Gardeners in the Upstate enjoy several advantages. One of them is the many groups that nurture a special gardening interest, such as the South Carolina Koi & Water Garden Society. In addition to regular meetings the Society sponsors two exciting annual events: a tour of water gardens and a regional koi and goldfish show. This year the tour is planned for Saturday, June 14 (two weeks from today!) and the show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 4 & 5.
Lucky for me, I’m given a sneak peek of a tour garden each year so I can share info with my readers in the Greenville News. My recent visit to the garden of Bill and Dale Rock proved how engaging water gardens can be.
Bill and Dale, who have always enjoyed gardening, were thrilled about the backyard pond when they purchased their house a few years ago, though the water garden had certainly seen better times. Now, what was a mud-filled pool that flooded with storm water on rainy days, has been rebuilt, expanded, and transformed by the couple into a haven that attracts birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife to the garden.
Bill especially enjoys having his morning coffee and reading the newspaper outdoors. Birdsong, brightly-colored blooms, and the entertaining antics of the fish make a good start to the day. The largest of the koi, glittering white with a bold orange blotch on its head, has been dubbed Pacman for its voracious appetite.
While Bill takes care of most of the heavy work, Dale specializes in the special touches that make the space charming, adding container gardens and accessorizing the adjoining patio area that offers comfy seating. Even the family’s dachshund relishes the pond, chasing the fish from one end of the pond to the other before finally settling down on nearby flagstones to bask in the sun.
IF YOU WANT TO GO
The SC Koi & Water Garden Society will hold its 16th Annual Water Garden Tour showcasing eleven Upstate gardens on Saturday, June 14, from 9 am to 6 pm. Gardens are located in Greenville and nearby areas, including Greer, Fountain Inn, Piedmont, Simpsonville, and Spartanburg. Tickets ($10) are available at each garden on the day of the tour, or in advance at South Pleasantburg Nursery and Wild Birds Unlimited. Descriptions of the water gardens and a map with directions can be found on the Society’s website at http://www.sckwgs.org. For more information call Susan Peart (864) 735-0201 or Margy McManus at (864) 898-2793.