There’s nothing like the first storm of the season to remind us that we need to properly prepare our Flea Market Gardening ponds, birdbaths, totems and water features for inclement weather.
Flea market treasures make surprising and beautiful water features. In our garden, winter means that fragile whimsies like this shimmering glass ball shown above, will be tucked away where ice won’t crush it.
Whether it’s a birdbath fashioned from salvaged terra cotta and mosaic tiles, buckets with hidden pumps that magically keep pouring; or teacups to hold rainwater for a fairy tea party, flea market garden water features often require extra care before freezing temperatures set in.
Get It Done: Winterize Your Pond
Dry and empty is a good idea, covered or under a roof is even better for fragile items. In a pinch, you can sometimes cover or upturn larger garden objects where they stand. You can also tuck smaller objects inside of large, overturned flower pots. The idea is that water features will not crack with expanding ice, if they are arranged so that they do not hold water.
Features made from flexible materials such as rubber-lined pools can be left with fresh water inside, since ice may help keep the liner clean.
If your water feature has fish and water plants, they must either fend for themselves where water is deep and not frozen, or be invited indoors. Both fish and water plants can thrive in a heated greenhouse, but lacking that luxury, you can also over-winter fish and water plants in aquariums, tubs, or even spare buckets. It’s a good idea to cover the fish so they don’t jump out. Also, pumps for fountains and waterfalls will last longer if brought in for the winter and kept wet in a bucket or tub so that the seals do not shrink.
Jeanne Sammons says, “We dug our pond deeper & put in a new liner about 6 yrs ago so that we can leave the fish out there all Winter. We lost all of the fish one yr because of excessive snow cover …so now my husband keeps the snow off if we get too much accumulation. We have a ‘tank heater’ in one end (a circle thing about the size of a pizza) that keeps the water open. Ponds (even small man-made ponds like ours) are a pain in the rear … but the benefits outweigh the work in our book! Such a joy to watch & feed the fish!”