Carnivorous Pitcher Plant

Carnivorous Pitcher Plant
one of the first plants in our swim pond

Sunday, 21 October 2012

First Swim for the season! At last!

Well at last we have had a few hot days and the pool is warm enough for swimming! I have been anxious to get in there and see if I can spot the cause of the ongoing algae problem.

A few months ago we added 4 large pots with water lillies from another pond
We over filled them, leaving not enough room for the sand layer. We did put sand on but when this algae problem persisted I wondered whether the pots were the problem.

Yesterday when I had my first look underwater - right enough - the tops of the pots looked like pure mud. There was definitely too little sand to seal them. So I spent a happy couple of hours with a bucket of sand and a cup, and mask and snorkel, filling them with sand.

Today I snorkelled again with a siphon hose and removed the algae around the pots and plants. It all looks much neater now.

I have also started my aqua scraping of the underwater landscape. I have finally got my main log to sink. I have it standing upright so from underwater it looks like a tree trunk. I have planted 2 "epiphytes" on it and I'm quite pleased with its potential. From above water the log stands above the surface and I like its look there too.

With my siphon hose I was able to uncover the aquarium plants I put in at the end of last summer. Some have survived, some have thrived, but some are lost.

The submerged plants which thrived are elodea (no surprise there!), lilaeopsis which is covering the surface of two Lilly pots, and moneywort (both submerged and floating). At least I think it is moneywort. You can see a large mass of it with purple flowers floating in the attached photos. (Please let me know if you can confirm its identity.)

Unfortunately the hair grass did not survive even where I planted it in shallow water. I'll probably try that again though.

The valniseria became covered in the hair algae and has survived but not thrived. Maybe now I have uncovered it it will do better.

The big tadpoles have left the pool, now about 8 months from when they started. Our native blue eyes have multiplied and have long fins. They are lovely to see while snorkelling.

Once again the natural pool is providing hours of exercise and interest. Love it!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Submerged swimming-pool garden.

As the weather warms up I am looking forward to getting wet again. Some of the pool plants are responding by putting up their first leaves. Little blue dragon flies are zipping about. Charles, our big male water dragon, has come out of hibernation and is looking more handsome than ever!

I have resumed my underwater aquascaping project. The first stage was begun last year, late in the season, by planting a number of aquarium plants in various depths to see what works. I can see that some of them have thrived, but I won't know the full story until I can snorkel again. The water is 19 degreesC at present, so it won't be long until I brave it - perhaps with my wet suit on..…

However I can see that I need larger plants than the usual aquarium species, to be in scale with the size of the pond/"aquarium". I am trialling some garden plants to see what might survive and thrive underwater. However if any of my readers can make some suggestions I would be grateful. The plants need to be able to do well in water that is crystal clear but up to 1 meter deep. I need grass-like and foliage plants.

I have gotten some logs in the shapes I like and am now trying to get them water logged enough to sink. A couple of them have sunk nicely but most are still floating (less than 24 hours later though).

I have taken my inspiration for the underwater garden from the aquarium hobby of planted aquariums which is very popular world wide. The best known "father " of the hobby is Takashi Amano. Amano has published some beautiful books on the subject. If you google Amano or "planted aquarium" you will find some of the most beautiful aquariums you have ever seen.
Here is a web page showing some examples of the art.

As far as I know I am the first to try this in a swimming pool! I am calling it my "submerged swimming-pool garden" to distinguish it from the landscaping above water.

There are some challenges though, and differences from doing this in an aquarium. The aquarium hobbyists use artificial light (of course), fertilizer, heaters, and CO2 injections. I will have an advantage with sunlight, but will be trying to grow plants in a low nutrient environment, and through the seasons. I may or may-not succeed, but I will have fun trying. Do follow this blog if you are interested in the idea. And do give me some advice if you can help.

Saturday, 25 August 2012


The weather is warming up at last. The water temperature in the pool is now just above 18 degrees C. The frogs are calling again and we have seen a few water dragons. Dragon flies are starting to dart about.

However the pool does not look it's best! The water lilies and lotus have been dormant for winter and this leaves the filter exposed to view. A number of the plants are looking ragged. And the hair algae continues, although I don't think it is growing much now.

