Ponds by the dozen
July 10, 2012
When Ted and Mary Ann Voyles first thought about building a backyard oasis, they envisioned a small pond.
Two years later, their vision grew into a quarter-acre pond filled with koi fish and water vegetation.
The Gardnerville residents are one of a dozen Northern Nevada Pond Club members showing off their ponds 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
“It went from a very small project to this, which is much bigger. Everybody said don’t go too small. Think big when you start,” Ted said. “We feel so good about it, and we are so glad we bit the bullet and went bigger than expected. We’ve never regretted it.”
The Voyles’ pond was designed and built by Johnson Lane resident James Rowley in 2000, which won him the Nevada Landscape Association’s Presidents Award in 2005.
Since then the pond has been featured in Sunset Magazine in 2007 and 2008. The magazine focused on the circular deck covering a section of the pond where the Voyles sit and watch the koi fish swim below them.
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“We were pleased with his approach in emulating nature,” Ted said. “We wanted to do a pond and thought we should learn about it from people who have gone through the process. It was quite beneficial. We learned from other people’s mistakes.”
The Voyles keep about 50 koi fish in their backyard oasis that supply the reeds, grasses, lillies and water irises with valuable nutrients.
“We started out with 12, and have five of the originals. They’re not difficult if you maintain water quality,” Ted said. “The koi grow on you because they can be so beautiful.”
To keep the 12,000 gallons of water clear, Ted circulates the water from a biological filter above, down a waterfall and back into the main pond.
Wildlife is also drawn to the pond’s cooling refreshment.
On Thursday, a mother and her nine ducklings enjoyed some playtime.
“They played in the waterfall and tumbled down into the main pond. We enjoyed watching them,” Ted said. “Sometimes we have frogs. The last two weeks we’ve had a buck and one or two does that come and drink. We look out the window at it (the pond) a hundred times a day and we’re always looking for wildlife.”
According to Ted, once a pond is in place it requires minimal attention.
“I do a 25 percent water change once every two weeks and clean up the lilies,” he said. “If you can maintain a good water quality everything else will be fine.”
This is Ted and Mary Ann’s third year on the pond tour that features Valley ponds ranging from 100 to 70,000 gallons.
“Some are 1,000 gallons built on a hill. Some have natural vegetation in them and some don’t,” club member Melanie Miller said. “Some are built specifically for the koi. It ranges from myriad sizes and shapes.”
Tickets are $10 per person or $15 for two people at Greenhouse Garden Center, Carson City and Plant It Nursery, Gardnerville.
The Northern Nevada Pond Club meets 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month at member’s homes to discuss construction, maintenance, plants, koi or anything to do with operating a pond.
“There’s usually somebody with great answers,” Miller said. “There’s all sorts of tricks to the trade you don’t really think about when putting them in.”
For more information, call 783-8584.
IF YOU GO
What: Northern Nevada Pond Club tour
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday
Tickets: $10 per person, $15 for two people at Greenhouse Garden Center, Carson City and Plant It Nursery, Gardnerville