Water gardening ideas from Parade of Ponds

Colorado’s Parade of Ponds provides inspiration for creating your own water garden and raises funds for nonprofit organizations in the process.

parade-of-ponds-blogIf you plan to spend time on the Parade of Ponds this weekend, just be prepared for what might happen. I know a couple who  spent $25 to take the bus tour and ended up spending another $10,000 to build  a pond in their backyard.

This is the 11th year for the annual pond tour, sponsored by BR&D Landscape in conjunction with the North American Water Garden Society.  Every August, hundreds of ticket holders leisurely tour private backyards to get ideas for creating their own ponds and water features.

The Colorado Parade of Ponds website provides details about the self-guided tour, as well as ticket information for the bus tour offered by True Pump & Equipment.

Many of the ponds and water gardens will simply take your breath away, but if a full-scale water garden won’t fit in your backyard–or your budget–look for alternatives like pondless water features.

To help you and your hosts enjoy the event, here are 10 helpful touring tips:

  • Remember that you’re a guest in the hosts’ homes, so respect their requests.
  • Be sure to take a camera and notepad to capture ideas you’d like to try at home. Ask permission before taking photos.
  • Ask questions about the pond and any interesting features.
  • Keep criticisms to yourself.
  • Just like at the movies, turn off your cell phone, no loud talking and no food, drinks or smoking.
  • Look for hardy plants that are used in plantings around the ponds.
  • Stay on paths and try not to step on foliage.
  • Please don’t pick the daisies (or any other flowers).
  • Don’t ask to use the restroom, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Be sure to thank hosts for their hospitality.


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I’ve taken the tour and it is actually very good. They cover all the important bases and surprisingly have some great design and landscape style ideas that help open up the imagination. I do think however, that you can have a nice pond or water garden at a low price – it just requires a lot of elbow grease on your part.

Thanks for checking in about Parade of Ponds. You’re right that ponds come in many shapes, sizes and price points. The important thing is to build the water feature to meet current and future landscape needs. Many ponds start out too small and it’s more expensive to add on to them in the future.

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