Past Meetup

Geneva Area Pond Club's free meeting on August 29

This Meetup is past

18 people went

Needs a location


Today we'll be seeing the newest pond to be built by any members of the pond club--so new that it's still under construction as this meeting description is being written. The pond is in the large garden of Nick and Lisbeth Smith, in the nearby French town of Cessy. The work's being done by Nick and the co-leader of the pond club, Peter Kacalanos. The underlayment and the rubber liner have been positioned in the hole, and the water has been added. The plants and fish will probably be added this Saturday, the day before the meeting. We've never before had a meeting to see a day-old pond. It won't be beautiful this Sunday, but you'll be able to see how it was constructed. We can meet here again next year, and you'll be impressed with what a change a year can make.

Full details of the August 29 meeting ( are on the web site at ( On that page you can submit your RSVP to let Nick and Lisbeth know whether you can or can't attend. Just click Yes, No, or Maybe, then click 'Submit.' Visitors are always welcome at these free meetings, so you can invite any interested friends, neighbors, and their children to come along. Please add the number of guests you're inviting when submitting your RSVP.

Peter designed the pond to be L-shaped, so that it wraps around two sides of a pile of immovable boulders in the garden. The long arm of the L is about three meters wide and nine meters long. The short arm of the L is about four meters by four meters. Most of the soil and rocks dug out of the hole are being used to create a sloping berm surrounding the pond. The little wall will act as a dike, permitting the surface of the pond's water to be raised to about 30 cm above ground level. This innovation means less digging is needed to create a deeper pond, the soil and rocks won't have to be carted off to be dumped (thereby saving an unnecessary cost), and the berm will discourage little children from getting too dangerously close to the water. The outer slope of the berm all around the pond will be planted with grass and native French wildflowers.

About half of the pond will be 50 cm deep for shallow-water and bog plants like lotus, and the other half will be almost a meter deep to accommodate deep-water plants like oxygenators and water lilies. The only fish to be added will be goldfish (poissons rouges) and golden orfes (ides d'or). Koi carp may be beautiful and impressive in size, but they're voracious herbivores who would eat up all the aquatic plants, so this pond will have no koi. Soon after the local wildlife discover the pond, we expect to see frogs, newts, dragonflies and other interesting wildlife move in to add their charm.

During the formal portion of this meeting, one main topic of discussion will concern how to design, construct and maintain a new pond, and how to improve an established pond. Bring all your questions for the experts to answer, and offer advice to others based on your own experience. After the question-and-answer period, we'll discuss the other main topic: Who will lead the pond club after Suzanne and Peter retire this year. Then we'll all socialize as usual over snacks and drinks, and discuss everything else under the sun.

It's almost Sunday, so please submit your RSVP for the August 29 meeting ( today. We look forward to seeing you and several of the club's newest members there.