Joseph De Sciose
An orange flash breaks the pond's smooth, black water. The movement of a koi sends ripples of color across the pond. Ferns, cascading over the edge and reaching toward the water, receive the orange-streaked ripples and melt them back into the ubiquitous green of this Houston backyard. It's a dance that goes on continually throughout the day.
Beth and Bruce Grunden created a series of small pools, streams, and waterfalls as a stage to watch this dance, this play between the bright colors of their koi and the lush foliage that thrives in their backyard. "One thing that attracts us to koi is that they're so relaxing and soothing," says Bruce. "We both worked long hours before retirement. After work, I'd get into my grubbies and lose myself in the koi ponds. It's totally medicinal," Bruce continues.
You Just Gotta Love 'Em
While the intriguing blend of oranges, reds, yellows, blacks, and whites is certainly what makes most people want to raise them, these fish are also great pets. They require some maintenance but can fend for themselves for a few days in a properly balanced pond. "They grow on you, with their bright patterns, elegant movements, and individual personalities," says Beth.
Magic Pond Formula
To create a well-balanced pond that will allow koi to flourish, simply follow these guidelines from Rex Wilroy of Pond Works in Houston.
"Wonderful Koi" is from the August 2006 issue of Southern Living