August is here and while that may feel like the end of the gardening season we recommend that you continue to clear the parts of the garden that have bloomed, identify plants that may need trimming, and also clean pottery and decor from the current season.
We always tell our clients to enjoy their gardens and pond spaces with the late summer bloomers.
Photo Contest Results
Congratulations to the winners of our photo contest!
Water Feature Installed by Falling Water Designs Winner
Water Feature Installed by Homeowner Winner
This client is a return customer located in Monroe, WA. Rick created their back garden design a number of years ago and our crew installed it for them. It was now time to address the front garden. All the plant material was removed from the small front garden. A large tree was moved to the side of the house. A small patio, a bubbling water feature, flagstone steppers, new plants and a single additional zone of irrigation were installed. We love repeat customers!
Featured Koi: Platinum Butterfly Ogon
Platinum Butterfly Ogon are koi with a solid, metallic-white color. Although Platinum Ogon do not possess the interesting and intricate patterns of many other koi varieties, their bright metallic sheen will stand out noticeably in any pond, and they can provide a beautiful balance to your multi-colored koi varieties.
Keeping your Fish Safe in Hot Weather
Koi are happiest in water temperatures between 59 and 78 degrees. Of course they survive in our ponds in the winter in much colder water and they should be able to handle water warmer than 78 degrees if we give them some help.
High water temperatures are a problem because the warmer the water gets the less dissolved oxygen there is in the water.
Ammonia becomes more toxic as water warms and the higher your PH is in the pond.Here are some simple steps to help your fish through the heat wave:
Hyacinth and Lettuce plants, big beautiful water lilies or other aquatic plants. A carefully aimed patio umbrella, or simply floating a pool toy in the pond. Pond dye will darken the water and allow less light to enter the water.
Turn up your pump if you can to provide more vigorous waterfalls. Add an aerator or an extra pump to splash more water. Ensure that your pumps run all night, don’t turn them off!
Reducing water temperature – methods
Reduce the water temperature by doing a partial water change. Pump out some of the warm water from the pond and put fresh cooler water in. If you do this you must ensure that you dechlorinate the water!
The hotter the day the more chlorine our municipalities put in the water supply, so it is vital that you dechlorinate before adding the new water. Dechlorinator is added before you add the freshwater, not after you’ve filled the pond.
Reduce or eliminate food to reduce ammonia
Reduce or eliminate the amount of food you feed to help reduce ammonia. As we mentioned ammonia is more toxic at higher temperatures and higher PH, so stop feeding to help reduce the ammonia. Fish go months barely eating in the winter, so they can go three days through a heat event without any problems.
DO NOT USE algaecides in this heat! Algaecides reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. You will kill fish using it now.
Expect more algae in your pond in the warm weather. Algae does not harm your fish it is just unsightly.
Falling Water Gardens is open seven days a week from 10am until 6pm. We have all the plants you need to add extra shade and dechlorinator to allow you to make cooling water changes. Come in to get what you need.
Here are this month’s featured plants. We think this selection would look great in your garden right now. Visit our plant database to learn more about aquatic & terrestrial plants. Click on the name of the plants below to learn more about each plant.
July, August and September are waterlily months with tons of blooms. We have a broad selection of hardy lilies that come back year after year. Hardy lilies come in white, yellow, pink, red, purple, salmon. Green or mottled leaves. Large varieties for ponds and dwarfs for small pots on your patio. Lilies prefer a depth of 3’ or less to ensure they re-emerge next spring. Lilies die back to the pot in fall but come back the following spring. Dead head and fertilize to encourage repeat blooming all season long. Lilies require a minimum of six hours of sun and prefer a still area of your pond.
Lobelia love wet feet but don’t want to be submerged under water. Perfect for bogs or wet edges of the pond or a damp spot in your garden. Lobelia are late to emerge and late to flower. Most start flowering in august and last until first frost. A favorite of hummingbirds. Lobelia do great in part shade or full sun.
Commonly known as dinosaur food because they look ancient and have huge leaves that can get 4’ across. The plant makes an impressive specimen growing about 8’ high and 12’ wide. Prefers full sun or part shade and permanently wet soil but the crown of the plant must remain above the water level and it cannot be submerged. Herbaceous- dying to the ground in winter and emerging in spring. This plant should be protected from freezing in the winter by cutting down the dead leaves and piling them around the crown sort of like a teepee for frost protection. In the spring just remove the dead leaves around the crown.
One of Rick’s favorite perennials that he uses in almost every sunny garden design he creates. He loves this plant because it starts flowering in July and doesn’t stop until the first frost in October. They are extremely hardy and drought tolerant, requiring very little supplemental water once they get established. They die back in the winter and emerge every spring. Birds love to eat the seeds from the dried heads in the winter. They come in a wide variety of heights and colors, from white, pink, red, orange, yellow and green. Full sun. We have many varieties in stock at the nursery. Butterfly, hummingbird and bird friendly plant. Deer and rabbit resistant.
Phlox paniculata is a hardy clump forming erect herbaceous perennial. It dies to the ground every winter and emerges in the spring. Long flowering from summer until fall. Sweetly fragrant in colors from shades of pink, white, lavender, and bi-color varieties. Full sun to part shade. Enjoys regular watering. Butterfly and hummingbird friendly. Deer but not rabbit resistant, although our rabbit has not harmed ours in the sunken wedding garden.
Perennial plant of the year in 2018. This summer flowering allium is covered in pinky-purple globes. Full sun, drought tolerant, hardy to zone 5. Grows into a clump about 18” high and 2’ wide. Herbaceous, dying to the ground in the winter and emerging each spring. Bees and butterflies love this plant. Deer and rabbit want nothing to do with it as it is in the onion family.
Have you checked out our plant database? It contains information about the plants that we sell at the nursery and more!
We have even taken it one step further and have incorporated QR codes into the database to help you save and recall information on the plants you are interested in at home or have bought from our nursery. You can bring us the saved plants from this data base to help us locate the ones you want. As well as when you come to Falling Water Gardens you will be able to scan the plant signs to get further information about the plants and flowers.
What is a QR code? In the simplest terms a QR code is a bar code. Most smart phones come equipped with a bar code/QR code reader that will scan the QR code and bring you to the web page of information about our plants. From there you can bookmark the page. If yours does not contain a QR code reader already, you can download one for free through your phone’s app store.
Wedding & Events Venue
Outdoor spaces for your special events!
We have been so busy this summer with some of the most beautiful weddings, but in the past we’ve also hosted graduation parties, baby showers, anniversary parties, and even a celebration of life. Our gardens are the perfect backdrop for any occasion, and we would love to be a part of your reason to celebrate. In addition to full-day rates (which include the use of our popular and unique glamping tents), we also offer half-day and hourly rates.
Every event package comes with the same attention to detail, communication, hospitality, and support to help your party be memorable and special.