Alligator Flag

Sometimes I wonder about the origins of common names for plants.

This is an aquatic plant Thalia dealbata. It grows about three feet tall in a pot in our small pond.

One of it’s nicknames is Powdery Alligator Flag.

I envision an alligator trying to sneak through the marsh without being detected.

The alligator brushing by these stalks as it snakes by and making the flowers wave like a flag.

There are no alligators in our little pond, but a tiny green frog seems to like the Thalia dealbata leaves.

Flow at the Pond

A Pond with a View

We are very fortunate to have a great source for koi and water plants

just a short drive away from us.

Gayle’s Koi in Catawba has been our choice for buying koi and water plants for years.

She has a huge pond full of gorgeous giants.

Butterfly Koi with flowing fins

It is on the side of a hill and seems almost like an infinity pond.

Look at this view!

My son and I went to get several small koi and some water plants last weekend.

water hyacinths

water lkettuce

Water plants are needed to help shade the water during the hot months here in the south.

My son picked out two colorful fish from one of her holding tanks,

while I wandered around enjoying her garden art and unusual plants.

If you are local, I will pass along her contact information.

Gayle is the best.



The Boy’s Pond

My son dug his own fish pond under his bedroom window years ago.

He is a man now, living elsewhere.  His pond, of course, is still here.

There is always something going on in it during the warm months.

“Too Many Toads” occurred in it.

There were new eggs.  I held them up for this photo.

Black top with white bottom is called countershading, a form of aquatic camouflage.

When I put them back. They rolled over to white side up, which is upside down. Now the fish can see them from below and other predators can spot them from above.  I hope this did not lead to their disappearance.

The Parrot Feather actually closes in the evenings.

Some tadpoles survived from the last batch of eggs.

The first waterlily bloom opened this morning.

I love the pond.  I miss the boy.  I am proud of the man.




I’m All Ears

Is there an elephant in the garden room?

An elephant ear that is.

There are many reasons why I love these plants.

I love how their leaves catch the breeze.Little ones dancing

It looks like a party with each leaf doing its own dance.

I love how the midrib of the leaf channels water down below,

like a good tropical plant should.

Sharing the rain drops.

non-variegated leaf pattern

Each leaf has a different color pattern,

even the non-variegated kind.

mosaic mojito leaf

differing pattern
Patterns like a mosaic or hieroglyphics.

Marvelous venation.

Their venation is an architectural marvel.

The huge leaf stands out from the stem

like an

umbrella on its handle.

Now that you love them, too.

Let me bend your ear and tell you their secrets.

Their Latin name is Colocasia esculenta.

They grow from Taro corms, not bulbs.

They like water and will even do well

in the shallow edge of a pond.

They must be dug in the fall after the stem freezes and bends over.

If you leave them out for the winter, the parent will turn to pink mush.

Pups may survive and grow from the dead parent corm.

These will come up in June or July.

Friends, Romans, countrymen…

Follow the Flower!

Just Add Water.

Add a splash of fun with some water gardening. You don’t need a pond.  Any watertight container can be filled with water plants and several fish. I use shubunkins in the patio pond.  They are hardy, colorful and eat larvae.

All ponds need shade. Don’t have a fish fry on your patio. Add plants to shade the water.  These can be floaters like duckweed, water hyacinth, parrot’s feather and water lettuce.  Also potted plants with height add dimension and shade. Little Tut and smaller water lilies are good for smaller ponds.

Once you are hooked, you will be grabbing a shovel  and digging up your yard.

My son put his pond under his bedroom window. He can check on it from his desk.  The downside of  having a pond under your bedroom window is when the frogs are “a wooing”, there is a cacophony of mating calls. I find the call of the Peeper especially irritating. It’s like adding nails on a chalkboard to a symphony.

Little pond plants King of the Koi pond.LeoSnail

Cluster of flowers on a four foot tall stalk.
Cluster of flowers on a four foot tall stalk.

water lily
water lily

Follow the Flower!