Just to get the algae into perspective though - I have spent a total of about 3 hours pulling the algae out of the pool with a rake. This is not too onerous. And the water remains crystal clear. We could certainly swim happily in it if it was warm enough. The photo shows the algae at it's worst, before I got to work with the rake.

It is interesting that the tadpoles that were there at the beginning of winter have not grown nor left the pool. They seem to be waiting for the warmer weather. This is a new phenomenon to me- tadpoles surviving through winter and delaying their development until
more favorable conditions occur.

The fish (red eyes) have bred and we have lots of juveniles. I am now looking into getting small red shrimp for the pool. These are native Australian shrimps and they are algae eaters. I think they will add to the biodiversity in the pool.

My underwater plants, mostly aquarium plants have had various success over the winter. I can see at least 5 species that have survived and a few of them have flourished and spread. I don't think that is too bad for plants that usually live in good lighting and shallow water. I will see how well I can propagate them in the warmer weather that is coming. I still plan on underwater gardening my pool.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

string algae

We have a problem - not insurmountable but annoying. When we flushed the filters ( see last entry) this was the first time we had operated the valves. There were a couple of problems (a rock in one valve preventing it turning, and one valve back to front). This resulted in flushing of nutrients back into the pool instead of to waste. We rectified this as quickly as we could but I think a significant amount of nutrient went back into the pool. So instead of decreasing the total nutrient content on the pool we increased it.

Up to that point the pool was looking great as you can see from these two photos . There is very little algae showing on the walls or other surfaces.

After the flushing we left the pumps off since we didn't expect any problem during winter. Then we went away for a couple of weeks. When we came back we saw the hair algae.

So I immediately turned the pumps on again. I also decided that the bottom of the pool should be vacuumed and the sides brushed down to give the filters a chance. But the algae has continued to grow. Of course there would be very little biomass in the filters after first being turned off for 4 days, flushed and then left off for another 2 weeks. So now we are waiting for the biofilm in the filters to re-establish and then to lower the nutrient levels again. The pumps were turned on again 2 weeks ago.

 You can see from this photo that there is algae on the bottom of the pool and on the step. This algae did not want to be swept away- it is firmly attached to the surfaces. By the way the black spots on the bottom are large tadpoles! Even at this time of year we still have tadpoles. However they don"t seem anxious to crawl out of the pool. I don't think they are developing during winter. They are native frogs and definately NOT toads.

And in the next photo you can see the green rocks. you can also see that the water itself is sparkling clear. I don't really mind the appearance of the algae and I'm confident it will clear up as the filters kick in again. Luckily is winter here and algae is not too vigorous. If this happened in summer it might be a different story!

However it is a reminder that this is a living system, and so it is not static. And therein lies the interest!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Flushed out.

We have had the pumps turned off for the last 4 days in order to kill the biomass in the filters. Today we flushed out to waste the dead biomass and it's contained nutrients. This should reduce the phosphate level in the pool along with other nutrients accumulated by the algae in the filter. The water has remained clear while the pump was turned off. In fact the water remained clear during winter last year as well when the pump was not on - that was before we had the natural filter. But as soon as the weather warmed up the pool went very green. Ralf says we can leave the pump turned off now for the winter! If there is any problem we can always turn it on again. This of course reduces the cost of running this pool even further! We have baby fish - I have counted at least 11 and they are three different sizes- so three successful batches. They are so small -like mosquito wrigglers- that there may well be more that I haven't seen. So come summer we should have quite a display of fish in there. I can't wait for snorkeling weather! There are aphids on the water lilies and lotus. I have been washing them off by submerging the leaves and giving them a bit of a rub, but they then float on the water tension and I suspect spread around the pool. I haven't seen the fish eating them yet but hopefully they will discover the aphids soon. There is a Surphid fly hanging around the leaves and I hope it is predating on the aphids. There have also been a wasp and a spider on the leaves so maybe we will breed up some predators. If anyone has any other control they can tell me about please do so. Of course insecticides are out of the question because of the frogs and fish. There are new froglets emerging now too. That makes three different species we have seen emerging from the water. And judging by the feathers floating on the water we have had guests there before we are up in the mornings. How many chlorinated swimming pools give this much interest and pleasure in winter time?!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Such clear water!

The water is SO clear it almost looks as though the plants are floating in air.

I have taken a few pics to illustrate this since we are about to do the first flushing of the filters.

