Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#12

On March 22nd we borrowed the truck from Andrew’s employer and headed east to Burns Feed Store in Gresham, Oregon. Our mission? To purchase stock tank #12. Twelve galvanized stock tanks! We must live on acreage right? Nope our urban lot measures 45.36’ wide by 111.2’ deep.

So many choices!

However I'd done my homework and knew just how large a tank we were after, yes that's my attempt at measuring and staking out the new tank below. This was to be our new "full sun" stock-tank pond located in the former privet lands. There are so many more water plants that can grow in full sun, I'd filled the old tank with soil and was thrilled to be getting a new, larger version.

At 4 ft round this was going to be fun to fill!

Of course right now it also looked very exposed and "farm-ish"...

I may be biased but I don't think any of our other 11 tanks really scream out "tank farm!"...here's the first we bought. It helped fill the gap between our house and the neighbors garage, at the end of their driveway.

Next up where the trio next to the patio. All full of bamboo...

The tetrapanax and gunnera tanks anchor the SW corner next to the shade pavilion.

This pair is the summer veggie garden in the driveway, planted up shortly after taking this photo. They also act as the pot ghetto during the plant "buying season" here they were holding my purchases from Rare Plant Research and a couple plant gifts from a friend.

Two more tanks were added to the SE corner, behind our garage.

And finally, what I thought was our final (#11) tank on the edge of our driveway helping to hide the neighbors backyard. There had been a wall-o-photinia there but we came home one day to see he'd cut it all down. The bamboo helped to obscure a myriad of unsightly things.

But this post is supposed to be about #12, so here it is filled with water and plants...

I love this Arundo donax 'Gold', which was bought before moving Mr. Big into the green container to it's side. Their yellow and powder blue stripes compliment each other nicely.

I overwintered this umbrella palm (Cyperus involucratus)...

And recently purchased my annual Cyperus papyrus...

Another new purchase Thalia dealbata (hardy water canna).

And of course my water lily, Nymphaea 'Marliacea Chromatella' purchased at Hughes Water Gardens. We also brought home a few tadpoles from Hughes (they have a per customer limit of 6), so far I know there are still at least 3 alive. No froggies yet though...

I just had to include another close up of that Arundo.

Before I shared an image with the agave (sans the burlap surround I later added).

With other pots grouped around it I think (I hope) it looks less tank like. Okay, #12, I think that's finally the last one...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

60 comments:

  1. love it -- tank, plant, and tadpole

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    1. There are gambusia (mosquito fish) now too...

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  2. Well, if you do buy more, it's going to have to be two at once, otherwise you will have an unlucky 13. It looks great with all those pretty green pots around it.

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    1. Odd but true I actually view 13 as a lucky number...

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  3. Twelve? I would have guessed about six. The way you have them set into the garden works and definitely not a tank farm. Your water garden looks so beautifully established for just a couple of months.

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    1. Thank you (for the guess of 6), I'll have to remember to ask you about my age and weight too! Oh and we didn't go plant shopping until May 10th so it's not even 3 weeks old!

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  4. Your tanks are so well integrated I've never noticed them except in a "this garden is so wonderfully cohesive" kind of way. I have everything crossed that you get frogs!

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    1. Thank you Heather, as a fellow tank fan I appreciate that.

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  5. So nice! I did not realize that A. donax would grow in water -- I always see it planted out (and invading!)

    I know your climate is different than mine, but I'm concerned at how much of the water's surface is already covered in plants. Mine right now looks sparse, but by the end of summer I'll be hacking stuff out just so I can see a bit of water!

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    1. Are your plants actually planted in the bottom of your pond? Because mine are just sunk in their containers, thus not really able to expand outward too much. I hope I have issues with it getting crowded, I haven't in the past when the tank pond was in the shade mostly.

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  6. Everyone's right, your tanks are so well integrated that you don't notice their number. Congratulations on your new addition. I'm thinking it might not be the last. Did this fit into your car? How did you get it home?

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    1. Yep I tossed it in the back of the bug and away I went! Nah...we borrowed the Schoolhouse Electric rig (one of the benefits of Andrew's job).

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  7. AnonymousMay 28, 2014

    Very cool! Your garden defies definition. Soon you may have an auditory element (ribbit, ribbit).
    Jim N. Tabor

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    1. Thank you Jim, and I hope you're right!

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  8. They all look great. It's it strange how well the combination of water lilies and agaves work together.

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    1. Glad you say that. As I was scheming on the plants for the area I realized how, once again, my garden was a clash of what most would consider appropriate. "Agaves next to a pond...what kind of crazy person put this garden together!"...

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  9. I cannot believe I am hearing you say "last" about anything, Loree. The tank looks great, and its companion plantings complement it beautifully. I'm glad to have a name for the Arundo: I got something very similar from Patricia's bog garden and had been wondering what it was. Patricia's is more green and white striped, but the form is similar. Hope you get froggies!

