Pond Plant Liberation Day!

Finally, finally, the bottom shelf of the refrigerator is emptied of pond plants and available once again for food storage! Every year, I look forward to getting the pond plants outside. This year, it seems to have happened earlier than I expected. That’s because the weather here has been far too warm for this time of year – about 30c today. Pictured, at right, are some grape hyacinths (Muscari botyroides) which were tiny buds two days’ ago … the entire garden seems to be growing by leaps and bounds right before my eyes!

My pond plants seem happy to be outdoors … each year they hibernate in dark plastic bags in the fridge. They always look strange when I first unwrap them. Bits of pale yellow plants have started growing even though they haven’t been exposed to any light. By tomorrow, they will look less sickly.

If the weather continues to be warm, hopefully the pond will be cleaned and refilled by tomorrow. That’s my goal so that I can avoid having to clean the indoor aquarium before putting our fish back in the pond.

And once the water in the pond has settled, we will have our annual pond-opening ceremony. Every year, neighbourhood children join my son and I and with great fanfare, each child takes a turn depositing the fish back in their summer home. Afterward, we usually eat chocolate chip cookies although this year I am thinking we’ll serve brownies instead.

While I was cleaning the pond this afternoon and evening, my thoughts turned to my friend Marion, and all the remarkable and inspiring things she has done in her life. I had visited her earlier this afternoon with Jean. (Marion, Jean and I used to practice our mandolins together. After our practices, we would sit and drink coffee, eat muffins or cookies and I would love listening to both Marion and Jean talk of the past. Their stories need to be recorded … )

I go off to sleep tonight thinking of how important and precious is the time that we spend with those people who touch our lives in profound and lasting ways. I also am sending many healing thoughts to Marion and to another cherished friend who is feeling under the weather and has developed the most endearing nasal way of speaking …

16 thoughts on “Pond Plant Liberation Day!

  1. Mary says:

    I’ll remember that you store pond plants in the frig. Interesting. When our pond was new in Delaware, I let the neighborhood children stock it with goldfish. When I was ready for more a few weeks later, I called them back. it was a celebration but I didn’t think about cookies or brownies!You are right, Kate. Sometimes our lives are so filled that we must work at remembering people who have touched our lives. And let them know they are remembered.

  2. Abby Creek Art says:

    What a fun thing…to have a pond-opening ceremony. And now you don’t have to worry about mistaking the pond plants for salad fixings!

  3. Annie in Austin says:

    Kate, you must have the same kind of gift for celebration as the Night Blooming Cereus owners that Henry Mitchell wrote about – they’d throw parties when those flowers were ready to open. I love the whole idea! Well, not enough to build a pond just for the party – but enough to think you’re a fun gardener! Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. Simon says:

    Love your pond opening ceremony. Such a cool idea.Water and ponds so enhance a garden in my humble opinion. They provide that wonderful change of line for the eyes, endless intrigue in looking for pond life and just go with summer…tcS

  5. Ki says:

    Gee you go through a lot of trouble to keep your pond plants. We typically only have waterlillies and they seem to weather just fine in the pond which is about 3 feet deep. We had ice which was about 6-8″ thick in both ponds but I kept holes open and the fish an plants did just fine.We need all the frig. space we can get. We even have a small aux. frig in the basement and at time that’s not enough. I don’t know how you manage. 😉

  6. Clare says:

    I was really moved by “Bits of pale yellow plants have started growing even though they haven’t been exposed to any light.” It’s incredible that they could grow while in the refrigerator — just shows the amazing life force we all have. I hope your friend Marion’s health improves.

  7. jodi says:

    What a delightful story, Kate. I giggled at the thought of pond plants in the fridge. Sounds like something I would do…but our pond is of the large, wild and overgrown variety. I must write about it…I too have wishes for Marion’s recovery. She’s lucky to have friends like you.

  8. bindi says:

    Hi Kate, wow! When I first checked out your blog, you were talking about frozen rivers, now its up around 30 degrees celcius. Fancy having to move your fish inside for winter! That is something we never need to do here, but i do relate to having the fridge taken up for other purposes. When I was teaching science at my kids primary school, I used to freeze water in balloons to use in an activity, and sometimes I’d have 100 of them in the freezer and no room for food.The pond opening ceremony sounds wonderful. If my kids lived on your street they’d be right there too, and so would I (I love brownies).