 Can you see the water in this pic? Unless you realised that the water lily leaves are floating I don't think you would realise this is a water garden because of the clarity of the water.

 This pot looks as though it is floating in air! The whole thing is underwater and the new water lilly leaves are about 18 inches (sorry to those who prefer metric) underwater.

And the water lilly below is in the deep end of the pool. you can see the pebbles at about a meter depth and the bottom of the pool with old leaves on it is about 2 meters depth.

We are still struggling with duck weed which I am determined to eradicate. You can see the tiny green leaves caught on a floating leaf. At least I can see them now I have removed most of the floating plants.

The life in the pool continues in spite of the cool weather. The water lilies and lotus and the water chestnuts are dying back for winter and the plants are not growing so quickly. Surprisingly there are fresh frog egg masses and new tadpoles. There are also water dragon nymph cases on the plants - a different species which is much smaller than the ones we have seen before. Maybe it is the thinner, lighter, blue species we have seen flying about.

And thankfully the toads have stopped challenging our barrier.

There is barely any biofilm visible on the pool walls and on the rocks. However you can feel the slipperyness on the surfaces, so we know it is there.

The flushing of the filters involves turning the pumps off for a few days and then flushing them to waste. This kills the biofilm in the filters so the organisms let go and can be flushed out of the pool. The purpose is to clean the filters and also reduce the phosphates and other nutrients contained in the organisms. This reduces the nutrient load in the pool over all. The biofilm will start up again as soon as the pumps resume pushing the water through the filters. The biofilm elsewhere in the pool will repopulate the filters very quickly. I'll let you know how it goes. Ralf tells me that the water should remain clear.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Duck weed

We are back from our trip. The pool is as clear as ever. The lotus is dying back for winter, but the waterlillies are flourishing. One has a flower bud at the surface so we'll see what colour it is tomorrow. But we have duck weed! That is that tiny three leaved plant (is it a fern?) that covers the surface of some ponds like a lawn. It is quite attractive in a pond but I think it would be disastrous in a swimming pond. I think it would stick to your skin and clothes and be quite unpleasant. We must have introduced it with plants from another pond. So my daughter and I spent some time removing the floating plants and picking the duckweed out from among the remaining plants where ever we could find it. I don't like our chances of eradicating it- it is so tiny and even a single leaf can grow and multiply.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Winter Mode

The weather has certainly cooled off - for Brisbane that is. Its definitely too cool for swimming now, but the life in the pool/pond goes on. Most of the tadpoles have left and we have seen many little frogletts of Litoria peronii on the plants around the pool, preparing to leave permanently - until next breeding season that is. There are now 4 baby water dragons warming themselves on the rocks in the mornings, and hunting insects around the pool. And the fish seem to be in breeding mode- but no sign of baby fish yet.

 This little frog (on the yellow leaf- right) is still absorbing his tail

The water colour crisis is over and the water is crystal clear- perhaps too clear - we are considering whether to vacuum the bottom of the pool for appearances sake. But we are going away for three weeks tomorrow, so no vacuuming right now and no more blogging 'till we come back.

Check out the clarity of the water under these lotuses - the pebbles are on the top of the filter bed- this is the deep end of the pool. The depth of the pebbles is about a meter, and the pool pressure release valve you can see is at about 2m depth. The greenish tint is the result of the reflections from a large tree nearby and the colour we painted the pool. 

Well that,s it from me for a few weeks. We are travelling. hopefully the pool will not miss us, and will remain clean for our return.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

new life

Standing by my pool/pond this morning I could see lots of life. The water has just about recovered - most of the green is gone and I can see what is occurring in the water. There are less tadpoles, and the reason was soon obvious.

The little frogs are leaving the water. On one plant there were 11 of the little cuties! I don't yet know what they are, so I have requested help from a froggy web site.

You can see the stump of his tadpole tail still.

One froglett was being eaten alive by the larva of a water creature. Joe thinks it is a water beetle larva. We will grow it out if we can to see what it is. Nearby another drama was just as gruesome - a brilliant blue dragonfly was caught in a spider web and the spider was in the act of disabling it. 

Meanwhile large red dragonflies were mating, and the fish (blue eyes) were chasing each other with the males displaying their colourful fins. Maybe they were mating - but surely they are thinking about it!

