Serene Pond Gardens & Funky Outdoor Living |Jeannie & Steven |Central Texas Gardener

– [Voiceover] You can't take in this pondgarden at just a glance.

Every path invites sublime or whimsical interaction.

Of course, you're welcome to just settle backand let ripples of contentment work their spell.

– I bought this property in 1991.

The kids and I, we came in and there was apool and so I wanted a house with a pool.

It had nothing in the yard, front or back.

It's a full acre, but I just saw a visionwhen I walked in.

We built a pond about a year after we boughtthe place and I started putting in plants and it just grew from there.

And then four years ago, Steven and I talkedabout, “Let's build a bigger pond.

” We started digging.

Not we, I'm sorry, Steven.

And we hired a couple of guys and it took'em two weekends.

– Three weekends.

– By wheelbarrows.

We couldn't bring in a backhoe because ofthe septic tank and then we did it all ourselves.

It's three tiers.

We have a real large hole in the middle becausewe knew we wanted koi and they want the deeper water.

Then there was some big boulders in thereand that's why it's not perfectly round, but I like that because we wanted it to look natural.

And we have a shallow end so the dogs candrink, too.

We built this pond right before our firstgrandson was born, Trent, and he's now five.

And we have a younger one, Cullen, he's three.

And they're thrilled to come over.

They love to lay on the side and feed thefish.

They love water, they love to swim, so theylove to get in the pond with their papa and the fish come up.

And they get to touch the fish and, it's justreally, it's cool.

It's not dirty, mucky water, it's really clean.

We have a really good filtration system andkeeps the water moving to get the oak leaves out, and the acorns, and things like that.

We have lived and learned and keep the bottomclean.

And we have all the plants in the bog.

That's where our filtration is.

Those roots are incredible filters.

– [Voiceover] Since koi are diggers when theyspawn, Jeannie and Steven protect containerized plants.

– [Jeannie] When we re-pot 'em, we actuallyput bricks or large rocks in 'em to deter the fish for not digging in there.

And there again, we don't put a lot of plantsin our koi pond because they're such diggers.

And a true koi pond doesn't even have plants, just fish, but I love plants.

– [Voiceover] Amble along the path for a surround-soundexperience from every angle.

Or, circle around and pick the observationpost of your choice.

Garden art and ponding unite in an old cowboybathtub they unearthed in Fredericksburg.

– So we brought it home and used it as anice chest for a couple years if we had parties.

It was sitting here on the deck and I thought, “No, I want to put plants in it.

” So he sealed it and now we keep water in itand plants that anybody comes over and needs a plant, I'll be happy to friend a plant tothem.

And we keep mosquitofish in 'em so we don'thave to worry about mosquitoes.

But I have several galvanized tins that I'llset out, put some dirt, or not dirt, and it's real good for on top of a deck, or on a backporch, or under a tree.

You can just do small ponds.

You don't have to have a big pond to havebeautiful plants and to have a few fish, you could put a few goldfish.

And you don't have to have electricity toa bubbler.

You can actually just put a little solar bubblerin it.

Five or six years ago, I couldn't get anythingto grow here.

Too many oak trees.

I said, “Let's put a deck.

” So my son Cory and Steven, they mapped itout.

– [Voiceover] They skirted it with raisedbeds framed in ashe juniper slats from Steven's prunings.

– [Jeannie] I don't like the decks that havelatticework.

I said, “Well, let's just do a raised bed.

” “Okay.

” And I like to put edibles out here like kale, and lettuce, and stuff so I can come right out of the house and grab it.

– [Voiceover] A forest-like living wall ofperennials and small trees encircles the diverse living rooms.

They transition the two spaces with a pathframed by rummaged old bed frames on one side and Steven's cedar prunings on the other.

He also crafted a mini pergola to supportshading vines.

– It's her design, it's my back.

Yeah, we got the wood off the land.

There's very few screws or nails in it.

I primarily tried to use copper wire justfor the not wanting to break the wood and also I think copper patinas.

The green is just beautiful.

– [Voiceover] They bridge the two gardenswith a small professionally designed pond.

– [Jeannie] In our small pond, our bog isreally mint and you can just take it off and use it for whatever.

We have grasses, so that water is crystalclear all the time because of the filtration, it goes through all the plants.

– [Voiceover] Like the large pond, it attractsbirds and all kinds of wildlife to drink, bask, and nestle among its stones.

The pool's for the family, including grandkids.

Even in the water or at poolside, there'sa lot of sensory stimulation from plants to art.

– [Jeannie] I have several bottle trees andI have a bunch of green bottles from Buddha Beer and then all my blue wine bottles.

I enjoy that, just to give color, like theflamingos.

I like spots of color everywhere.

When things aren't blooming, I still wantcolor.

– [Voiceover] In this playful spot, Margaritavilleserves up cheer regardless of the weather.

– [Margaritaville] I love Mexico and we'vetraveled there several times, so I thought, “I want it to look like Mexico.

” So that's why we named it Margaritaville, and we did the bright Mexican colors, and I've made a bench out of our footboard andout of my parents' old granite bar.

I'd like to refurbish things, so when I seesomething like my footboard, “What can I do with that? “Oh, let's make a bench.

“Steven, I need a bench made.

” So, I like to make things out of old stuff.

– [Voiceover] Artist and good friend, VivianStewart, painted the door with birds that Steven's noted in their trees and at the ponds.

Throughout the gardens, a memory's attachedto every ornament.

They're masters at turning fun old finds intoyard art.

– [Jeannie] I found those green doors andscreens at an old antique store somewhere and paid a little bit of nothing, but I thought, “I want to hang something around the shed.

” – [Voiceover] Nursery plant containers wentback into service as a trunk of sedums.

– [Jeannie] We have 'em placed so I waterthe top and they drip down.

– [Voiceover] As members of the Austin PondSociety, they recycle plants, too, dividing them to get friends started.

They've also honed their skills, rescue gear, and holding tanks for moving fish to new homes.

– The Pond Society, we got calls all the time, “My fish are too big.

“My husband passed away.

“I don't want my pond anymore.

“What can I do?” So, I talked it over with Steven, and so herewe go.

These are the largest fish we've ever transferred.

So today when we take them out of there, hopefullywe won't have a jumper.

It could be exciting.

We've never done this.

And the gentleman that we took them from, I said, “They're going to be on TV.

” I said, “Hopefully they'll be on TV, ” 'causehis wife was crying.

But he said, “I take care of 'em “and I can'ttake care of them anymore.

” And so, I know.

.

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