EIPS Newsletter

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In This Issue: May 2009

Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Erma & Larry Thompson
131 Rosedale Rd
Cedar Rapids, IA
phone 377-6481

Meeting at 6:30pm

Speaker~ Larry Thompson
Also, Club Plant/Fish/Equipment exchange

Bring your chairs

Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Greg & Martha Bickal
3653 Toddville Rd
Toddville IA
phone 379-8961

Saturday 6:30 pm

Speaker - Greg Bickal~Spawning and Caring for your baby fish
Greg will have Koi available for sale

ATTENTION, Host Request…..

Park on Otter Creek Road. That’s the road that is at the T intersection in front of Greg’s house.

Bring your chairs

April 9th Meeting

President, Monica Morley, welcomed pond members into their home and to the regular Thursday evening pond meeting.

Treasurer’s Repot – none given at the Thursday meetings

Minutes – approved as written

Old Business – Monica offered members a ride to In the Country Garden and Gifts. They were going to attend one of their April seminars and were willing to fill up the car for anyone interested.

Maria gave a update on the cookbook. It’s presently being proofread by volunteers Kathi Albrecht and Erma Thompson.

New Business – Larry Tharp again has “Once a Year” fertilizer packets for sale. They are 25 cents each and one packet fertilizes a pond plant in at 1-3 gallon pot for an entire year.

Speaker Committee report – almost all meetings have been filled with speakers for the year, but still a couple open which may or may not be filled.

Pond Tour Committee report – This year’s tour will be in the SE quad of CR/Solon/Swisher area. We have 5 confirmed ponds and still looking for a couple more. Any suggestions are welcomed. Monica also reported several vendors will be on hand and asked all members to remember the plant sale.

Door Prize Committee report – Stephanie reported we have plenty, but they are slow at coming. It’s not been like last year and thought it might be an economy thing.

In some informal conversation, Monica talked about how she has had a couple ducks frequenting her pond. She saw something in her pond on a shallow ledge and it turned out to be a huge duck egg. Members shared ideas on how to keep birds out. Netting and using decoys (as nesting birds are very territorial) can be used to deter birds from wanting to nest near your pond.

I, Jackie, gave a power point presentation on “Fish Disease”

Robert Hollenbeck talked briefly about the upcoming Eastern Iowa Aquarium Assoc. fish show and open house at Noelridge Park on Easter weekend. EIPS will have a informational table there also which he will man for us.

V.P. Dave Bell introduced his 3P’s part of the meeting. We had conversations and questions about the proper planting of Elephant Ears/taro.

Door prizes were drawn for and the meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by Jackie Allsup

Click to see pictures from the March 28 & April 9 meetings.

Minutes—April 25th Meeting

Monica began by welcoming 33 members once again to her home. Monica, Gil and Elena provided a wonderful meal for all the members to enjoy.

Guest speaker was delightful Ellen Skripsky. She spoke about companion gardening and natural bug control.

Hugh Albright was the winner of the 50/50 drawing.

Monica passed pictures of an Asagi koi amongst members to choose which one they thought was the better fish. Donovan Burke explained the correct answer and why “A” was the better of the two pictured fish. Great teaching aid on points to look for as you purchase koi.

Monica welcomed and introduced new member Tom Coyle and welcomed back the familiar faces of Ron & Lois Jungers. She also wished Happy April and upcoming May Birthdays to members.

Old Business: Larry Thompson spoke about the Kennedy High School pond renovation. Jeff Garner, Kerry Shaner, Bob Bisenius, and Gil Morley helped to completely clean and advise teachers and students about its impending care. The pond was in quite a state of disrepair when our volunteers arrived. What great representatives for the club!

Pond Tour Committee: Reported nothing new. Still looking for additional ponds.

Cookbook Committee: Maria reported proof reading was completed and they should be available by June 1st. Advanced sales were also going good.

New Business: The May meeting to Greg Bickal’s was discussed. A time of 6:30 was chosen.

Treasure’s Report was given: April income= $195.00, April expenses = $235.78 Total checking = 782.76, Total Savings = 2216.27. Total in the bank as of 4/22/09 = $2999.03.

Monica asked for member input regarding a social picnic at Noelridge Park. Please email or call Monica if you would like to do it again as she needs to get it rented ahead of time.

Monica told the group about a new web site she found called USAKoi.com. It has lots of information on fish and care. Monica informed members she would be purchasing a Mosaic plant from In the County Garden and Gifts and would be happy to pick up extra plants for members if they were interested in purchasing one.

In Dave’s absence, Kerry Shaner asked members to share ideas during our 3 P’s segment of the meeting. Monica spoke about a beautiful plant called King Tut Papyrus and showed the Succulent garden she created in a class by Josh Spece. Next month at Larry’s meeting, members are encouraged to bring extra plants, fish, or equipment to exchange or share with other members. Monica spoke about a great hand cream she found called Gardener’s Touch which she passed around for members to try, available at In The Country Garden and Gifts in Independence. Tim Nolan offered plastic strapping, a material used by several members in their biological filters instead of the heavy lava rock. We talked about hints for filling big pots, by using packing peanuts, tin cans, or plastic milk jugs in the bottom of them to take up space and lightening the pot so you can move it. Kerry spoke about the rising cost of an algaecide called Green Clean that several members use with good results. Members reported frogs already showing up and people were starting to feed their fish. Larry shared with members his experience with bringing in new fish to his qt tank. Upon their introduction, they immediately all spawned, creating quite a mess and crashing his water quality completely. Several tense hours and a real mess to clean up had him quite busy for a couple days.

