular water the moss will dehydrate and wither. This is because moss cannot get water from the ground or material medium easily. Moss does have an uncanny ability to absorb moisture from dew and condensation and also from porous materials that hold water such as terra cotta.
Over time we will notice a beautiful green patina on the vessel and after awhile a moss carpet will develop. Shade is most conductive to moss growth since direct sunlight on the water vessel will quickly evaporate the water on the outside surface needed for growth and dry out the fragile plants. Remember to never scrub the surface or otherwise interfere since the moss is delicate and will easily come off, especially in it's formative stages. The reason a garden vessel, urn or pot is most conductive to growing moss is because it can be filled daily or at regular intervals and the water made to overflow the vessel. This process will wet the outside surface and leave moisture just long enough to facilitate new growth and develop it over time.
Adding Fish To Garden Ponds
Putting fish into garden ponds is a time honored tradition with cultural roots and esoteric meanings that span the ordinary. Traditionally, Koi fish are used in outdoor water features to create luck, prosperity and life force into an area. Koi are very colorful fish that can grow to be very large. The very visible and dynamic coloring of Koi make them ideal garden pond inhabitants. The colors in the fish symbolize different things. Traditionally, a single black fish will be placed in with the others to represent the negative principal and honor the opposing balancing factor of the positive qualities of the other. Such positive qualities as luck, prosperity and good fortune are represented by the usual Koi colors that include vivid orange, white, red and green. Adding Koi to an outdoor garden pond is a regular project because the fish will require some care initially. After awhile they can survive well on their own in natural setting type ponds where they will feed on algae, moss and other plants that grow in the water.
Exalted Fountains carries many types of garden pond fountain designs that can be used in your garden. Products such as these are great starting points for further exercises like growing moss or using a garden fountain ordered plumbed for use in your own pond into which you can add Koi.
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