Relax with a Koi Pond
Koi ponds are a staple of Japanese landscape design, and they’re beloved for a good reason. These tranquil features are filled with graceful fish whose scales shimmer in the brilliant Nevada sun. You don’t have to dig very deep to get enough space for koi, which makes this an ideal weekend project. Just make sure to create a shaded section for them. Coverage is important for several reasons:
- Shade provides a spot for koi to rest in cool water so they don’t become too hot
- Keeping the water cool reduces the rate of evaporation
- Koi can use the shade to hide from birds or cats
- Water plants, such as lotuses, can keep the water cleaner
Backyard Connection can help you select the right shade plants to use in and around your pond. Make sure that you have a proper liner in place to prevent the water from seeping into the ground. If you’re at all unsure about whether your selected liner is safe or not, try filling it with feeder goldfish before adding your koi. If the goldfish survive, or if they at first die off but start thriving after a few days, then you can go ahead and introduce your koi to the new environment.
You don’t want to have to treat your fish’s water with chemicals. Set up a pump to circulate water to keep it aerated and cool.
This also inhibits mosquito larvae and other pests, as well as the growth of algae. Build up a small stone feature to conceal the pump for a more aesthetically pleasing final result. You can leave it as is, or call in a professional to help you build a stone waterfall to feed into the pond for a more dramatic look. Surrounding the edge of the pond with paving stones creates a visually strong border and prevents soil from falling off into the pond when you walk near the edge.
The Next Steps
Sand gardens are common throughout the Orient. They’re relatively easy to create, and they have the added bonus of requiring very little maintenance and no watering. Simply stake out the area you wish to convert to sand and start digging. It doesn’t have to be deep, just enough to clear out plant roots, plus several more inches. Once you’ve removed the soil, pour in and spread a layer of gravel evenly over the dirt. Once that’s in place, fill the area with fine white or gray sand. If you’re keeping some grass, try to line the edge of the sandy area with medium rocks to prevent sand loss. With a proper layer of rocks below, the only maintenance that you’ll have to do on your sand feature is occasionally adding more to replace lost particles.
A popular pastime of sand garden enthusiasts is raking patterns into them. Common designs include waves, mandalas or
simple geometric shapes. This is a calming activity that’s relaxing for adults and mentally stimulating for children. You can change up the design in the sand to have something new to show your guests without having to put in a lot of labor between visits. A highlight of the most beautiful sand features are large, round boulders set in the middle. Arranged close enough together, cultivators can use them as paths to be able to make their designs without having to walk back over the sand. Selecting a truly attractive stone that harmonizes with the look of your property is key to getting a more beautiful final project, and the experts at MasterAZscapes can help you source what you need.
A Delight for All the Senses
Japan is famous for their yearly Sakura Festival, where visitors flock to see the gorgeous pink and white petals of the cherry blossoms. While many blooming varieties of cherry trees aren’t tolerant of the extreme Nevada heat, you can grow plums and peaches here, which are two other highly prized fruits in Japan. Their trees also put out beautiful blossoms that have pleasant fragrances.
The fruit is delicious to eat, too, but you get an additional bonus from these plants. Visits from honeybees and birds create a more natural atmosphere in your backyard. Species like hummingbirds and finches add to the diversity of your backyard and fill your property with sweet buzzing and songs.
Customizing the Garden to Your Environment
You don’t have to stick with species of plants that are native to Asia. Mix and match with local species to get the look that you want or for improved hardiness. For instance, the national flower of Japan is the chrysanthemum, which grows best in very well-irrigated soil, and might be beyond the scope of some gardens in Nevada. Swap them out for local plant life, such as decorative cacti, to put a Southwestern flair on your Asian-inspired garden.
These projects are simple enough for even beginner gardening enthusiasts to undertake. Each one takes about a weekend’s worth of work to finish. You can use them as a basis for further additions down the road. Work with Backyard Connection during your project to ensure that you get top-quality materials that provide lasting improvement to the look of your property. You can always add onto what you’ve built for a more dramatic and impressive look, and the designers at Backyard Connection can consult you to ensure that your garden retains its unique flavor while they upgrade it.