“Finding Nemo” In Our Own Backyard

Prior to becoming a family with Ray and Gretel, the extent of my outdoor work was mowing the yard.  Although I enjoyed watching the peonies and roses bloom and the sedum grow at my old house, I never planted anything.  Actually, Miss ABBA was more of a gardener if you count the occasional few times that she would get bored outside and start digging.

A couple of weekends ago as Ray and I planted our Father’s Day presents (a vanilla-strawberry hydrangea for me and two Japanese maples for him), we decided to venture into a larger digging project.  So, while I was at work on Saturday, Ray watched an online video and on Sunday, we started digging.

A few hours later, we were finished digging and we were so green that we transplanted the sod grass to areas of the yard that needed a little help.  I even posted a picture on my Facebook page and the guesses started coming in.  The top answers were a fish pond or a hot tub.

It was time for me to go to work and Ray went shopping for more accessories.  After my severe weather coverage, I checked my email and saw that Ray had completed phase two of the project by adding the liner, a pump/filter, water, pebbles along the bottom and the ledge, and stacked limestone for the foundation.

We waited several days to let the water clear up and warm some and last Thursday night, Gretel was ready to go buy some fish to stock our fish pond.

I guess we can say that this is Miss ABBA’s fish pond because she had a gift card left over from Petco, so we went there and bought eight goldfish of various colors and fish flakes.  A couple of days later, we went to Teske and bought six more goldfish (white ones) and some water plants.  We also purchased a few more plants at Hy-Vee and Lowe’s.

We came home and added the new fish and waited for a fish war to break out between the Petco fish and the Teske fish.  Days later, that still hasn’t happened.

The interesting thing is that for now, we have 14 goldfish and they are hiding out from us.  I’m sure it will just be a matter of time before they decide to socialize around the upper ledge where the plants sit, instead of hiding out in the deeper water.

To complete out fish pond landscaping project, I suggest these cracked glass globe solar lights that we saw at Menard’s.

While in the daytime, they look like something of Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” video, at night, you think more of  “Love Game” and “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”,.  The globes change colors from green, yellow, red, blue, and purple when the sun goes down.  They are so cool.

So, in my current life, I’m always planting and gardening and I’ve built a fire pit, broke up a limestone patio and built a wall to hosta hill and and now I can say that I helped build a fish pond.

What’s funny about the fish pond is that Ray’s sister, Ann, gave it to him many years ago and it just sat in the box.  After purchasing the solar lights, the rocks, the fish, the food, and the plants, which were the most expensive part of the venture, I guess there isn’t such thing as free.  But, let me tell you, it sure is beautiful and so rewarding sitting on the patio and enjoying the view.

I know that if Miss ABBA was still with us, it would be difficult keeping her out of the fish pond and I can see the bubble above her head, “but I paid for the fish”.  In a parallel universe, this picture from Spirit Lake, Iowa, last Labor Day sums up my thoughts on how ABBA would react to the fish pond!


P.S.  I’m mesmerized by the solar lights.  Check out this video to see how the colors change in real time. 🙂


22 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kim on May 15, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Love it! Ray will make a gardener out of you yet 🙂


  2. Kim,

    I’m off to a great start. He’s a keeper!



  3. Posted by Ann Schulte on May 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

    So glad that the pond is finally in use! It turned out great! Can’t wait to see it in person!


    • Ann,

      Thank you for the compliment on our work, but a bigger “thank you” for giving it to us. It was a fun project.

      You’re welcome any time. The fish may hide from you, but Gretel would love to have her cousins here!



  4. Posted by Wanda Otts McCraw on May 15, 2012 at 10:14 am

    That is BEAUTIFUL! AWESOME jobs Fella’s Thanks for sharing this<3


  5. Wanda,

    Thank you. It was definitely a fun project from start to finish.



  6. Posted by Darla on May 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

    This looks terribly dangerous to America!


  7. Ha! It probably is.



  8. Posted by Cindy on May 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Just gorgeous!!!!! Enjoy the beauty after all the hard work!!!


  9. Posted by Kathy Markham McCoy on May 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I am laughing so hard…did you think there would be a turf war between the Petco fish and the Teske fish? (Cue music from “West Side Story” gang fight). See, even fish from different backgrounds get along in the Forthepeople Pond!

    And I too could hear Miss ABBA saying they are HER pets since SHE bought them. And then she’d wonder if they were going to eat her tomatoes.

    Beautiful job with the landscaping.


  10. Posted by Kimberly on May 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm



  11. Posted by Tammy Ridpath on May 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm



  12. Posted by Sharon on May 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    LOVE IT!! I’m now trying to talk David into putting one in the back area of our yard. Wonder if the deer would like it…. Lovely job Anthony and Ray!!


  13. Posted by rolene on May 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Wow, you did a great job. Ray can come and redo mine. 🙂


  14. Posted by Dixie on May 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Great Job you two love it.I can see you two out relaxing at night by the fish pond..Life is good..!!!!


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