Friday, January 21, 2011

Thinking About my Babies

My Unique Tancho Koi
One of the things I look forward to whenever I get out in the garden are seeing my beautiful babies, our Koi and Goldfish swimming around the pond looking lovely with their bright and vivid colours shimmering on the water. And of course they're happy to see us too, the moment they sense any of us are around they gather at their usual feeding spot, mouths wide open and often scrambling on top of each other in an attempt to get the first batch of food thrown at them. The big ones effortlessly get their share of the food, but the smaller ones aren't coy either in asserting themselves and getting their fair share.

Gin Rin Sanke
Koi especially are such endearing pets, they can be trained to be tame enough to feed from your hands and docile enough to allow you to touch them when you're near the pond. And their seeming dependence on you when it comes to feeding makes them even more endearing. Their tameness have rubbed off on some of our goldfish too, which are now happy to be hand fed!

It's so relaxing and enjoyable watching them swimming around doing their own thing, with their vivid colours and patterns moving gracefully on the water. They have an undeniable calming effect on you, or for anyone else who watches them, and they make you slow down whenever you pass by the pond. And it certainly does for me, no matter how busy we get in the garden I always make time to occasionally stop and just watch them swimming around, and I'm instantly relaxed and more refreshed. At times I lose track of the time and end up watching them much longer than I should.

From spring till mid autumn, I look forward to the routine of going to the pond to feed them just before I go to work, and doing the same first thing as soon as I get back then check the rest of the garden afterwards. It's always nice to see their friendly fishy faces before heading for work and again after a long day.

Removable Plastic Mesh on Wooden Frames to protect them from predators when we're away from the garden

Winter is the tricky part, with daylight hours much shorter it's still dark when I leave for work and dark already when I get back. Depending how cold it gets, feeding mostly ceases so at least they don't need their daily supply from me. And the pond has a cover for the entire duration of the cold season to keep the water temperature stable and warmer than outside, protecting the fish and keeping them cosy for the winter.

So I don't get to see them for stretches of days in winter. I do think about them and occasionally worry about them, wondering how they are doing under the cover. It's not adviceable to uncover sections of the pond when it's very cold outside as it will release the trapped heat warming the pond and disturbing them in their slowed state. But on milder days and whenever the chance arises, I do remove the covers to check. Today I got that chance and it always gives me a feeling of joy (and a sigh of relief) seeing them happily swimming then approaching me, looking like they're happy to see me too!

More than just garden pets, we've taken it to the next level and make keeping them a more serious hobby. We're well and truly hooked by this wonderful, ornamental fish called Koi, dubbed 'Living Jewels' because of their often vivid colours and patterns. Koi and Koi keeping, another dimension to our garden! 


  1. These are truly beautiful koi. Can you post a photo of your entire pond? I'd love to see that.

  2. I love koi and my friend's mother raises them in a huge outdoor pond at the farm that I am at daily. I have featured them on my blog too. Plus, I bought a white one for her many years back that is really large now. Your fish are quite beautiful and I hope they are with you many long years.

  3. A garden isn't just shaped by the plants in it, but also by the animals (and of course people). Part of my fascination with our own garden is the wild deer and red squirrels that visit every so often, and I would love to have a permanent animal presence like your beautiful carps. I can definitely see their potential for de-stressing and relaxing anybody who takes the time to watch them for even a few moments.

  4. Your Koi are amazing, I never realized that you could cover the pond in this way. We usually switch on the small pond heater for Winter, but I often see the goldfish almost clinging to it, maybe not such a good idea. We lost all our goldfish to a Heron a couple of years ago.

  5. I always wondered how koi would manage over a cold winter. They are amazing.

  6. They are a lovely bunch and glad you can see why I'm fond of them :)

    Soren, it's true what you say about animals also being part of the garden, both pets and wildlife. Would be great to see some red squirrels here which are protected, we only have the grey ones. I also say that 'A Pond/Water feature completes a garden' :)

    Alistair, keep your little heater on during cold spells, your goldfish will thank you for it. We also lost all our goldfish on our little wildlife pond to herons a few years ago.

    Missy, covering the pond is almost essential in keeping them comfy. It all depends on the set-up, some ponds will be difficult to cover. Fortunately it's easier for us as it's a raised pond.

    Gerhard, there's a photo in our gallery at Facebook. I'll try and post one sometime soon :)


Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.