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    1. I could be wrong but I thought Patricia had variegated cat-tail, and I only think that because I remember wanting them...
      http://www.paridon.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=416&typeID=10

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    2. You know, that's what she called them. I guess they just look similar and I assumed Arundo was cat-tail in HortLatin. Thanks for straightening that out.

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  10. I like stock tanks too but haven't been sure whether they would affect plant growth...do most plants do well in them? Do you treat the interior in any way before planting?

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    1. I don't do a thing and have never had an issue. Although I have heard some people express concern that I grow vegetables in them (zinc issues and my health).

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  11. I think the tanks are great ways to add height while also increasing your control over your growing medium. In fact, you have me thinking that might be a great alternative to the half wine barrel I was considering adding to my own garden. Your newest tank looks great. I love water lilies!

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    1. I do have an attraction to shiny metal (silver) objects so they're a natural for me, and you're right their size really helps make a statement and add some height. They're also good for containing potentially invasive plants.

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  12. I've dug water gardens before (and accidentally tilled the phone line that No-Dig failed to mark!) but I think if I did it again I'd do an above ground stock tank. Do you have to provide escape routes for animals that fall in?

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    1. Cross my fingers and toss some salt but I've not had an animal fall in, if they did I'm sure they could get out with the cement blocks, rocks and plants to act as footing. I'm sure it would be very destructive though!

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    2. AnonymousMay 29, 2014

      I've had tank ponds for over five years now. I occasionally find the pots knocked over and assume a critter has been there. I've only had one death - a sparrow that might have been ill to begin with, as there are plenty of plant foot holds for such a small bird to perch on.

      Jenn

      http://gardendjinn.typepad.com/garden/

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  13. I had no idea you had 11 stock tanks already. I like how well they blend into their environment. Your new water garden is fantastic--something I've always wanted. What I like most: the potted agaves in front of it. The combination of water + desert plants is awesome. Well done indeed.

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    1. Thanks Gerhard, I appreciate another vote that it's not an offensive combination. Although I still wonder if the garden style police might show up and issue a citation.

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  14. 4' good size! I think having so many stock tanks are actually good as it ties in the garden together even better. And they themselves look great as pots. Lovely pond btw :))

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    1. Thanks guys! Yesterday Andrew expressed frustration that he couldn't see the tadpoles or gambusia and declared we needed goldfish. Yikes, seems like it's a slippery slop to Koi...

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    2. Oh my, be careful now going into that direction :) perhaps introduce a couple of goldfish once the tadpoles have become bigger or are little frogs already (otherwise they may get eaten). Danger Garden with a Koi pond....nice!!

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    3. Thanks for the reminder, ya I wouldn't want my little tadpoles to become lunch! I only felt it was safe to introduce the mosquito fish because they were about the same size as the tadpoles.

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    4. AnonymousMay 29, 2014

      Koi - too big. I have some of the comet feeder fish from the local pet store - the guy was very nice in helping me select the pretty ones out of the mob in the tank. I recommend at least 160 gallons for 2-3 fish. Fish (goldfish and koi are carp family) are very dirty, and too many fish will bring greenwater for sure. (the problem I have now!)

      When you start with little 1 inch fish you get the fun of watching them grow. Mine are about 5 inches long, 4 years later.

      jenn

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  15. Oh, nothing's as fun as a stock-tank pond. Yours looks fantastic, Loree, but you're gonna wish you'd bought the 8-footer. ;-)

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    1. Nah I don't think so. After getting used to a 2.5ft this is a HUGE step up, and I think in this location this was the largest size I'd want to see (I worried it was too big until I got the other containers around it).

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  16. I am disappointed as I thought that you were going to dig a hole in the ground and sink the tank into it and make it look like a real pond :sigh:

    Ha, ha! Only kidding! It looks great :)

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    1. You know I do know someone who did that and it looks great!

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  17. How do you manage to keep the water clear? I've tried the barley thingies, which work for awhile. I'm sure there's a perfect underwater to above water plant ratio but I haven't replicated it. My tank is 24" deep, 40" in diameter.

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    1. I never had an issue with water clarity in my old tank, but it was in the shade where (perhaps) algae and things like that didn't want to grow? We shall see how this one fares, so far I haven't done a thing but it sounds like I might be on borrowed time?

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  18. I love it! I use them in my designs here in Houston for raised veggie beds...so easy to install and hold up in our wet climate : )

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    1. Glad to hear someone else is using them for veggies.

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  19. Love them all! I especially love using them to corral the bamboo. Clever girl... That Arundo donax is gorgeous. Wish I could grow it here. Love all your vignettes. Creative and different.