Pixie, our little dog likes to imagine she can catch fish or tadpoles. She seems to enjoy pond watching as much as I do!

The usual three baby water dragons were sunning themselves on the rocks. They are there every day and they have grown significantly since we first saw them. They seem to be catching ants and other small insects around the pool.

The weather has cooled off and it isn't so inviting to go swimming now. One of the things I like about this set up is that during winter when a pool lies idle, still costing, the pond/natural pool continues to have loads of interest. And this costs only about $340 per year to run - much less than a chemical swimming pool.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Green water!

I am now able to report that we have had a crisis and have come out the other side! Last week we had a downpour which lasted several days. We had water going into the pool from our roof. Suddenly the pool was green, and over a few days it became very green. It was so green we couldn't see the bottom at all. However we remained calm and after a few days it began to clear. Now it is almost fully clear again. Whew. We don't really know the cause of the greening, but it will have something to do with our already high phosphates. Perhaps some water flowed over the edge in a down pour bringing soil and more nutrients into the pool. Perhaps it was simply run off from the surrounds of the pool with bird droppings. But the amazing thing is that the biological system, despite not yet being fully established and stable, eventually righted the situation without any chemicals or other help from us. Today we had our first froglets emerging from the water onto the plants. They are tiny Limnodynastes peroni, about 2 cm long. That's great. Now that is evidence of really good water!

Friday, 9 March 2012

blood worms and fish

Today is day 10 since the start of the filling of the pool. The water is very clear, but as you can see from the photo the overall effect is green. The green colour is the biofilm which has formed on all of the surfaces. This is a green algae. I'm not sure whether this is the colour it will remain or whether a brown algae will over take the green one. we could vacuum the film away, but for now we will leave it be. Hopefully the same thing is happening inside the filter. technically we could remove it from the visible surfaces and still have the filter working properly. But we don't intend to do that. We want all of the life which will develop on the biofilm. This will form the basis of the ecosystem which we are wanting to develop.

There are tadpoles in there now, at least two species (Adelotus brevis and Limnodynastes sp). They are feeding on the biofilm. There are also larvae of a number of insects which I do not recognise, also in the biofilm.

The speckles  on the bottom are tiny red worms which have built themselves a casing of vegetable matter. They are probably the larvae of a tiny fly or midge. This may or may not be a biting midge. They may well be the same genus as the blood worm fed to aquarium fish.

This tells me it is time to add some fish to feast on all of this bounty. So today we went to the aquarium shop and bought 5 Pacific Blue Eyes. These are very small (1.5 cm) locally native fish which love to eat mosquito larvae but will not harm tadpoles. Perfect! The last I saw they sheltering under the lotus leaves.

While I was at the aquarium shop I bought more aquarium plants. The ones I planted after my last visit there have done very well. They have runners already so I have now added more species, in preparation for my underwater gardening exercise.

Last night I heard a calling toad. Joe went to investigate and caught 4 of the blighters! They didn't appear to be mating and there were no egg strings in the pool this morning so we may have got them in time. I had thought the toad mating season was over by now, so we hadn't finished the toad barrier that we have started. Now we will give it more urgency! I do NOT want toads in there.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The biofilm begins

It is now a week since we started filling the pool. The water which started cloudy from the dusts and soil has cleared nicely. It is very clear. We have continued to plant into various planters and pots. We have a cumber of water lilies, the lotus, bull rushes, reeds, kana kong, iris, allcasia - all in the filter bed area. This is in addition to the plants in the shallow step area. Last night we had frogs calling from the pool, and this morning we have 2 egg masses in the shallow area, one under rocks and the other in a floating plant. There are also a few isolated tadpoles in there - goodness knows how that happened. There are many water boatmen. Today I saw dragon flies laying eggs among the floating plants. Yesterday I saw an adult female water dragon (P leseuri) and three very small baby dragons, all at the same time in the pool and on the surrounding rocks. But the most important development today is the beginning of the biofilm. This film of biological activity which forms on all of the surfaces of the pool is the engine room of water cleansing for a natural system like this. Not only is it forming on the walls of the pool but also inside the submerged filter system. We plan to leave it undisturbed except on the steps where it could become too slippery. Once the system settles down there should be a thin film of life but initially it could be quite significant, especially in view of our high phosphate levels. So we are watching the developement of our biofilm with interest. It is a very welcome sign that nature is taking over. Once the biofilm develops it will also sustain the insect life which we expect in and around the pool. There will be herbivores which feed on the biofilm, and then carnivores which feed on those. The first of these carnivores will ne dragon fly nymphs. These little critters are ferocious hunters of small insects. We will see their skins where they have crawled out on the water plants to hatch out as adult dragonflies and fly away. In the meantime we are enjoying the swimming.

