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Jul 102013
 

Water Gardens

Water Gardens

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  3 Responses to “Water Gardens”

  1. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Great for Field Use, September 16, 2008
    By 

    Miracle-Gro has produced one fine pond help book. The very best part of it is that it is spiral bound, so it will lie flat, and waterproof so you can take it outside with you, put it on the ground for reference and clean it up later. You can make notes in it with a Sharpie pen without worry. This is not a coffee table book full of fine illustrations, although it does have great photos, or so big you could never use it as a real planning book, although it certainly is a great planning book.

    This book is the one the builder needs, the weekend builder who wants to have a water feature to enjoy, but not hire a professional or spend thousands of dollars. This is a down and dirty book that takes you step by step from the beginning to end of eight separate projects and takes you from there to an excellent gallery of water garden plants. And when you are finished with your project, you can wash your clothes, your hands and the book until that next project. This book will get you hooked on ponds.

    On the very first page, you get instructions on how to use the book, on the facing page, a photo of a water lily. Beautiful photo, but it violates a rule immediately. The water lily is surrounded by duck weed, a plant you will never introduce to your pond on purpose.

    The first section is about container water gardening with great ideas and photos to go with them. You will find site notes, installation notes, how to care for your container garden and costs. All project directions, as with the container garden section are in convenient sidebars with every separate project.

    Hughes moves from container gardens to small ponds, a step up for the pond hobbyist. You will find as the book progresses, the project costs and difficulty of installation increases until you reach fountains, but never to a point beyond the capacity of the do it yourselfer. Costs are indicated where possible.

    Hughes segues from the small pond to the large pond by page ten. She never stints on information and freely says this is a basic book. You will learn nuances later, after you have your pond together.

    Waterfalls and streams are next. I may have left this section out and Hughes suggests consulting with professionals before you try building a waterfall or a stream as well. I would certainly suggest the same thing. Both are difficult to build with the stream far outpacing the waterfall in difficulty. And thankfully, she mentions in the sidebar just how much maintenance is involved in caring for a stream.

    After warning about streams and waterfalls, Hughes brings us back to simple and easy with fountains, showing a couple of great photos of easy ones. to do.

    In the next section of the book, the primer for installation, she falls off the mark a bit by showing a man with a level. A level is never needed in pond building. Her diagram showing the cutaway of the finished pond includes ledges, something I never recommend and a skimmer, another piece of hardware that is unnecessary to a balanced and healthy pond.

    Preformed ponds get a page, a photo and a sidebar. As far as I am concerned, preformed ponds are proof of the success of advertising, and one of the worst ways to build pond.

    Pumps, edging and digging are next. And there’s that level showing up in a photo again.

    After a page about water and what you need to do to make it healthy, she jumps into plants and fish and does an excellent job of it all. Topping off the book are projects you can do with tabletop fountains, bell fountains, wall fountains, container gardens and back to that hillside stream again. A couple of sections on routine maintenance, seasonal care and troubleshooting end the book and do it well.

    Hughes has acquitted herself admirably in this 95 page book. I recommend it for the new pond builder and give it four fish out of five, only because of the duckweed photo and the use of the level in in ground pond installation.

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  2. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderful reference for the Do It Yourselfer, April 22, 2006
    By 
    Fruit Loop (Down South) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Produced by MiracleGro, the gardener’s friend, this how-to book on building your own water garden and backyard pond or installing your own home fountain is fabulous! Despite the book’s small size, nothing is missed, from design tips (with beautifully photographed illustrations) to selecting equipment and installation.

    Learn how to build your own backyard oasis, select and add water plants, select and care for pond fish in easy, user-friendly terms. Pond/stream/waterfall construction using both preformed ponds and liners is covered. Another great feature is that the book is waterproof and can be taken outdoors to use as a reference while you work. The pages are heavy and won’t blow in the wind. It’s been invaluable to us as we build our new pond and patio. Highly recommend it as anyone, no matter how inexperienced, can learn to do the job.

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  3. 1.0 out of 5 stars
    Only useful for beginners, January 9, 2010
    By 
    B. Bigler
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I had hoped that this book would give me ideas for pond or water garden design, and it fell well short. Not worth the money.

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