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My Koi Pond: The End of the Season

When September rolls around I know that this could be the last month of fully enjoying my koi pond. The fish continue to be active, the waterlilies are still in bloom, and plants around the pond are fully grown (and looking a little messy if I’m being honest). Days by the pond are always moments to treasure.

Koi Pond with Lily Pads at the End of Summer


Today I’m joining a few friends for Cozy Living Saturday, which is always the first Saturday of the month. You can see what my cozy friends are sharing for September at the end of this post.

For me, September is all about enjoying the last days of summer, and my pond is a big part of that. A couple months ago I trained the koi to eat out of my hand. It’s such a great experience to know they trust you enough to get that close.

When I need to pull dying lily pads off the waterlily plant, I step into the pond so I can reach the lily pad’s stem as close to the crown of the plant as possible. Quite often my koi will rub up against my legs the same way my cats do. It startled me the first time it happened but now I enjoy it. I tell myself that it’s the fish’s way of showing affection. That’s probably not true but it’s what I tell myself.

Golden Butterfly Koi Swimming Next to James Brydon Waterlily


In addition to the koi, our pond has other little critters living in its pristine water. This little leopard frog let me get pretty close. See that circle behind its eye? That’s his ear, also known as the tympanum.

Leopard frog on a lily pad next to a Violicious hardy waterlily


Every day by the pond is different. You’ll find new friends and new lilies are always popping up. Dragonflies whisk by, sometimes circling the pond repeatedly, bumblebees and butterflies hover about, joining the occasional hummingbird for a sip of sweet nectar from the nearby flowers. We also have about 5 frogs in permanent residency.

Green Frog on a Lily Pad in a Koi Pond


Every year I slightly change what I have planted around the pond. I have to thin the coneflowers almost every year, but I just move some to a different part of the yard. I cut them back when they fade.

Coneflowers by a backyard koi pond


Sea of purple coneflowers - echinacea


The yellow coreopsis add a sunny pop of color in the rock garden next to the pond. They look best if you keep deadheading them.

Yellow Cosmos in a Rock Garden


Our pond has underwater lighting so we can enjoy it well into the evening. I love watching the fish swim across a light beam and it’s easier to see the frogs jetting across the surface when the lights are on. They seem to be more active at night. I think they stay still during the day to catch insects.

Koi Pond at Night with Underwater Lighting


Koi Pond at Night with Underwater Lighting


Every hour at the pond looks different. My favorite time is morning as the sun starts to shine through the leafy trees above. I’ll miss seeing all this beauty every day during the winter. So I have to soak up as much as possible during September. I leave the pond running through winter and the waterfall creates pretty ice formations.

Early morning sun shining on a backyard garden pond


In October we put protective netting over the pond for a couple of weeks to catch the leaves. The netting makes it a little harder to enjoy the pond but it’s worth not having to clean leaves out of the water.

Madame Wilfron Gonnere waterlily in backyard fish pond


In my humble opinion, everyone should have a backyard pond to enjoy. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s not much work at all. You don’t have grass to mow or weeds to pull. If you build it right, the water stays clean and clear. Spending time by the pond is also greatly therapeutic. The sound of the waterfall and the beauty of the waterlilies and fish is so relaxing and a great way to de-stress.

Violicious hardy waterlily in backyard fish pond


For the next several weeks, this is where you’ll find me almost every morning and in the evenings, too. I should call it the beverage pond. You can see my iced coffee on the arm of the Adirondack chair – and in the evening I’ll sometimes have a glass of wine out here.

Backyard Deck Next to Garden Koi Pond


Watch the 40-second video I took of my pond and be sure to have your sound turned on so you can hear the waterfall!


Visit my Cozy Living blogging friends below to see what they enjoy during the month of September!


September Cozy Living Series - Home, Garden, and Recipes

Town and Country Living / Creative Cain Cabin / Vinyet Etc.


September Cozy Living Series - Home, Garden, and Recipes

Duke Manor Farm / A Stroll Thru Life / Hymns and Verses

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  1. I loved seeing your pond. It’s so beautiful and such an oasis for relaxation ! I have a large Coneflower patch that I love. Goldfinches love the seeds so I leave the stems until late winter when I can remove them on a nice dsy. Those goldfinches are so cute to warch.
    Enjoy the weekend!

    1. Hi Christine! Maybe I shouldn’t have cut the coneflowers back for the benefit of the birds. We do have a couple of birdfeeders in the yard though so hopefully that makes up for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love your pond. I have a koi pond also and a small concrete pond next to it that was here when we moved here. We built the koi pond. I love all your plants and wish you could do a blog just on the plants lol. We had water lily’s but they died. Our pond is deep so I’m not sure how to add plants. Is that Creeping Jenny in the pond or actually on the embankment of it? I was just telling my fish in a month or so I won’t be able to see them for a while lol. I have Leopard frogs too but I didn’t know the name of them, so thank you for that lol. Years ago we’d have to stop the pump from running because of freezing but in recent years we’ve been able to run it all year for the most part. Every year I look forward to seeing the fish come up again and all the beauty the pond brings.

