Better than the Kentucky Derby

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and once again the Greater Louisville Koi and Goldfish Society is hosting their annual show  – 3821 Hunsinger Lane, Louisville, KY. It’s always a fun show and I feel a lot of people turn out for it. There’s always a lot of enthusiasm for this event. This year I’m attending as a member of the judging team. It will be my second student judging assignment. Once again, I’m judging with some pretty smart koi folks: The weather in Louisville is forecasted to be in the low 90s. I’m hoping it will feel good after a string of days in the 50s with rain. The pond builder told me that he read that this year’s Minnesota summer will be cooler than average. I guess my koi won’t be doing much growing 🙁 . While I am gone, I am leaving the pond builder with some outdoor tasks. We went out to a nursery that is a little farther this morning because they always have swiss stone pines. We picked out an Algonquin Pillar and a Prairie Statesman – and then the pond builder spotted some maples. Japanese weeping  maples are not very hardy  in Zone 4; we are very limited. I have a zone 4 rated new dwarf Japanese weeping maple called Velvet Viking and a traditional japanese weeping maple, Tamukeyama. The Tamukeyama is rated for zones 5-8 and has to be babied every winter. It will also never reach its potential height under our conditions. The new Ice Dragons are hybrids developed specifically for  Zone 4 . I’m going to have the pond builder put them by the pond. (I send the pond builder texts with photos and instructions. 😂) The Walker Pea Shrub is in the way pf the weeping maples so it will need to be moved down the hill. And we did come home with one Swiss Stone Pine. It’s an Algonquin Pillar and will anchor the new switchback path that we will create on this hillside. It will provide nice color in the winter and it serves to block the view to the upper pond. Our steps are going away and we’ll do something with the temporary herb garden that I have had for the last two years. I really love all the little trees in our yard. The garden attracts many small birds, hummingbirds and I saw a butterfly on the Louisa May crabapple tree. I have an experiment going with a swiss pine that was damaged a few years ago by deer. It’s been hanging out by the back shed and really has not improved much. The tree is going to be a niwaki experiment. I’ll post a photo if it survives the summer! Time to pack for Louisville!