The silent auction was closed with Tim Nolan purchasing a great 1900 gallon Pond Master pump donated to the club from Earl May. Door prizes were drawn for and the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, Jackie Allsup

Click to see pictures from the April 25 meeting.

By Jackie Allsup

Wow, we had a packed house at the Saturday meeting. It rained of course! Monica now has a firm reputation for holding meetings during tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings, although there were no sirens at least this time. Tim and Linda Nolan officially called her The Rain Maker. This is about her 3rd meeting under such conditions and it’s such a shame as she has an absolutely gorgeous back yard and pond. If you missed it and the great food Monica and Elena put together along with some members adding dishes to the dinner, then it certainly was your loss. I baked a Koi cake for the April birthdays. No, it wasn’t made of fish, but “kind of” looked like one.

Click to see pictures of the koi cake.

After we ate and visited amongst each other, we moved into Monica’s garage to listen to our speaker, Ellen Skripsky. What a delightful lady. She peppered her talk on companion gardening with humor and aged wisdom that only comes with years of experience. After many years of buying canned beans and frozen peas, because it was easier and less time consuming, she even had me thinking about planting a few veggies. She handed out a few trade secrets and some very helpful handouts for the absent minded, like myself. I had a whole page of notes, though. Chives for aphids, spearmint for ants, caster beans for moles, Japanese beetles don’t like white geraniums; I now have the cure for all that ails my gardens.

Gathered back in the house and a warm welcome to new member, Tom Coyle. It’s always great to see new members. And, the Jungers had traveled 1 ½ to 2 hours to join us again. In fact there were several members present that had not been to recent meetings. We’ve missed you and it was great to visit again.

Larry Thompson told us how he and other members literally took 400-500 pounds of leaves out of the Kennedy pond. I can only imagine how nasty that smelled!! This is volunteerism beyond the call of duty. In these times, when everybody seems so busy, it’s hard to find volunteers that will actually do manual labor to make improvements on area ponds. Big kudos to these guys: Larry, Gil, Bob, Kerry and Jeff.

Have you seen the cookbook? It’s so cool… I think they are going to turn some of the pictures into color yet, but it already looks really nice. Be sure to get your orders in. You’ll want extras for friends and family.

Behind the scenes planning of the pond tour continues. We’ll certainly be looking for all kinds of volunteers shortly to help run that.

Kerry ran our 3-P’s (Product, Plants, & Problems) He did well! There was a lot of discussion on new plants, the rising price of products and the imminent resurgence of frogs in our ponds. Larry told us his story about his huge new female koi and how they spawned in his quarantine tank creating quite the mess. Jeff Garner joked about how good the caviar was that Erma and Larry brought for dinner. There was a lot of laughter at this meeting again, with members openly poking fun at one another and teaching others by sharing their own often humorous mistakes. You got to love it.

The next meeting is at Larry and Erma Thompson’s. There will be a plant, fish, and/or equipment exchange among members. So bring your extras to share. It’s one of the bonuses and reasons you joined the club!

Thank you to the Gil & Monica and Elena for hosting a fun and informative meeting. And again, thanks for the yummy food.

By Josh Spece

It’s that time of year, again! Time to hit the nurseries and garden centers to see what new and exciting plants you can grow in your garden this season. We all have our favorite pond plants that we love to grow, but here are some new water plants to look for this spring. Who knows…you may find a new favorite!

Giant Star Grass is a Florida native and looks like the typical Star Grass…on steroids! Large white “flowers” stand 18” above the grassy foliage. Giant Star Grass puts on a great show all summer long.

Red Plantain is a showy ornamental variety of the common lawn weed, but don’t let its relatives tarnish your opinion of this plant before you’ve even seen it! The crinkled leaves are deep burgundy and form a mound 1 foot tall and wide. If you want to be certain Red Plantain doesn’t reseed, remove the insignificant flower spikes as they appear. Hardy to at least zone 4.

Orange Snowflake is native to Australia and grows much larger than other more common Water Snowflakes. The bright green pads are scalloped around the edges and look like tropical lily pads. The fringed, orange flowers are produced all season long.

Zebratails Cattail is different than the typical variegated cattail in that the creamy variegation runs horizontally across the slender green leaves. A striped cattail! Zebratails is extremely hardy, vigorous, and grows to around 4’ tall.

Tropical Water Lily ‘Lynn Ellen’ is a new day blooming hybrid. It has a medium to large spread and green pads. The flowers are pastel with the base of the petals yellow and gradually blending to blue-lavender at the tips.

