By Josh Spece
This month’s featured Hosta can be a bit of a chameleon. With a couple hours of direct sun, Hosta ‘June’ develops a bright gold or even creamy white leaf surrounded by a bluegreen margin. In more shade, it retains a more subdued color scheme of chartreuse and blue. I personally prefer the more subtle coloring, but in any of her disguises ‘June’ is one of the most beautiful Hostas ever introduced! ‘June’ will take four to six years to reach a mature size of a little over a foot tall and two and a half feet across. Typical Hosta-style, lavender flowers appear in July.
Aside from being a great looking plant, ‘June’ is very durable as well. One important characteristic to consider when buying Hostas is the substance or thickness of the leaves. The heavier the substance of the leaves, the better the foliage will hold up to the weather, the sun, and the bugs. ‘June’ has good, heavy substance to the leaves and looks almost as perfect and fresh in August as she does in May.
‘June’ was discovered in a European tissue culture lab as a sport of ‘Halcyon’ over 15 years ago and was the 2001 Hosta of the Year. Of the many Hosta varieties in my garden, though, it is still the one visitors “Oooh!” and “Ahhh!” over the most.
Welcoming new members. Promote Library. Organizing scrap books and/or collecting pictures of club activities. Mentoring new members. Nametags and membership cards.
Community Service Committee
Works with the Pond Tour committee on dispersing proceeds. Brings ideas to the club to help educate the public learning the pleasures of water gardening.
Puts together year-end recognition of volunteers and officers. Thank-you notes to speakers at club meetings.
Responsible for making contact & maintaining our relationships with area retailers. Establish club discounts. Conduct drawing for prizes at club meetings. Distribute club information to dealers to give to customers. Send thank-you notes to all retailers donating products.
Pam Moore - email@example.com
Write articles for newsletter. Assist the secretary at her request.
Jackie Allsup - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Nolan: June & August
Organizes & gets publicity for meetings & activities. Works closely with Pond Tour group to get advertising everywhere. Develops & maintains our club informational brochures and sees that they get to the dispersed. Organizes booth at area events.
Monica Morley - email@example.com
Jackie Allsup - firstname.lastname@example.org
2007 Pond Expo Committee
Jackie Allsup: email@example.com
Water Garden Tour
Finding ponds & getting the tour organized. Recruit volunteers to help at the ponds. Responsible for dispersing & collection of pond tour signs. Coordinate & help with publicity. Print maps & directions. All other duties to make the event run smooth.
Responsible for finding and organizing programs & speakers for meetings. Introduces speakers at the meetings. Plans & organizes club activities, such as trips, club workshops, etc.
One of our long-time members of 11 years is a big Iowa Hawkeye fan who unfortunately lost fish during the Iowa State vs Iowa game. Sometimes you can’t root for your team and fill your pond at the same time. We all felt the pain hearing about the loss of his fish, as he forgot to turn off the water he was adding to the pond.
Meet Ron and Edna Rife. They have been water gardeners for 12 years and their favorite plants are water lilies. Their pond is surrounded by a beautiful garden. Their exceptional Thailand Giant elephant ear was featured in our September 2006 newsletter.
Their interest in ideas from others, help with problems, and talking with people with a similar interested prompted them to join the club. Ron is the club librarian. Ron and Edna have been active in several committees throughout the years. For “Recognition Night 2005”, Edna created cement castings using rhubarb leaves, which were presented to many members.
Their pond was featured in the 2003 Pond Tour. They have beautiful koi. They spend their time relaxing by the pond & garden until they see something that needs to be cared for. They have improved their sitting area by building a deck beside one of the ponds.
You’ll see Ron and Edna at most meetings, always willing to share their experiences and knowledge.
Phyllis Gogel and Karen Philips are the proud owners of a goldfish named...Wiggles.
Their pond was featured on the 2006 pond tour. Their pond is 4 years old and they have been water gardeners for 10 years .
Sitting around the pond at night and listening to the water fall is one of their enjoyments of having a pond. Water Lilly is their favorite water plant which shares its home along with many goldfish. They spend their ponding time cleaning out the filter, removing leaves, treating algae, feeding the fish and caring for pond plants.
Phyllis and Karen joined the club 2 years ago. One of the things they have enjoyed is the newsletter. They feel the information is a good source for ponders.
Great Trailing Plants for Naturalizing Edges.
