Weather forecasts a busy weekend ahead

Great weather means we’re outside all weekend. We got a head start on our weekend by heading up to Koi Acres in Scandia, MN to pick up my new Dainichi Showa tosai. He/She (hopefully she) is named Costello. Showa koi like Abbot and Costello take about five years to develop. The Showa and Shiro Utsuri breeds are an exercise in patience (which I lack). We saw the omosako grow out shiro utsuri, Lily, who will come home next month. She’s still a large girl but her sumi has changed again since I last saw her. I also saw a few other very nice koi that were a little out of my budget for the weekend…maybe next year. We did pick up an odd koi that Mikki and Devin called – “the omosako special”. It’s a tosai kujaku that is non-metallic. An odd mutant but we like the odd in our ponds so we picked him/her up.


Costello (the Showa on the right) and no-name-yet non-metallic kujaku (on the left)

Normally we would be heading up to Koi Acres for their spring open house but we’re behind in pond work and yard work this year. So we did a mad dash ahead of the “fishing opener”. In Minnesota, the fishing season opens on Mother’s Day weekend. Starting on Friday there is a mass exodus north to the lakes. For a state that has relatively little traffic problems, the roads are just packed with people towing boats and heading to their lake cabins. I’ve always wondered if the fishing opener is scheduled to give mom a break or if Minnesota moms really like to fish?

I also purchased some potted herbs that will go into the garden today, found some seeds in a desk drawer and also picked up some potato plants. I’ve never grown potatoes so they’re an experiment. I wanted to try garlic as well but as I was reading the directions about growing garlic – it’s not fast and you have to dry/cure the garlic. For the effort involved, I’m convinced that buying in the store is the way to go with garlic. Since I purchased them, I’ll still plant them this year. Here’s my other tip – you can plant the garlic that you purchase in the grocery store (probably the potatoes too).

Herbs waiting to be planted in the garden

Trying out some potatoes and garlic

I also checked with the garden store about my trees that were chewed up by the rabbits. The tree guy told me to scratch the branch and if I see the bright green underneath, give it a good dose of fertilizer and bear with an ugly plant this year. I’ve been putting in some grasses around the trees so in a few weeks, the bare branches will be less noticeable.

it’s alive…

The plant centered in front of my kitchen window is the first azalea in the garden to bloom. I really enjoy how every plant seems to bloom a few days off of the other in my garden. I love the bright colors of the flowers but I really like the different spring green colors as the plants first come back to life after winter.

First azalea blooms this year

Lots of progress on the upper pond. The waterfall was restarted last night and I think the pond builder is pretty much done with the upper pond for this year. There’s always a few things left to do, like putting the windows back in, but he can now move to the lower pond work. We’re waiting for the water to get a few degrees warmer and should be able to move the big girls into the upper pond this afternoon.

The new moving bed filter.

UV filter
The pond builder has started the waterfall for the upper pond.

I hear the robin scolding the pond builder as he sets up to spray-stain the lower pond’s shade feature. This robin is very protective of her nest and very high strung. The cardinal in the backyard stays very still and hopes that you will just go away. The robin tends to fly out of the nest when you are within 5 feet or so and loudly chirps from a tree branch higher up. I might just go do a little filming with the GoPro camera – maybe the eggs have hatched??

So I’m done blogging and having breakfast. Heading out to our little salt mine/recreation. A lot of Minnesotans have cabins that they drive a few hours to every weekend. There’s a lot of puttering around and upkeep to these cabins. I think the pond builder has the right idea – rather than buying a place three hours away on a lake…just build a mini-lake retreat in your backyard. Nice commute and I can enjoy it every day. More photos of koi, pond and garden later this weekend.