|What you looking' at me for eh???|
But before I carry on about this friendly competition amongst other koi hobbyists in our area, let me tell you a bit more about this wonderful place.
Avenue Fisheries has played a huge part into why I became interested in koi keeping in the first place (see here for a previous visit). They were the first large specialist koi dealer we had been to, and the only one we have visited that presents their koi for sale outdoors in several ponds in a garden setting. More typical are rows and rows of functional looking water vats inside a warehouse or a polytunnel.
|A bit of autumn colour at the entrance|
To see these beautiful fish swimming in well kept and constructed ponds, surrounded by a backdrop of plants and garden ornaments won me over. Suffice to say this place has been (and still is) inspirational, reminding me that it's possible to have a beautiful garden and a specialist koi pond at the same time.
Most koi hobbyists however are strictly koi keepers only, and don't really feel that complemental landscaping is necessary to further their hobby. And that's fine. Vice versa, most gardeners and garden makers see having a pond with fish in it as totally unnecessary and just detracts from their horticultural fervour.
|Steve showing Gaz some of best koi they have for sale in the main show pond|
However, there are some, like us, that like both and value the way they should complement each other. A koi pond, even a specialist one, can enhance a garden, and in turn a well tended garden can enhance the experience of koi keeping. A fine balance that this dealership seems to have achieved.
|They sell some plants too, like this Ilex crenata|
|I might pinch this idea, Heucheras in glazed pots, for some winter colour.|
|They certainly have some stunning fish!|
|Lots of them!|
|Some nice fish to choose from..|
|Fellow members making their choices!|
|Let the competition commence!|
|Oh yes, they have some pet parrots too!|
|An exotic pet!|
|Bowling and measuring|
|Gaz chose this one..|
|and this was mine...|