Pennywort (Hydrocotyle spp) - Sometimes known as ‘the poor man’s lotus’, it grows 2” to 5” tall with circular, crinkle-edged waxy leaves with white tufts of flowers from July through August. Water depth: maximum 2”. Requires full sun to partial shade. Zones 5-11
Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummulaira)- Also called moneywort, grows in mats 3” tall with round green leaves and vibrant yellow cup-shaped flowers. Water depth, maximum 2”. Requires full sun to partial shade. Zones 4-10
Water Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis scorpiodes) - Fragrant, dense clusters of small, bright blue flowers with yellow eyes appear in early spring. Grows 8” to 10” above the water in sun to shade. Water depth, maximum 6”. Zones 3-10.
Parrots’s Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) - Fast growing, lush with lacy limegreen foliage. Good oxygenator and fish spawning shelter. Thrives in sun or shade. Water depth maximum 24”. Zones 6-11.
Permission from Aquascapes Lifestyle Magazine
from Aquascapes Lifestyle Magazine
According to veterinarian and fish specialist, Dr. Erik Johnson, “The key to keeping healthy fish
can be found in maintaining good water quality.” When water quality deteriorates, whether from a fish overload, a lack of plants, or from lawn fertilizer chemicals seeping into the pond water, stress levels on your fish increase. And increased stress reduces the effectiveness of your fish’s immune system, rendering them more vulnerable to various diseases present in their environment.
So if you want healthy fish, make sure your water quality is good, minimize their stress levels, maximize the potency of their immune systems, and their ability to fend off disease will improve.
How This Scenario Plays Out for Humans
According to self-help guru Dr. Deepak Chopra, the same scenario that applies to fish, also applies to humans. As a person’s stress level increases, the effectiveness of their immune system is reduced, leaving them vulnerable to various diseases in their environment.
To protect your own good health, simply reduce the stress in your life, making sure your immune system is strong, vital, and capable of fending off the diseases in your environment, and your odds of living a long, happy, healthy, and active life increases exponentially.
Two Easy and Practical Tests
Chopra suggests two simple tests to determine how vulnerable you are to disease. The first is
simply to ask yourself if you’re happy with your job. Job satisfaction is huge because if you’re spending
40 to 60 hours a week doing a job that you don’t like, or have too little time to do it, pressure and stress will build, and the effectiveness of your immune system will gradually decrease. The second Chopra test is what he calls the happiness test. Just ask yourself how happy you are with your life. The happier you are, the greater your odds of staying healthy.
Reducing the stress in your life is good for you and it will probably translate into better health. There are various ways to escape from stress – some lose themselves in a long run, yoga practice, tai chi, or prayer. But those who have a water garden in their backyard probably just walk outside, and lose themselves in the soothing sights and sounds of their pond. And when they do, they relax, and that’s good for their health.
An Emergency Room Medical Physician
Emergency Medical Physician, Dr. Anna Marie Allen agrees wholeheartedly with Dr. Chopra
about stress, the immune system, and the odds of living a healthy life. “Ninety percent of all the patients I see are suffering from stress-related diseases,” she said. “Stress definitely reduces your immune system’s effectiveness, and increases your vulnerability to disease.
“And the stress that doctors work under in the ER these days is overwhelming. “But when I
come home I go out to the pond, sit in the gazebo, feed the fish, watch them swim around, and relax. Feeding the fish is especially relaxing to me,” Dr. Allen said. “My pond is my natural antidote to emergency room stress. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
M.S. Warriors Weighs in
Greg Cain was diagnosed with M.S. three years ago, but didn’t take the news lying down. Instead,
he decided to have the pond of his dreams built. Over the past year, Greg has become a supporter
of the therapeutic value of water gardening. “The pond has turned out to be a natural sedative, and it’s been so good for my own health. I noticed immediately how I could relax when I was around the pond, and I can’t tell you how much all this relaxation has meant to the success of my therapy,” Cain said.
When Ken and Gill Ecke moved into a house with an old Jacuzzi, they wanted to eliminate it
and replace with it a pond. Ken is an engineer who often operates under a work-related stress load, so when he was diagnosed with M.S., they decided to move forward with the pond they’d been thinking about for two years. “Ken has always been very active, and the pond has given him a new hobby that’s fun and relaxing at the same time,” Gill said. “When he comes home from work, he immediately goes out to the pond to feed the fish. It’s been a Godsend for both of us.”
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Now, if you wanted to boil this down into the lyrics of a song, it might be Bobby McFerrin’s
Don’t Worry, Be Happy. If you heed this simple piece of musical advice, odds are that the immune system Mother Nature equipped you with will remain strong and you’ll be more successful at fending off diseases in your environment.
Interestingly enough, one of the easiest, most natural ways to experience peace, tranquility, and
relaxation is to have a pond out in your backyard, to feed the fish, listen to the sounds of the waterfalls, and breathe in the aroma of the plants and flowers.