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Filed under:Koi Ponds,Ponds and Waterfalls,Wildlife

Japanese Koi


The three oldest and still most popular types of koi in Japan are Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.

Excellent Resource: http://www.koi-fish.com/koi-classification.html

kohaku http://www.blueridgekoi.com/why-us/selection/

kohaku http://www.blueridgekoi.com/why-us/selection/


sanke http://www.blueridgekoi.com/why-us/selection/


showa http://www.blueridgekoi.com/why-us/selection/


Bass and Bluegill Pond Ecosystem

Walking down to the big pond in Woodlawn TN in April, 2016. The 7′ deep and 12,000 sq. ft. area, bass and bluegill pond was completed in Oct 2014. It is a great example of an aquatic ecosystem designed with the help of Mother Nature to keep the water clean and healthy for both the flora and the fauna. This took the better part of the Summer of 2014. The best news is that it passed the one year guarantee last October with an A+. It is naturally filtered with a bog filter with stones and plant roots for the natural filtration and it all came together within 2015 to form a healthy, functioning pond ecosystem. Click on image for full photograph.













Ponds and Ecosystems

The still places where land meets water are incredibly vibrant and amazing ecosystems that we owe so much to our existence.

Photo Credits: DANIEL CASSON
Sheffield, UK
http://bit.ly/1vPqpwLPond 1Pond 2Pond 3Pond 4Pond 5Pond 6

Pondless Waterfalls Attract Birds of all Colors

Beautiful photo of an Indigo Bunting in Clarksville enjoying a pondless waterfall. Indigo Buntings love puddles! And more photos of Cardinals enjoying the same pondless waterfall.
Photos by Kimi Dove

Indigo BuntingCardinalCardinals 2Cardinals FrollickingCardinal 3Cardinal 4

Fountain Makeover


The almost 60 degree weather was perfect today in Woodlawn TN. My son, Keone and two of our closest friends and I cleaned up and revamped a fountain. An existing rubber lined fountain basin within a raised perennial garden was in need of a makeover so we installed new filtration and a 1200 gph pump. We then constructed a simple fountain using a paver supported crab orchard pink and tan cut stone cap with a 1″ hole drilled in the center. Next, three butterfly koi and a single lotus in one corner as soon as the weather breaks.


Disappearing Waterfalls

Disappearing or pondless waterfalls are becoming popular with the backyard gardener who wants more for the outdoor spaces.  The disappearing waterfall is a great way to incorporate a dynamic effect to accent the hard surfaces and plantings of the patio garden for the sophisticated homeowner.  These waterfalls are refreshing and virtually maintenance free and create a tranquil effect for the homeowner.  They are a simple closed system with an unseen filter below a couple of inches of 1″-2″  sized ornamental stones where the pump is located.  The beauty is in the details of the stones, drops, pools, and cascades to create a spectacular overall effect with the soothing sounds of moving water.  The pump pushes the water up and the falls return the water to the filter and the cycle repeats itself.  Pondless waterfalls are the perfect option for the homeowner that enjoys water without the once a year maintenance of the koi pond. The following 4 links are short movies of the brand new disappearing waterfall shown above that Teacup Gardener installed last week in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Teacup Gardener Waterfall 1

Teacup Gardener Waterfall 2

Teacup Gardener Waterfall 3

Teacup Gardener Waterfall 4

Leaf-Chronicle Article: Couple Finds Tranquility in Backyard

August 18, 2009

The Leaf-Chronicle

The family’s backyard in Rudolphtown had its appeal, dropping down to the Red River, then farmland beyond.  But it was steep and craggy enough that it was unusable by Troy and Tawyna Sinitiere, their then-teenage daughter Brooke, and even their dogs.

“You couldn’t walk back here, really, because of the slope of the land, without breaking your ankle,” Tawnya Sinitiere says.

“You couldn’t use the space for anything,” Troy Sinitiere agrees.

