Water gardens excel in Greystone

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ever been to a fish show? Now, I know about horse and dog shows, even cat shows … but fish?

While touring Aquatic Gardens in Greystone with Manager Lindy Taylor, she told me about fish shows. Judges look for unique characteristics, markings and shine. The tanks held many fish that look pretty enough to display.

These aren’t your average bass and bream … no way. These have fancy names: Koi, Shubunkin and Sarasa Comet. These are collectible fish in neon orange and black.

Steps are taken by Aquatic Gardens to ensure healthy fish. First they are quarantined for 10–14 days, and then treated for any potential diseases. You can be assured of a healthy fish.

The aquatic plants offered include taro, a variety of lilies and many others. Plants are necessary to help bring balance and aeration to the pond. Some maintenance is required for ponds, things like checking filters, pond or tank cleanings, checking water acidity balance and oxygen levels.

We browsed tanks of fish, bullfrog and regular tadpoles, aquatic plants and waterfalls. About this time I wished for my own water feature or pond. The gentle sounds of splashing fish and ribbet ribbet from frogs would be quite soothing. Nature sounds bring relaxation, healing.

The owner of Aquatic Gardens is Fishery Biologist Chuck Thomas, who has been in the business at Greystone for about 21 years. He’s built many of the waterfalls and ponds in the Birmingham area. A wall in his shop holds many awards, including the American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award in 2005.

Also included in his shop are the beautifully melodic Corinthian Bells wind chimes, which make all other wind–driven music sound like clanging cymbals.

And there you can find unique garden statuary and art, pottery, garden furniture, various pond and garden supplies. Beautiful show gardens provide inspiration and photo opportunities.

Now, I’m looking for a chance to bring my granddaughter to see the fish at Aquatic Gardens. Maybe I’ll see you there? See Aquaticgradens.com for more information.