  9. Kylee says:

    What a fun thing to do! And our refrigerator has plant things in it at times, too. Doesn’t everyone’s? 😉

  10. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    What fun to have a yearly pond-opening ceremony! It is of course a very important occasion.You store your pond plants in the fridge and the fishes in your aquarium every autumn? Quite a lot of work, but worth it IMO. A pond is such a wonderful thing to have in the garden.

  11. Sandy says:

    That is so nice! I am surprised those plants last in the refrigerator all winter. I’ll bet the neighbor kids love you. You have inspired to to go make some brownies for my husband who is completed his 37th year at his job today!AND, I am jealous that you have so much blooming way up there!! I have two or three things. Your winters are as bad as ours, aren’t they?

  12. Dawn says:

    Your grape hyacinths are so sweet. What a lovely shade of blue. Good luck with your pond plants. There’s nothing like a pond in a garden to lift the spirits. :-)Cheers!Dawn

  13. Kate says:

    Even though it takes up space, storing pond plants saves $$ every year. The plants seem to do fine too. Abby, I make sure the plants are covered in layers of dark green plastic so I don’t mistake them for food. The only thing is that sometimes things get buried in the plastic … and it isn’t fun finding stuff in springtime. Annie – I’m always up for a celebration of any sort. I think I need to read Henry Mitchell. I have a hunch I would enjoy his writing. Those night blooming cereus are so beautiful that I can well understand having a party … one could probably spread the party over the course of several nights. I think you are wise to think twice about a pond. They are a lot of work… I had a much smaller one before and figured it wouldn’t be much harder to have a larger one. Whatever was I thinking?Simon – ponds are wonderful, especially when there are fish. If only they weren’t so much work in spring! Ki – I would love to keep my fish in the pond, but I would have to invest in a heater. Our winters are so cold, that the pond freezes solid, even though it is 3 feet deep. Now that I’ve got an aquarium, I don’t mind bringing the fish in – it feels as if I’m bringing some of the outdoors inside every fall. Luckily there is just my son and I so we have learned to live with one less fridge shelf!!Clare – when I opened the pond plants in spring the first time I stored them in the fridge, I was stunned to see all the yellow bits showing. It is truly remarkable what life instincts plants have! My friend, Marion, is doing better … we played the mandolin today in her hospital room and I think she loved it. She was smiling the entire time!Jodi, I can so imagine you having plants in your fridge … plants all over the place. You are such a vibrant soul! Bindi – You never have to worry about freezing ponds and plants in Australia. You could certainly bring your 4 daughters for brownies any day! I loved the balloon story … Kylee – I’m with you there – for months in the fall, I have bulbs residing among the apples in the crisper, so I can force them. Yolanda – a pond-opening ceremony seems like a good thing to do … the kids love it and the adults have fun too. It is a lot of work but well worth it to move the plants and fish indoors. Kasmira – It is a great thing to do – I want to hear all about your ceremony next year … I love your new weed whacker!Sandy – I wrote in your blog that I hoped you had a great celebration – 37 years in one job is cause for one! Our winters are probably worse than yours … but, in true prairie style, our summers are dry and hot. We have had unusually hot days although the weather was cooler for a few days. Today is warmer again. Dawn, grape hyacinths are such a beautiful shade of blue. Ponds do lift the spirits … after one finishes fishing out bits of trees from it. I spent a good bit of time skimming the pond this morning and discovered this afternoon that it is once again covered by more tree parts. Ah spring!!

  14. Gotta Garden says:

    A pond! Now, I’m even more in awe! And, just look at your garden…bursting into bloom now! I’m sure you are much beloved in your neighborhood…I can imagine the kids asking you daily, “Is it time yet??” What a nice thing to do…

  15. Sara says:

    I just love grape hyacinth. I only discovered them last year but think they are very unusual.Sara from farmingfriends in the UK

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