Pond Tours: An Enthusiast’s Description

by Cherie R. on July 10, 2014

Pond tours are amazing! From a tropical rainforest to a desert oasis there is so much to see!

When I announced to my department which Pond tour I will be attending, our Videographer, Alan, (with his fist in the air) exclaimed, “Pond Tour 2014 Wooooo!” It’s funny every time. But then I realized most people outside of the pond and koi community wouldn’t know about pond tours. I was one of those people until I began working here at Foster and Smith, Inc.

What is a Pond Tour?
When I first began photographing Pond Tours five years ago, I had no idea what to expect. After attending many pond and water garden tours in the Midwest, I’ve learned most pond tours are usually an annual event sponsored by the local pond and water garden club showcasing the water features of club members. The purpose of the tours is to share private ponds with the public, encourage people to join the club, and sometimes to help raise money for the club or a cause.

Why go on Tour?
If you have ever toyed with the idea of adding a water feature in your yard – these events are a must! I have met some amazing people and I now look forward to each pond tour I attend. There is a wealth of information in these clubs. I have a ton of ideas for my gardens and even received some plants from a few generous people. I have added 3 water features to my property due to my attendance on these tours.

So if you are up for a nice day outside listening to the trickle of water, or watching graceful Koi, Shubunkins, and Comets swim up and ask for a treat then pond tours are a must. More of a gardener than a fish keeper? No problem. Enjoy gazing at the beauty of the gardens full of water lilies, hyacinths, and if you are lucky an open lotus. And of course with such great people so willing to share their knowledge, what’s there to lose? For me it is a great opportunity to photograph some incredible ponds!

Insider’s Tip
There are many pond tours and every one of these tours is worth going to. They are usually held on a weekend in the summer for one or two days. You will need to purchase a map from the club that is hosting the event. (There is usually a discount if you purchase your map in advance!)

On these maps you’ll often find the name and address of the pond enthusiast and a small description of what you will see at their property and how late they plan stay open to the tour. The ponds range from a small pre-form water garden to a 50,000 gallon Koi pond. I love the fact that each water feature has its own personality. Plus, the people you will meet are so proud to share how they built their pond and answer any questions you may have.

This summer look up your local club and mark your calendars for the next pond and water garden tour in your area. They are a great way to spend a day and learn how wonderful water features truly are.

Check out a few shots I’ve taken on previous tours:

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Cherie is a photographer at Drs. Foster and Smith. She and her husband, Adam, are avid outdoorsmen, as well as volunteer firefighters. They share their home with their dog, two cats, and a beta. Cherie also shares her daily workspace with two skinks, a lovebird, and a Green-Cheeked Conure. In her free time she photographs wildlife and the night sky.

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