Friday, 2 March 2012

The pool day 1 photos

At last the pool is full!- not that this has prevented me from swimming. I think I am water logged. But I am very satisfied with the way the pool looks. This morning while I was in the pool a large water dragon (Charles) decided to join me me in the water. He spent some time partly submerged at the edge of the rocky area and some time on the bottom of the pool when our little dog came too close. He was wary of me but not in too much hurry to leave. I had a great feeling of satisfaction - this is what it is all about for me! Unfortunately I was not in a position to take photos.

The step area has the shallow water for the marginal plants, and this has turned out to be very decorative. I think we have gotten the placement of the rocks about right. However it turns out to be too shallow for the water lilly, so I will have to move that to deeper water. It is fine for the water cress though.

We have a number of edible plants in here - water cress, kang kong, lotus, water chestnuts, water celery. I don't know how they'll go but its worth a try.

I have installed a replacement for my carnivorous plant which did not survive in the pool originally- it was not stable and fell over and drowned. The new one is firmly anchored in the rocks - that's the red plant at the back of the rockery. It looks quite dramatic I think.

The filter bed area is deeper than the rockery area. The water is a meter deep so it presents a different challenge with planting. So far we have a lotus (whose leaves don't quite reach the surface yet), a lilly, and an alocasia. These last two are in tall pots bringing them up close to the surface. We also have a bull rush plant which we are establishing elsewhere until we can put into the deep water too. There is also a water lilly (not shown) which is still submerged at present. This is the area where I want to make my underwater garden of aquarium plants.

And we still have to plant three more jugs (which hang on the walls) and two planter boxes,also to be fixed to the pool wall.

So that's how the pool looks on day 1! The plants are still sparse having been divided so there is potential for a much lusher appearance later.

And there is at least one tadpole in the pool! goodness knows how it got there - maybe in one of the plants. Surely it can't have developed there already.

Underwater gardening

The water has cleared considerably over night. It still has a brownish tinge but I don't think it is tannins. I think it is the effect of the paint with the water taking out the reds, leaving a brown -which is actually what we intended! So all good so far. I have had a brainwave too, triggered by the snorkeling yesterday and the aquarium plants we bought. Have you heard of Takashi Amano? I have one of his books from my aquarium hobby days. Here is a link I don't see why I can't garden specifically for viewing from underwater (snorkeling) and try to achieve a landscape like Amano's but on a bigger scale. And I can also see that the water will be clear enough that my underwater landscape would be quite visible from above on our deck. So I am looking for an attractive log or root buttress to submerge over the filter area. From my aquarium days I know this needs to be wood from a stream or lake so that it is already waterlogged and will sink, and has no softwood left to rot. Alternatively it can be Australian hardwood which is heavy and will not flat, and which has lost its sapwood so will not rot. This can then be dressed with small plants. I think any fish in the pond would like this area and gravitate there, further enhancing the underwater view. I wondered whether the low nutrient water will sustain such luxuriant growth of the small plants? Ralf says I need oligotrophic and mesotrophic plants (favoring low nutrient conditions)such as vallniseria and potomegaton species. Perhaps I should change the name of this blog to "Beryl's natural swim Aquarium"! Today the dragon flies were mating and laying in the pool, and there are frogs calling tonight. There are still a couple of inches to go with the fill - so pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Snorkeling in the pond

Today has been very satisfying as the water level in the pool rises. It is now well over the filter and the pump is running. In fact it is almost up to the large step, within a few centimeters. The tank water has run out and we are now topping up with tap water. To our surprise the water, which is crystal clear in a glass, has a brown almost greenish colour to it in the pool. We think this must be tannin staining from the vegetable matter in the first tank-probably also the source of the phosphates. That is not a problem for us since we are used to dam water which is tannin stained. There is a good chance this will fade with sunlight anyway. But it might make it difficult to see an algal bloom in it's early stages. The green colour might be reflection off the tree. So today I was swimming, and even snorkeling, getting my submerged plants settled in. Happy as the proverbial pig...... If this was an aquarium I would expect a period of water deterioration before the biofilm and biofilter kick in. Perhaps a full on algal bloom. With our phosphate I wonder if this is what will happen? Today there were three different dragon fly species hovering around the pool. There are also water boatmen (bugs) in the pool already. It is amazing how quickly the fauna are returning. More pictures when the pool is full.

