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Gardening Today: The Water Garden Trend
by News Canada
May 8, 2005

What's the fastest growing outdoor past-time? If you answered building water gardens and ponds you're probably one of the countless Canadians already hooked on this growing trend.

Water gardens are "extremely trendy" these days, according to Scott Rhodes, product manager for Laguna, a manufacturer and distributor of pond products based in Montreal.

In Canada, the market for water garden products is growing by an estimated 20% every year. Retail sales for all pond-related items are pegged at approximately $40 million, with garden centres, big box stores and pet shops selling the lion's share.

"It's often an outgrowth of gardening, spurred by an increasing number of gardeners who want to branch out and take it to a new level," says Rhodes.

A water garden-complete with running water, colorful Koi and thriving plants-infuses a splash of life to an otherwise static garden environment, notes the pond expert.

He advises that while ponds can be relatively easy to build, you should do your homework to avoid costly mistakes. Done right, water gardening can bring many visual rewards.

Rhodes-who keeps an ornate 20-gallon, container-type water garden in his office, complete with plants, fancy goldfish, and Japanese bamboo spitter-says you can build them in a variety of shapes and sizes, it all depends on space, imagination, and your credit card limit.

For instance, apartment dwellers or people with limited real estate can create one in a barrel, for as little as a few hundred dollars. It can be placed on a patio or deck and moved indoors in the winter.

Those with expansive backyards have the luxury of building larger in-ground ponds with fountains and waterfalls that can set you back several thousand dollars. In either case, building a water garden is certainly something you can do yourself, provided you keep a few basic principles in mind. Your best resources for detailed information are retailers specializing in water gardens. For more expert advice and tips on building a pond and Laguna pond products visit www.hagen.com.

- News Canada

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