Today, all that has changed for the better. The Sinitieres’ new landscape will be featured on the
Montgomery County Water Garden Society’s 10th annual Water Garden Tour, which is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 22. In honor of its 10th anniversary, the tour features 10 local people’s ponds for the first time this year.

The Sinitieres are relatively new to town. They chose Clarksville and moved here from Atlanta a few years ago, bringing with them their business, B.E.S. Security Systems.

“I like to fish. I like the outdoors. I liked the Cumberland River coming through, and close proximity to the lake,” Troy Sinitiere said. “Clarksville has restaurants, shopping, everything we were looking for.”

The climate was part of Clarksville’s appeal, so they wanted ways to better enjoy the outdoors at their home. They tried with little success to find a local landscaper to redesign their yard. After a year of looking, they found Robert Edwards, a Nashville-based landscaper known as the Teacup Gardener

They first hired Edwards to landscape their front yard, but that went so well they gave him a crack at redesigning their much more challenging backyard.

“I like different,” Tawnya Sinitiere says. “I wanted something like a Southern Living garden, something for all seasons.”

Troy Sinitiere and his father-in-law already had a major deck rebuild and expansion in mind, To add to that, Edwards proposed a plan that made the backyard’s rough terrain into a peaceful walking path alongside a lovely stream.

“I was always interested in having a stream in my backyard,” Troy Sinitiere says. “I never wanted a pond with koi.”

Now, Troy Sinitiere has two ponds swimming with 29 koi.

“We were originally only going to have one pond, but he (Edwards) said with the slope of the land we could have another pond,” Tawnya Sinitiere says.

The backyard now features a ground-level deck overlooking a waterfall-fed pond. The surface is at deck level near the house, but is at the top of an impressive rock wall as the ground falls away on the back side. Tens of thousands of pounds of natural stone were trucked in to build the pond walls, as well as a walking path and stone steps that circle two ponds connected by a stream.

Many people go on the annual water garden tour to get ideas for their own backyard water gardens.  The Sinitieres joined Montgomery County Water Garden Society to meet other pond people, who share ideas about filtering, pumps, liners, koi, health and other issues that people don’t encounter elsewhere.

“We joined to help learn how to take care of our pond,” Tawnya Sinitiere says.

“It has taken us a while to figure out what it takes to get it balanced and how to keep it balanced,”
Troy Sinitiere says.

Tawnya Sinitiere has enjoyed using the new space as a showcase for her gardening experiments.  She said she loves going on the Montgomery County Water Garden Society tour to get new gardening ideas. People can participate in the tour Aug. 22 by purchasing a ticket ($10 per person ages 13 and older; free ages 12 and younger) that includes addresses and directions to each of 10 stops. Tour attendees then drive at their leisure to each location, where the water garden’s owners will be on hand to chat or answer questions.

Tawnya Sinitiere loves bright colors and enjoys trying new combinations of color, texture and scale in her plant choices. And she’s happy to pass on all she has learned. Black coral elephant ears, petunias, limelight hydrangeas, azaleas, cattails, knockout roses, Japanese maples, blue pickerel and lizard’s tail are among the profusion of plants that make their garden a four-season wonderland.  Crape myrtles, trained to grow tall like trees, add whimsy and privacy at the side property line.

The Sinitieres now enjoy their resort-like backyard so much it is hard for them to imagine how unwelcoming it once was.

“It’s peaceful out here in the evening,” Tawnya Sinitiere says. “We like to eat dinner out here.”

Dramatic lighting creates warm pools of light at night, enhancing the magic of the space.

“When it’s lit up at night,” Troy Sinitiere says, “it takes on a whole different appearance.”


Leaf-Chronicle Article: Envisioning the Garden

July 16, 2009

The Leaf-Chronicle

Eric Berg is a forensic pathologist, by nature slow and meticulous in his work, performing autopsies
for the Army.

But working for himself, choosing a home, his scientific method went out the window.

