July 21 column

Here is a link to my column in today's edition of The Spokesman-Review: Ponds, streams can make real splash. It's all about next Sunday's pond tour, sponsored by the Inland Empire Water Garden & Koi Society.

The tour will feature eight water gardens throughout Spokane Valley. You can purchase tickets for $5 per person or $15 per carload next Sunday at three of the garden locations: 10304 E. Upriver Dr., 2207 E. Pacific Dr. or 13710 E. 42nd Ave. The tickets will have directions to all eight gardens. The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Many years ago, my husband Bill and I went on a pond tour and were inspired by how much interest they add to a garden. We first started with an oak barrel that held a few fish and a couple of aquatic plants. I enjoyed it but it wasn't an ideal water garden since the water would get quite hot during the summers.

About 12 years ago, we built a 3,000 gallon pond that holds water lilies and other hardy aquatic plants as well as koi and goldfish. We also have a 50-gallon pre-formed pond in another area of our back garden. I just love them. They're soothing to watch and it's so cool when birds come to drink from them or bathe near the waterfall. The above photo is of a 'Fascination' water lily in our larger pond.

I hope you will go on the tour next Sunday and get inspired as well. They're always fun to go on, even if you don't create your own water garden.