We have a modest pond in front of the kitchen window
made from a large black plastic tub, sunk in gravel.
Over time the gravel has been colonised
by creeping violet, alchemilla mollis,
and a tenacious but unknown weed.
The once fine black bamboo flowered and died,
so did an acer,
and many of the attractive stones
disguising the edge of the pond, had slipped in.
My attempt at a Japanese garden had seen better days.
With the impending Visit,
I suddenly saw this sorry sight through new eyes
and although it was most definitely not on the list,
I found myself skimming off a thick layer of duck weed
from the surface with an old plastic sieve,
perturbing a long standing resident.
I started weeding between all the stones
and delved into the pond for the missing ones,
about a hundred of them.
The water level dropped dramatically-
that would be a lesson in displacement there
if I ever had my time again and decided to homeschool.
Then I jet-washed the slimy black stones
taking care to avoid the well-camouflaged frog
and put them back round the pond.
In Japanese water gardens boulders are carefully selected
then placed using the classic gogan-ishigumi stone-setting technique.
I lack this technique, and it shows.
For a touch of authenticity,
I bought three goldfish from the local pet shop.
Japanese koi ponds have sophisticated koi pond filters
that keep the water crystal clear.
Ours does not, so you cannot see the fish at all.
You can however see a reflection of the kitchen window.
Pond landscaping is groomed and shaped
using special pruning methods.*
These pots are looking nice
and I have clipped the box hedge in the corner.
All I need now is a little bridge.
* My scant research is taken from The Journal of Japanese Gardening.