Home » Houston People & Places

Water Garden and Pond Tour, May 7-8


A hidden retreat.

A hidden retreat.

Event Is A Self-Guided Tour Of Gardens Across Metro Area

By Mara Soloway

Do you dream of turning your mundane St. Augustine lawn into a more meditative outdoor space with lovely water lilies and the sound of running water? Does the idea of sipping your morning coffee in a peaceful retreat with dancing dragonflies and swimming koi appeal to you? If so, come be inspired at the 2016 Water Garden and Pond Tour sponsored by the Houston Pond Society and the Lone Star Koi Club. You’ll find everything from serene pools to splashing waterfalls in hidden oases tucked into backyards across the Houston metro area.

The self-guided tour of 20 members’ private backyard ponds and water gardens is being held the first weekend in May on Saturday and Sunday, May 7-8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Half the ponds are open on Saturday and half are open on Sunday. Bring your cameras to record the featured backyard paradises for future reference.

The tour is spread out across the Greater Houston area from inside the Loop to the Heights to Katy to Friendswood. Some special features include a yard with a scale model railroad and bee hives; a home with habitats for turtles and parakeets; and a home with chickens, doves and a koi pond built into the side of the house with glass so you can see the fish from inside the home.

Dan Cook, pond tour chairman, is a enthusiastic promoter of the joys of backyard water gardens. “We have had our pond for 20 years. We originally put it in to lessen the sound of traffic since we live close to the freeway. It really enhances our backyard and the time we spend in it,” he said.

The tour is a beautiful event for anyone who just wants to visit and let themselves soak in the restful and serene ambience these gardens and ponds offer. It is also an inspirational and educational opportunity for anyone interested in creating their own backyard retreat filled with water gardens and ponds surrounded by lush vegetation and swimming with koi. Pond owners will be on hand to answer questions about pond construction, fountains, filters, fish, water lilies, koi show competitions and more.

“Our Pond Tour is a perfect opportunity to get firsthand insight into this fascinating hobby. Talk with homeowners to get their firsthand insight about raising and keeping exotic koi, water gardening, ponds, and landscaping. Find out how they did it, how they started and learn from their experiences. They will tell you what they would do differently, their successes and failures,” Cook said.

“You will also discover that their ponds are actually works in progress and are never really finished.”

Each location on the tour will offer visitors something different from the others, anything from small backyard garden ponds, or patio fountains, or huge multi-pond landscapes, complete with koi ponds, waterfalls, or anything between. A pond is limited only by its owner’s imagination.

A pond or water garden attracts wildlife and birds to your backyard, which adds to their environmental value, according to Cook. “They are lovely places to go out and sit in the evening and relax and watch the fish and listen to the birds. It is very relaxing and great fun to sit at the pond.”

He adds that ponds in the Houston area require no additional work in winter, just stop feeding the fish until the water gets warm enough.

 

Ticket Info

Tickets, good for both days, cost $10 and include a brochure with a description of the ponds and a map with driving directions to each home. Location information can be found on lonestarkoi.com and houstonpondsociety.org.

Advance tickets may be purchased at Nelson Water Gardens in Katy beginning April 23, which is the start of Nelson’s two-day “Garden Party” hosted by tour participants. It will feature lectures, vendors and ticket sales.

Starting April 25, tickets can still be purchased at Nelsons and at any of the homes on the day that the home is part of the tour.

For more information, contact Dan Cook at 713-822-5515 or dcook1838@aol.com. The 2016 Water Garden and Pond Tour is a yearly fundraising event for the Houston Pond Society and the Lone Star Koi Club.

“We are excited to show you our ponds and yards, and look forward to your visit,” said Cook.

Ponds and water gardens are an ideal enhancement to your backyard.

Ponds and water gardens are an ideal enhancement to your backyard.

 

A pond in a natural setting.

A pond in a natural setting.

 

Yellow water lillies are a popular feature in area ponds.

Yellow water lillies are a popular feature in area ponds.

 

Hobbyists enjoy having fancy Koi in their ponds.

Hobbyists enjoy having fancy Koi in their ponds.

 

An above-ground pond.

An above-ground pond.

 

One of the ponds on this year's tour.

One of the ponds on this year’s tour.

 

A lovely pond tucked away into a corner.

A lovely pond tucked away into a corner. 


Comments are closed.