Water garden gifts for naturally 'nice' pond people'
We're T-minus 10 days and counting until Christmas arrives; following is my top 10 gift suggestions for water garden enthusiasts.
There's no need to make a naughty-versus-nice holiday list when it comes to pond lovers, as those who are drawn to water features seem to have inherited naturally nice DNA!
During the last decade, more than 100,000 ecosystem fish ponds and water gardens have been installed across America; therefore, chances are that you know or are related to a Pond Person.
If you are one yourself, then the Golden Rule applies. If you "do unto others" with a gift, then you will want to "do unto yourself" with one, too. "Tis the season to spread good cheer, and charity begins at home, as they say.
Some of these items will easily slide into your loved oneâ€™s stocking (providing they arenâ€™t wearing it) for an unexpected treat, while others rate in the big gift category. You may even want to highlight one of the smaller items as part of a larger packageâ€™s decoration by securing it to the main presentâ€™s bow.
Take the plunge into the world of water gardening with these items to make any and every water garden enthusiast rejoice:
10. Premium Fish Food. We live in sunny Southern California, where, if the water temperature is above 50 degrees, we can continue feeding our fish even in the winter.
Danichi Premium Koi food is sure to make any pond enthusiast and their fish smile around the holidays! This fish food is SO GOOD, that it is actually imported into Japan! No, not imported FROM Japan, but TO Japan.
9. Pond Thermometer. This item is necessary to keep a close eye on the water temperature during the winter months because, of course, we need to stop feeding our fish when the water temperature drops below 50 degrees. This is to prevent fish from hibernating with a meal in their belly, which is uncomfortable and unhealthy.
Pond Thermometers are inexpensive; however, I have found that nine out of 10 ponds DO NOT have a thermometer. You're sure to score with this stocking stuffer. Budget: under $10.
8. A Digital Hydrometer. This digital instrument is used to measure the salt in a pond, which is important during quarantine procedures that typically take place when adding new fish to your pond, or if your fish are feeling under the weather. A digital hydrometer is a dream for any pond owner. Budget: about $100.
7. Pond Apparel. In many malls you can find stands selling hats with customized embroidery done right on the spot! POND JUNKIE, PONDERER, PONDS RULE, POND GUY, POND GAL, or some other funny saying that would get a rise out of the pond enthusiast in your family, is sure to be a hit.
I bought a fantastic hooded sweatshirt at Mystic Koi in Upland for ..., well, I can't reveal for whom or it will spoil the surprise! Budget: $50 and under.
6. Books on Fish and Water Gardening. Water garden and pond enthusiasts, along with fish fanatics, love books on the hobby; therefore, you really can't go wrong on this one! Magazine subscriptions on the subject also are appreciated. One of my favorite books, which I found this season, is "The Water Gardener" by Anthony Archer-Wills. Budget: under $50.
5. Statues or Benches. I love the granite Japanese lantern by my pond. Tiki heads, and heron and alligator statues are among the many decorative items to consider.
Budget: Some statues and benches are under $50, while others cost hundreds of dollars, depending upon the size and materials used.
4. Plants. Water gardens and ponds benefit greatly from terrestrial plantings around them by splashing the edges with color. Pansies, snap dragons and cyclamen are always in demand around the water garden, especially in the winter months when most all of the aquatic plants are in their hibernation mode.
Drought-tolerant, California-friendly plants also will be appreciated. Cold-water aquatic plants such as watercress, anacharis and golden buttons, to be placed in the water itself, also are possibilities.
Budget: Gift certificates that fit your budget enable the recipient to have the best of both worlds -- receiving the gift and being able to select their favorite plant color palette.
3. Fish. To ensure the gift of a happy, healthy fish, and grateful recipient, I suggest purchasing a gift certificate to create a win-win-win situation for the giver, receiver and the fish! Fish bring water gardens to life with memorable moments and relationships.
Budget: ranges from $5.99 into the thousands.
2. Scarecrow Motion-Sensor Device. Keep four- and two-legged predators away from your prized fish with this valuable tool. Budget: under $80;
Finally, my No. 1 recommendation for the latest, the greatest and the coolest of cool Yule gifts -- besides buying a water garden itself -- is:
1. Clay! Yes, That's Right CLAY. One of the most under-used supplements for ponds and water gardens is montmorillinite clay. The most beautiful Koi in the world are bred and raised in mud bottom ponds in Japan.
A quality clay supplement provides essential vitamins and minerals that are usually lacking in most water gardens because the fish and aquatic plants use up all available trace elements and minerals from the water very quickly.
Along with improving Koi color, Montmorillinite clay supplement will enhance water quality and clarity, aquatic plant growth and, ultimately, the enjoyment of the pond owner!
Budget: $15 to $30
Whether youâ€™re just starting out, or literally wrapping up your shopping, I encourage you to shop locally because itâ€™s efficient, effective and enjoyable knowing that your hard-earned dollars are further enhancing our wonderful community!
Seasonâ€™s Greetings to you and yours!
Eric Triplett owns the California-based Exotic Aquatics and The Pond Diggers, which specializes in waterscape design & construction including ponds, disappearing pondless waterfalls and hydro rock columns. He hopes to get a box of baseball cards from Santa.
The Pond Digger™