By Helena Rodriguez
Picture this: A scenic array of stacked stones, the gurgling sound of rushing water, comfortable benches under shaded trees, birds and turtles dropping in, lush plants and fish.
Now picture this in your backyard.
According to Mike Hamilton, president of the Clovis Pond & Garden Club, home ponds began to get popular about 10 years ago and are currently the fastest growing area for landscape businesses. Area residents will get a chance to view 14 private ponds, as well as one public one at McDonald’s on 13th & Mitchell, during the Fourth Annual Pond & Garden Tour on Saturday.
Herb and Lucy Hartle’s pond with a waterfall and fountain, is much more than a centerpiece for their backyard.
“It is our ocean cruise, our night out, my source of meditation,” Lucy said.
“The movement of water provides relaxation. The first thing I do in the morning is come out here. I have breakfast out here,” Lucy said.
The Hartle’s pond on West Christopher Street is their second attempt at a backyard pond. They were unhappy with a previous pond in the corner so they covered it up and started over. This time they brought in iris and poppy plants from Georgia. They added lots of ornaments, including figurines of boys fishing, which their granddaughter painted and which they placed in the water, and a whimsical sign that reads “Beware, turtle crossing.”
The Hartle’s pond also includes a bridge, three sitting areas, religious signs and items and arched iron gateways on the paths leading to the pond.
Rosie and Jessie Corrie also find their backyard pond relaxing. Jessie also pointed out another advantage, “Less yard to cut.”
“We spend a lot more time in our backyard now, especially in the evenings,” said Rosie. “It gives you the feeling of being by a lake.”
Hamilton said the night tour, featuring three ponds, offers the opportunity to see the way light reflects through rocks and plants.
One ticket will cover all of the day and nighttime pond tours and a fluorescent green sign will be placed in front of the featured homes. In addition, there will be Pond & Garden members, as well as owners, at each site.
“A lot of people like to come to see backyards they normally do not get to see and to get ideas for their own ponds,” Hamilton said.
Proceeds from the Pond & Garden Tour are used by the Clovis Pond & Garden Club to help build ponds for nonprofit organizations. The group helped students at Mesa Elementary School install a pond and are in the process of helping build one at Play Inc.