“Before I even looked inside, I said, ‘This is the house,’ because of the backyard,” Eric said about the
home he and his wife, Elaine, bought in Clarksville’s Rudolphtown neighborhood 10 years ago.

It was improvements to the house that eventually led the Bergs — 9 years later — to revise their
backyard landscape. In 2005, they hired local builder Don Sharpe to expand their master bathroom,
adding a seating area and picture window overlooking the backyard in the process.

The Bergs’ backyard slopes down to boggy bottomland with the Red River beyond. Eric said he fell in
love with the yard’s “potential,” but that potential didn’t begin to be realized until last year, after the
couple grew tired of the ho-hum view out their new picture window.

“It took a while to dream this up,” Eric said, looking out at the elegantly curving stone walls around a
pond with two waterfalls that is now the centerpiece of his backyard. “I think it started with the bird

Eric and Elaine were already avid bird watchers, with Eric hanging feeders topped with two curved
baffles from zip lines spanning the yard, his most successful effort in making them inaccessible to

“I have an acrimonious relationship with squirrels,” he said, laughing.

But other than that, the backyard was still a blank slate.

“We were looking out at grass and mud and decided we wanted something better to look at,” Eric

Impressed with the water garden of their neighbors, Troy and Tawnya Sinitiere, the Bergs hired the
Sinitiere’s landscaper, Nashville-based Teacup Gardener, to re-envision their yard. Workers started
with the front yard, then moved on to the much more challenging task of remaking the sloping
backyard. Rather than straight, squared fences Eric had in mind, designer Robert Edwards proposed
curving black fences.

In addition to being beautiful, the fences are practical. The Bergs had walked their two Scotties on
leashes for more than an hour a day for nine and a half years before the fences were installed. Now,
the dogs have the run of the yard, and Eric and Elaine can sit back and watch them romp.

The newest addition to the landscape is a waterfall that leads to a pond that leads to a waterfall that
leads to another pond. If that sounds repetitive, it is, by design. The curving rock outlines of the ponds mimic each other, continuing the sinewy S-curves of the rock walls and fence lines.

“The bridge where the waterfall is — the birds can come there and drink and bathe,” Elaine said.

“You don’t need a birdbath when you have a pond like this,” Eric added. “Birds are attracted to still
water, but when you have moving water, it really attracts them.”

In the ponds are the Bergs’ newest pets — 19 comets, shebunkins and butterfly koi. The couple
strategically placed benches and a swing near the pond, so they can relax and take in the natural
beauty as it unfolds in their own backyard.

“This has made it so much more livable,” Elaine said. “I don’t want to go on vacation, it’s so restful

In the dark, the scene takes on a little more drama.

“I like the sound of the water. After dark, it’s illuminated,” Eric said. “Robert (Edwards) did a great job
of placing the illumination. He was very judicious about where he aimed the lights. You get pools of
light here and there. It gives an ethereal look to the backyard.”

Because it is held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 22, attendees of the Montgomery County Water Garden
Society’s 10th Anniversary Water Garden Tour won’t see the Bergs’ romantic pools of light. They will,
however, get a firsthand look at the newest pond on the tour, completed just this spring, the
realization of 10 long years of potential.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090716/LIFESTYLE/9071… 7/20/2009

Leaf-Chronicle Article: Water Garden Finally Fulfills Yard’s Potential

July 15, 2009

The Leaf-Chronicle

Eric Berg fell in love with his home at first glance — of the back yard. He hadn’t even set foot inside
when he realized “This is the house.”

The backyard that won him over has, at long last, become a restful oasis for him and his wife, Elaine
Berg, with the addition of two ponds connected by waterfalls. Read all about them and see
photographs of the ponds, which will be featured on the Montgomery County Water Garden Society’s
Water Garden Tour in August, in Thursday’s edition of The Leaf-Chronicle.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090715/NEWS01/9071502… 7/20/2009