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I know what you mean about cold weather and painful movement. I have severe arthritis especially in my knees and it takes gritted teeth these days to face going to my garden and getting down on them to do the winter prep. Heck, isn't a picnic in the summer! But I love my garden and pond, so I just bite the bullet. And somehow the beauty, even in fall, takes some of the bite out of the pain. Each fall I am impatient for spring to see what my newest efforts will produce. But in Alaska, fall means a lot of work to 'serve and protect' my plants, both left in the ground and brought in the garage. Add to that the pond which is a whole project in itself. As with yourself, my dear husband has become more and more involved as he sees me struggling with stuff. It has brought us closer together now that I have retired. Two work-a-holics putzing in the garden. Not such a bad thing! p.s. and HIS knees hurt too. :)
As a fairly new arrival in Canada from Africa I am fascinated to hear about gardening in Alaska. I imagine you have a rather short gardening season? What permanent plants and living things do you have in your pond? We have a pond about 5-6 feet deep which seems deep enough to keep some fish (sunfish, goldfish and one bass) as well as plenty of frogs alive.
So far I only have one dodgey knee but I can appreciate what labour of love you must be giving to your garden!
binibusy, there are a few articles on ponds in the DG files. You can go to "guides and information" at the top and then scroll down on the right to "articles" then there should be a pop-up box, type in "ponds."
Hi Binibusybee! We have tons of flowers that come back each year. It depends on where in Alaska you are. As you may know, we cover a lot of ground from the North Slope (Zone 1 I like to think), to down the panhandle where they are about zone 7-8. Here in Anchorage it runs from zone 2-5; I am fortunate to be in a micro-climate of about 4-5. My Rhodendroms are gorgeous, but can't over many Chrysanthemums. Just discovered that Asters will overwinter so I have three or four colors now.