Filling the pool at last!

Well today was fill day. First we had to arrange the rocks in an aesthetically pleasing way, plant the steps area and install planters and jugs for plants around the pool edge. Then we had to await the lab test results for the water quality. Our tank water turns out to have 0.056 mg/l of Phosphates. That sounds minuscule to me but Ralf says it is more than is desirable. We can use it but it might require some managing to keep the algae levels down. We may well have more algae (biofilm) around the walls and floor of the pool initially until the filters get the phosphates down. However I am not dismayed at this. The increased biofilm will also allow insects to establish more quickly, (and thus their predators), tadpoles, snails and other algae eaters to establish etc. Even the newly planted plants will benefit from the phosphates, so that can't be all bad! As the pond develops more life it will develop an ecosystem of it's own and every thing will find a balance. So after a Skype conference with Ralf we decided to go ahead and our tanks are draining into the pool as I write. We have enough water to more than half fill the pool and unless it rains tonight we will have to top up with town water. And within 2 hours of starting the fill there was a tiny baby water dragon sitting on one of our decorative rocks, watching the rising water. So the fauna has started to move in already! I'm happy!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Pool conversion construction

The construction of the conversion is being completed by Andrew of Pool Planners, Brisbane. Ralf flew up from Sydney to supervise the filter intallation and Andrew, who is an experienced pool builder, is completing the refurbishment and completing the conversion.

The filters are the long tubes and near them are bags of gravel which will be laid to form the retaining wall for the filter system.
Here the construction of the filter system has begun, with the first of the bag layers holding a gravel bed. All 6 units of the filter are laid on top in sequence and then further gravel is added.

This shot shows the landscaping of the step area where we will have lots of plants, and in the deep end you can see the filter system, with its bag wall and stone edging. The pool has also been painted.

Tomorrow is filling day hopefully, but first we have to complete the placement of soil and rocks and install some large pots over the filter area for our lotus and bull rushes, and other deep water plants. We are also awaiting the lab test results for our water tanks. We do want to use tank water to fill the pool if possible! It goes with our green ethos. Hopefully we'll have those results in the morning or the fill will be delayed!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Animal list

The filling of the pool has been delayed by rain! The painting hasn't been completed, and we must wait a week for the curing of the paint before filling the pool. So I decided to document the animals we had in our pool before the current refurbishment. We have seen:- Eastern water dragons (Physignathus leuseurii),  Keelback snakes (the one that bit me and two more) giant water beetles,  water striders,  whirligig beetles,  dragon flies and nymphs,  frogs - giant tree frog (litoria caerulea)  rocket frog (litoria leseurii),  desert tree frog (litoria rubella) 2 unidentified frogs. Numerous tadpoles A visiting egret, A visiting wild duck (unidentified) 5 goldfish grew to giant size without feeding by us. Birds bathing in the water - finches, honey eaters. The cat and the dog drinking the water! (toads -maybe I shouldn't mention that!) We are installing a netting barrier around the pool to try to avoid toads but allow admission to all of the other creatures in the let above. I wonder how long the new pool will take to re-establish it's fauna after filling?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Back on track

Well the do-it-yourself proccess didn't work for us! The water went green. The main problem for us was finding a way to get so many plants into the pool, with the water depth too high for most plants. The floating plants were not successful. However we did have a lot of life in the pool and we are more determined than ever to make this work.

So - plan B
We have contracted Ralf Schmeil from Gartenart in Sydney to install a biofilter. Ralf is very experienced in this sort of work and we feel confident with him. The process has started with the repair of the pool lining, installation of the filter bed, painting the pool a lovely pond brown, and installing hanging baskets and other planting areas around the pool.

The filling of the pool is scheduled for 1week's time. I have jumped the gun though and ordered a lotus! I can't wait!