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    1. Thank you Deanne, again I wish you were coming to the "Fling" in Portland this July.

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  20. Loree I love your water tanks. So funny, I have 3 and I call them horse troughs. I like water troughs better. I posted on two of them against the house. They need more dirt now and some work but still look great. The other I tried growing tomatoes in last year. But I can never remember to water so they were not very good. So I just planted a bunch of succulents in them. Obviously I like it a lot better! Yay water tanks!

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    1. Ah yes the soil does dry out pretty quickly in these, especially if they're exposed. Having my veggie tanks right outside the back door helps to keep me watering them. I can see yours being much more suited to succulents!

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  21. I love it! I'm going to copy your test layout/stake setup to figure out where some features in garden should go. And all those agaves in pots... *drool*

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    1. Ha! Glad you found that shot useful, I almost didn't include it.

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  22. I love it. I can´t believe how many choices people have in USA. You can even buy tadpoles!!! I bet no one sells tadpoles here in Spain. Maybe I should start a business, hehehe.

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    1. Actually the tadpoles are free! Even better right?

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  23. I need to catch up on blog reads...this one is amazing in how you used all of those, and how harmonious it all works together. Texas (Austin) just had the bar raised on stock tank gardening:-) The corner shot of the oval tank, the bamboo behind it, and the new plant out front - serene.

    Can't wait to read this post again over a beer...wish I could be there this summer!

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    1. Wish you could too, you'll be missed!

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  24. AnonymousMay 29, 2014

    "I overwintered this umbrella palm (Cyperus involucratus)."

    These guys have huge root systems. They go a long way to regulating the algae in the tank, but they will also crowd out other plants. I needed to drag them out every spring and trim the roots back to keep open water for fish and the other plants. I've since removed mine to large pots with no drain holes, and am looking for alternatives to put in my tanks.

    (I did find a papyrus last year, and we had an early freeze and I lost it! boo!)

    Jenn

    http://gardendjinn.typepad.com/garden/

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  25. AnonymousMay 29, 2014

    "Because mine are just sunk in their containers, thus not really able to expand outward too much."


    Bwa ha ha haaaaaa... (see my earlier comment)

    Jenn

    http://gardendjinn.typepad.com/garden/

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  26. I love your stock tanks. Definitely not a farm. They work so well in your garden. I especially love the ones with bamboo. I do have some caution to impart regarding the tadpoles. The tadpoles from pond and water garden supply stores are frequently bullfrog tadpoles. This is an invasive species that harms native amphibian populations. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/invasive_species/bullfrog.asp

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  27. An even dozen does seem a little out of character for one who likes to live dangerously. Thirteen would be perfect. I would call them a theme, and not an overbearing one at all.

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  28. would love to have you link your garden posts to Fishtail Cottage's garden party!!! (Thursdays ~ but I keep the party open thru the weekends) hope to see you! xoxo, tracie

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  29. Ahhhh wow, you have incredible taste! Love it all! Tank #12 looks fantastic.

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  30. Hi Loree:
    Recently discovered your blog, I believe though a mention on The Outlaw Gardener's blog (also a recent discovery). Love it! I'm very intrigued with this older post showing your use of the livestock troughs, both for the water garden, and also for "potted" plants, which look so healthy. (Love that podophyllum!) I'm very curious about a few things, if you have time to reply. 1) Do you drill holes in the bottoms before filling with soil, and/or do anything else to improve drainage beyond the standard drain hole located on the side a bit up from the bottom? 2) Do you just fill with a standard potting soil? 3) Do you have them all sited on a gravel/rock or concrete surface, or are some sitting directly on dirt or barked garden beds (e.g. some bamboos I see in front of fence)? I'd like to try this, but am wondering about drainage, and also best preserving bottom of trough. You've obviously been doing this trough gardening very successfully! Thanks, Patty in Seattle

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    1. Hi Patty!
      1) We did drill holes in the bottom of the first one we planted, but then decided it wasn't really needed and have't done it since.
      2) Most of them are filled part way with garden soil and/or sod and then the rest of the way with compost and potting soil. It seems that we always had a pile of soil/sod going somewhere in the early project days and the tanks are so big they provided an easy place to "get rid" of it.
      3) Directly on dirt (except for the ones in the driveway). If I had it to do over again I would probably try to put a protective barrier of some sort down first.

      Since bamboo is so thirsty drainage hasn't really been a concern. I can say that in the driveway tanks, where I grow veggies, I'm very glad we didn't add more holes. After a good watering there is a stream coming out the hole in the back, more holes not needed!

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    2. Thanks SO MUCH for taking time to provide all the info, Loree - much appreciated! I'm looking forward to reading your current posts, as well as the treasure trove of archived ones. (Love your display with poinsettias up now....) Patty

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