Tropical Water Lily ‘Ambrosia’ was developed in Australia in the early ‘90’s and is just now being introduced to the trade. This is a medium to large lily with pads that are heavily mottled with purple. It is a day bloomer with soft lavender-blue flowers that are most intensely colored on the tips of the petals.

Thanks to Florida Aquatic Nursery, Craig Presnell, royalhawaiiancolocasias.com, and perennials.com for the use of their photos.

More new plants will be featured in June’s newsletter.

Submitted by Larry Thompson

Nite Guard Solar-Powered Night Predator Light, Model# NG-001

The Nite Guard solar-powered night predator light is a maintenance-free unit that keeps nocturnal predators away from your birds, livestock and property.

• Automatically turns on at dusk and turns off at sunrise
• Red flashing LED keeps nighttime predators away from your birds, livestock and property
• Protects against owls, coyotes, opossum, raccoons, fox, bobcats, muskrats, bears, cougar, wild boar, mink and weasels

Ron Jungers suggested this product at the Saturday night meeting.

Co-Editor, Maria Hamilton and myself attended a “Make A Succulent Garden” workshop, taught by Josh Spece from In The County Garden & Gifts. Lots of fun and a wide variety of succulents to pick from. Josh gave great advice on creating and caring for our succulent gardens. Sue Spece offered us homemade cinnamon rolls her mother JoAnn baked and coffee. What wonderful hospitality.


Click to see pictures of Monica & Maria with their succulent gardens.

10% Discounts

See April’s Newsletter or the Commercial Supporters page.

In the Country Garden & Gifts
Iowa City Landscaping & Garden Center
Earl May, NE side only
Home & Garden Metal Art by A.J.
Koi Acres

In The Country Garden & Gifts Open House
2392 240th St.
Independence IA

May 9 & 10
9 am – 5 pm

Celebrate spring with us and enjoy specials and discounts.


Linn County Master Gardeners Plant Sale

Saturday, May 16, 2009
8 AM to Noon (Note: No Early Sales)

ISU Linn County Extension Office
3279 7th Avenue
Marion, Iowa 52302

Open House at Koi Acres...

Koi Acres is holding an open house/UMKC Koi Club meeting on May 16. They would like to extend this invitation to club members, if you are in the area on this weekend.

They specialize in Koi pond design/installation, Filters & Pumps, Polyurea Liner, Japanese Koi & Guided Koi buying trips to Japan.

Check out their website: www.koiacres.com.

May Birthdays

Gary Hunerdosse - 9th
Rosie Michel - 10th
Jim Milden - 10th
Roy Gaddis - 27th
David Frieden - 27th

Happy Belated April Birthday to Donovan Burke

If you would like your birthday printed in the newsletter, email us at mespringcove@aol.com or sign in with the Hospitality Committee: Elena Murillo or Gil Morley.

Mark Your Calendar

Coming Sunday, June 14th Road Trip To Dry Creek Hosta Farm

On Sunday, June 14th @ 2:00 pm we will be visiting Dry Creek Hostas.

Get your wish list for hostas and perennials and join us for an afternoon strolling the quaint paths among 900 varieties of hostas.

Get out your comfortable shoes and join us.

Due to parking availability, we will meet at Monica’s house and possibly car pool for the 10 min. ride to the garden. We will leave from Monica’s at 1:45 pm for our 2:00 pm appointment.

Email Monica mespringcove@aol.com if you are interested and a sign-up sheet will be available at the May’s meetings.

They have 10-12 varieties of ferns and several varieties of bleeding hearts, astilbe, grasses, toad lilies, primroses and many more ranging in price from $5 to $15. They also are selling daylilies. They currently have 40+varieties and prices are $6 to $12.

Hosta of the year Winners 1996-2009

1996 So Sweet -$9
1998 Fragrant Bouque-$12
2002 Guacomole-$13
2003 Regal Splendor -$12
2005 Striptease-$16
2006 Stained Glass-$16
2008 Blue Mouse Ears-$12
2009 Earth Angel-$17

Click to see pictures of last year's visit.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

All locations and topics are subject to change. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

Times determined by the Host/Hostess

Programs will be updated as available along with the times of the meetings.

May 14th (Thursday)
Erma & Larry Thompson

May 30rd (Saturday)
Greg Bickal

June 11th (Thursday)
LouAnn & Larry Jayne

June 27th (Saturday)
Pre Pond Tour

July 12th (Sunday)
Pond Tour

July 25th (Saturday)
Elena Murillo/Gil & Monica Morley
4th Annual Photo Contest

August 13th (Thursday)
Cecy & Bob Bisenius
Master Gardener, Deb Walser—”Garden Lighting”

August 29nd (Saturday)
Jackie & Harry Allsup

September 10th (Thursday)
Lavonne & Dick Isard

September 26th (Saturday)
Pat & Wayne Beuter

October 24th (Saturday)
Master Gardener, Bill Oliver—”Old Garden Tales”

Recognition Night

Contact Monica mespringcove@aol.com or 294-4866 if you would like to host in October.

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