This is Project No. 2 that Mark finished in June: Moving the water line across the area outside the Tea House and setting up a more accessible and useful hook up. The picture below shows the work on the trench for the electric line. Going off to the left you can see the start of a trench that will go over to the fence and provide multiple faucets.
Between the two projects Mark figures he dug about 25 feet of trench. Again, not a glamorous job but one that I'm very thankful for. The new setup has three faucets. That means I can attach hoses that go off in opposite directions should we have a really droughty period.
I typically only water newly planted things. Once plants, trees and shrubs have settled in they are on their own. Most years we have enough rainfall in southern Wisconsin that additional watering is never needed. These days I'm much more conscious about using drought-tolerant plants as well.
But I must say that I love having a faucet at the right height for watering cans so I can easily take care of the potted plants in this part of the garden. And it finally means that those annoying eyesores of unfinished pipes are no longer on view in one of the main focal points of the garden.
Only one more job remains before this area can be called finished: Project No. 3.
Some people are dog lovers. Some are crazy for cats. We're fond of ducks, in particular the Mallard pair that have been visiting our pond annually since 1998. That's a long time and getting near the natural end for this variety living in the wild, or at least the wilds of a city park. Last year they barely visited and always for a brief time. If we so much as opened the door to the deck they flew away in a huff.
This year they've been coming almost daily, sometimes flying in and out two or three times. They swim, they doze, they dive. And they don't seem to mind us at all. They've ignored us as we work in the garden often quite close to the pond. We're not sure what's different this year but we are enjoying their presence. And like anyone who's fond of their pets, we take lots and lots of pictures of them. Here are a few of the most recent ones.
It's a gray, chilly, rainy, wonderful day. Fred and Ethel just made their first appearance of the season in our pond! This makes nineteen years that the Mallard pair have shown up in our garden to take advantage of our pond. Last year they came on March 29. I've been keeping track of their arrival date as the main phenological note-taking that I do.
Mallard pairs are monogamous and they live to about 20 years. Of course, we can't be sure these are our original pair but every year at this time one pair show up and we like to believe it is the same couple. This early in the season they are pretty skittish about humans so we just watched them — and took this photo — through our double-glazed windows. Once they saw us moving about, they flew off. They'll be coming and going from now until about the end of June. They've never nested in our garden but they have brought their ducklings for a swim a couple of times over the years.
Trees are turning color and leaves are falling. I love this moment when the tiny golden foliage from our Honey Locust Tree carpets the garden and the surface of the pond. Yellow waterlilies have been blooming for the last week or two, but I think this small one is the last we'll see until next summer. To enjoy what's happening foliage-wise in other gardens, visit Pam Penick at Digging, the host of this monthly meme.