April showers brought May flowers to the Renaissance Garden at Villa Terrace. The weather continues to be cold, then warm, then cold again but our garden doesn’t seem to mind. The Hill is ablaze with daffodils, crab trees are popping and violets are gently moving their delicate heads. A lone blue bell has found a welcome home on the slope.
The most notable happening in the garden this May beside the explosion of life is the seasonal opening of the water features. The Vasca first had to be cleaned of all leaves and dirt and winter debris. Once finished, it was a slow process to fill the Vasca with water. The water will have to cure for a week or more before the fish can be transported from their winter home to the Vasca in the lower garden.
John and Lisa Simmons are the loving caretakers of the fish that continue to multiply. We started out with 5 Fan Tail Koi 5 years ago. Ten traditional Koi were added 3 years ago and now we have 23 fish in total, last count. Some of the fish measure 18 inches and since they can live to be 30 years old may get to be 4 feet long.
The nets on top of the fish tanks prevent the fish from jumping into the other tanks. There are 5 to 7 fish in each of the four tanks. Each tank holds around 100 gallons of water and has bubble tubbing feeding air into it. By comparison the Vasa holds 7,000 gallons of water. Lisa Simmons feeds the fish about once a week during the winter when colder temperatures and cooler water tends to slow down their metabolism. In the summer, the fish are voracious eaters, and Lisa could be there twice a day for a feeding.
Two spigots in the lower garden burst over winter and had to be repaired before the Vasca could be filled. John and Lisa Simmons took over the responsibility of the repair and with John’s expertise and problem-solving abilities, new pipe was purchased, joints were sweated, two new spigots were erected and the old broken spigots removed.
But the biggest surprise of all was the return of the Lion in the garden. The Lion never left but he stopped doing his job. The Lion's job was to spout water. He stopped. Many heads huddled together to try and solve this problem. No solution seemed plausible. Again, John came up with an idea and surprised us all. Copper pipes were purchased, pipes were sweated together again, and now...
OUR LION ROARS AGAIN IN THE RENAISSANCE GARDEN
Regardless of where you are during this time of COVID 19, we hope you find joy in viewing our garden. Our hope is that you will visit whenever the new normal presents itself and sit for a while. Until then, be safe and stay well.
by Eileen Kaczmarek, Garden Committee
Photos by Lisa Simmons, Garden Committee