Pond-O-Rama Tour Set For June 25-26

By Alice Gibson, St. Louis Water Gardening Society

Members of the St. Louis Water Gardening Society are a diverse group of individuals with one or two common passions. As the group name implies, water features in the landscape is a primary commonality. “Some of our members have tall, boulder-lined waterfalls that thunder into pools below. Others have quiet, meandering streams that crawl through and around beds of lilies and hosta,” said Alice Gibson who is the coordinator of the group’s annual tour, Pond-O-Rama, which will be held on June 25 and 26.

“For some, providing a good home for colorful koi is the goal; others prefer the opportunity to grow exotic and beautiful aquatic plants. Almost all agree that adding water to their gardens enhanced the peace and serenity of the space,” Gibson added. The tour also includes “pondless waterfalls” that simply disappear at the termination of the falls, and a number of new rain-recovery systems that make the collection, storage and use of rainfall practical.

The 2011 tour is the 11th annual Pond-O-Rama and it features 42 private gardens owned by Society members. Tickets covering both days of the tour are $15 each and are available at retail shops and garden centers throughout the metropolitan area. Everyone on the tour age 18 or above needs to have a separate ticket. Children under the age of 18 do not need a ticket.

The gardens are located through the St. Louis metropolitan area, including a group of Illinois locations. The tour is arranged each day by geographic location “This event, each year, is the only time St. Louis Water Gardening Society members—as a group– open their gardens to the public. In addition to their water features, most of our hosts also are avid gardeners who maintain beautiful landscapes filled with perennials, annuals and shrubs,” said Gibson. “Our hosts will be on hand and able to answer questions about their gardens, their water features, their fish and their beautiful plants. If you are thinking of adding water to your own garden—or you simply enjoy beautiful landscapes—this is the tour for you.”

The tour ticket booklet gives location addresses, descriptions and driving directions. For more information, call (314) 995-2988. Tickets are available by mail order from the Society’s website, www.slwgs.org, or at garden centers and retailers listed on our website by clicking on “Pond-O-Rama”.

(Photos A & B): Two St. Louis Water Gardening Society members—both of whom are on the 2011 Pond-O-Rama tour, also have been selected to be a part of the Missouri Botanical Garden tour in mid-June. They are Rick and Pam Jokerst and David and Joan Poos. The spectacular backyard waterfalls and gardens at the Jokersts’ (Photo A) are making their 10th appearance on the Pond-O-Rama tour. The major attraction for gardeners at the Poos’ home (Photo B) is the extensive landscape filled with more than 1,000 varieties of day lilies and hundreds of hostas. The beautiful waterfall, which spills into a small pool is situated near their upper deck, providing a full measure of sights and sounds in their suburban backyard.

(Photo C): The opportunity to see how a wide variety of plants fit into a waterscape is one benefit of the Pond-O-Rama tour. Chris and Tara Siewing use perennials and annual effectively in their south county suburban landscape.

(Photo D): John and Audrey Wattler of Fenton wanted to hear the rushing, falling water, but did not want a pond. Their answer was a disappearing waterfall. The water goes into a resivoir under the rocks, and is recycled to the top of the falls. There will be a wide variety of water features on the 2011 Pond-O-Rama tour.

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