    1. Hi Debra! I know what you mean about being excited again when the pond comes back to life each spring. The Creeping Jenny is planted on the banks and it ends up growing over the rocks and into the water sometimes. i just let it go. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you follow instructions on your pond plant tags when you buy them, you should be okay. The tag should say how deep in the pond you can plant it. Waterlilies need a LOT of fertilizer and a minimum of 6 hours of full sun. I give mine a once-yearly fertilizer but I also give them fertilizer tabs once every week or two weeks. I’m actually going to start a new blog soon called Pond and Garden. I’ll talk a lot about pond plants on that blog when it starts. I’ll announce it here on Town and Country Living once it goes live. Feel free to email me with any pond questions you have – I’ve been working for a water gardening manufacturer for almost 20 years now.

  3. This is just so beautiful. I love it. The pond, the fish, and the surrounding plantings. What happens to the fish in the winter when it is so cold? I am in Ohio and we get some pretty cold winters and snow. I have always wanted a backyard pond but have hesitated because of the winters.

    1. Thanks, Carole! You should get a pond – you’ll never regret it. Just make sure you have it installed right or it could give you problems. It should have a skimmer and biological filter and a good pump (you get what you pay for). And then a mix of fish and plants but not too many fish. I live in northern Illinois and my fish are fine over the winter. Just make sure the pond is at least 2 feet deep and the fish will hang out at the bottom during winter – they’ll be dormant and won’t swim around. And make sure to keep a hole in the ice if the pond completely freezes over for gas exchange between the water and the air – otherwise the water can become toxic to the fish. I keep my waterfall running all winter long.

  4. Dear Jen,

    your pond is SPECTACULAR!!! It’s hard to discern its size. Could you share the size? How much water does it hold? I want to do something like this near my front door but it would have to fit around my existing septic tanks.

    Thanks and I hope your Labor Day is wonderful!

    1. Hi Susan! My pond is about 11′ x 17′. Part of that is the pebble beach area where the water is just a few inches deep. It’s a play area for kids. My pond is around 1200 gallons. You should totally do it by your front door – just make sure to hire someone qualified like a Certified Aquascape Contractor otherwise you could wind up with a headache. I’ve seen it happen to others when a landscaper who doesn’t do ponds says they can figure it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I believe if I had one it would put me to sleep, so relaxing and loved watching the Koi. Have a great Labor Day weekend.

  6. I hadn’t been able to look at these photos until just now and they are just beautiful and I can see why you love your koi pond. What happens in the winter?

    1. Hi Teddee! I keep the pond running through the winter. The fish become dormant and hang out at the bottom of the pond. I just make sure to keep a hole in the ice for the exchange of gas between the water and air so that the water doesn’t become toxic to the fish. They don’t eat during winter since they’re dormant. Then every spring they come back to life and are swimming around again.

  7. I just watched a show about KOI fish and some people let them loose in our lakes where they are becoming a problem sadly. I’m not sure why they release them. I see why you love your pond and all the serene surroundings. It’s just the perfect spot. I’d enjoy watching the frogs and who knew that was the frogs ear?! I learn something everyday:0)…One day we will get a pond put in..till now I’ll enjoy yours.
    Wonderful end of season post Jennifer.

  8. Thank you for sharing your pond. I miss mine so much. Sadly, I had to remove it as too many neighbors were engaging a company to spray for mosquitoes and the wind/overspray carried it to my garden. The koi died and the frogs started developing deformities. If anyone is considering ponds, please think about chemical usage before investing. Jennifer, yours is fantastic and at least I can live vicariously by seeing yours!

    1. Aw, Vicki. I’m sorry you had to get rid of your pond due to nearby use of chemicals. We don’t use any chemicals in our yard or any of our gardens. I also have 2 mini ponds (container water garden) which might be a good solution for you. I’ll do a post about the mini ponds, but here’s a web page with more information about them: https://www.aquascapeinc.com/mini-ponds

    1. Hi Jillian,

      Yes, the koi are okay through the winter as long as the pond is at least 2 feet deep and you keep a hole in the ice for the exchange of gas. The fish go dormant so they don’t eat. The water doesn’t freeze all the way to the bottom and each spring they’re back swimming around again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Love seeing your video and the post, Jennifer. It’s truly gorgeous and I can see why you enjoy the time out there. Your plantings make it all the more interesting. How fun that they will eat out of your hand. Great relaxing time spent there. The sound of water alone is enough to bring calm.

  10. Beautiful, I love the froggy pics; I have several that live in my garden and I enjoy seeing them. Do you drain the pond for winter and bring the fish inside?

    1. Hi Dawn! I keep the pond running through the winter. It’s 2 feet deep so the water doesn’t freeze all the way through. I do keep a hole in the ice for the exchange of gas if the surface completely freezes over. The fish go dormant and hang out at the bottom. They don’t really move around or eat. In the spring, they’re back to swimming around again.