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Local homeowner joins koi, watergarden tour

By Ritchie Starnes
News Editor
An Albemarle homeowner will be part of an upcoming koi and watergarden tour.
Kathy and John Rankin have enlisted their garden to be part of the annual Charlotte Pond Tour, sponsored by the Piedmont Koi and Watergarden Society. Their koi and watergarden will be one of eight and the only one in Stanly County to participate in the tour. Other nearby tour sites include Midland, Concord, Mint Hill and Harrisburg.
The Rankins have been working at perfecting their watergarden while gleaning advice and information from other ponding enthusiasts. In fact, that’s the primary objective behind the monthly-meeting group and its tour.
“It’s a group of people that has an interest in ponding,” Kathy said. “We try to help people who might have a pond and don’t know what to do.”
Participants can expect advice on plants and koi as well as problem-solving tips.
When the Rankins lived in Tennessee, they became interested in ponding. Those efforts evolved to include the addition of koi once they moved to Albemarle and built two outdoor ponds.
Lessons followed, however, after five-rescue koi exploded into a school of 130.
“That was by accident because they spawned a couple of years,” Kathy said.
“You have to learn by trial and error and reading things,” she added.
They have since learned how to rid the ponds of eggs and somewhat differentiate between males and females.
Koi pond owners quickly learn of natural threats, like heron that are notorious for staking out outdoor watergardens and dining on koi.
That is until the Rankins learned to equip their ponds with floating alligator heads to spook hungry heron.
“We have actually sat here and watched the heron see the alligator head and fly off,” Kathy said.
Other than dreaded heron, watergardens attract many wildlife wonders, especially birds. It’s those wildlife visuals along with the tranquility of ponds that make for a setting of relaxation, Kathy said.
Add the sound of flowing water and the ambiance for tranquility is ideal.
“That’s why we put it in, for relaxation,” John said.
The tour occurs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Costs for the tour is $10, which goes to cover the expense of the brochure.
For details, visit www. charlottepondtour.com. The website provides a choice of starting points and where a brochure can be obtained with information on all of the ponds.

 

Photo by Ritchie Starnes
John Rankin stands next to one of two koi-filled ponds in his backyard. A flaoting alligator head scares the heron away that like to feed on koi.

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or ritchie.starnes@stanlynewspress.com.