Garden Goldfish

My garden is a haphazard affair.  There is no master plan to my flower garden other than my own thoughts which typically go like this: “That looks like a good spot” or “Hey, there’s a space there,” when planting a new flower.  To use my mother’s words, my garden is a “mass of confusion”.

At some point, I decided my garden needed a water fountain so I searched for one that would fit my gardening style.  I needed something that was not formal.  Formal doesn’t go well with a mass of confusion. Although I wasn’t sure what exactly would go well in a mass of confusion, I was fairly certain that a concrete fountain of a child holding an umbrella or of a little boy peeing just wouldn’t fit. And really, who needs a pretend boy peeing in their yard when they can have the real thing?  I have my husband Steve, who believes that it is his God-given right to pee outside.

I found a water fountain that would fit my style at Wal-Mart, home of all things informal, redneck and cheap.  It is a square wooden box with an old-fashioned looking fake hand pump from which the water flows.  It’s not too big.  It’s not formal.  I had the perfect spot for it, so I bought it, took it home and set it up.

It was loud.  I wanted a nice trickle; instead, it sounded like the kitchen spigot was running full force.  I tried to adjust the pump to slow down the water flow and lessen the noise, but that didn’t work.  It was full throttle or nothing.

Undaunted, I decided to make it prettier and perhaps lessen the noise by adding some water plants and rocks.  Once done, it sounded better.  Still not as quiet as I’d like, but not as noisy either and for the price I paid, I was satisfied.IMG_20170524_183745673

Later that spring, I arrived home from work one day to find that my water fountain was empty.  The wind had blown all of the water out of the fountain as it flowed from the fake hand pump.  I quickly unplugged the water pump and added more water and when I plugged it back in, it was fine.  A few days later, the same thing happened again and I decided that I should only run the water fountain when I was home so that I didn’t ruin my water pump by running it in a dry fountain.  Since my fountain would not be running daily and standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, I added three small goldfish to the fountain to eat any mosquito larvae. And things went swimmingly….for a while.

Several weeks after adding the rocks, plants and fish, Steve, who was outside, yelled, “Lorrie come quick and grab a bucket!”

“What for?”

“I put some bleach in the water fountain.  I didn’t know there were fish in there, hurry up! They’re going to die!”

I headed outside, but I took my time.  As a long time aquarium enthusiast, I knew those goldfish were as good as dead, if not dead already.

I arrived outside to find Steve standing there with two dead goldfish in one hand and a bottle of bleach in the other.

“Where’s the bucket?  We need to put them in a bucket of water!”

The two fish in his hand were still; the third one was floating on its side in the fountain.

“Steve, look at them, they’re dead already.  Why would you put bleach in my fountain?”

“Because the water looked green.  I thought it was dirty.”

“Of course the water looks green, there are plants in there.  The water is fine.  If the water was bad, the fish wouldn’t have survived this long.”

I picked the remaining dead fish out of the water, took the two he had in his hands and disposed of them.

Yesterday Steve replaced the pump on my fountain and helped me put it back into the garden. After we got it set up, he asked if I’d be adding any fish.

“Maybe,” I said, smiling.

I wonder how many I should get this year?

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Daily prompt:  survive


30 thoughts on “Garden Goldfish

  1. I once had a goldfish aquarium. I don’t remember how many gallons, but a pretty large one. I’ve heard that goldfish will grow in proportion to the amount of water you keep them in, and I’m pretty sure that’s true, because they grew quite large. They lived for years, and then, suddenly, they all died within days of each other. I think I had about 7 of them. The longest one was probably about 6 inches long, and they started out just tiny Way-Mart goldfish!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Poor little guys. When we lived in the mountains, we also put goldfish in our cut-off wine barrels that served as the three tiers of our fountain. The raccoons considered them to be their own personal buffet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a friend with a pond with a lot of goldfish. One day, a flood happened, and all her fish ended up getting washed out of the pond. They headed downstream, and were sighted in a pool that had been dammed on a small local brook. They lived there happily for a while, until the raccoons discovered them, and thought they’d won the lottery. I guess in a sense they had.

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  4. I love your posts! They are so funny and yet they also ring so true. I had a friend who was complaining that the birds had quit coming to her bird bath. I said I didn’t have a bird bath, because I was afraid it would become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. She said she had worried about that as well, but solved the problem by adding a little bleach to the water. And then it dawned on her…….

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  5. Now I’m gazing out my office window and wandering where I could put a water fountain, just because I love the goldfish idea. Then again, it gets SO hot here in the summer. Then again, there are koi all over the place at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden (a lovely place, should you ever be in these parts and get the chance) and they seem to make it through the summer. Then again, there is a full-time staff that cares for that garden. So maybe I’ll just let the curtain fall into place on the window and get back to writing…


  6. I like a garden that is a ‘mass of confusion.’ And I like fountains. I could never do goldfish, though. The last time I had a gold fish (I was about 10) it died after 3 months. I loved that goldfish and I mourned for way too long (according to my parents). Then I had a chameleon. Same thing happened, only I mourned even longer. I realized by the age of 12 that I can’t handle small little live things that die way before their time. Thus, my children never had goldfish or gerbils or any living animal except for a dog. The dog lived well and long.
    Best wishes, though, with your new goldies. I sure hope they survive raccoons, wind….and your husband. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. This was a wonderful post! I’ ve learned a new term for home gardening “mass confusion” love it!
    So sorry about the goldfish (sigh) but, I really enjoyed your story of your new Wal-Mart water fountain.
    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.

    Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine

    Liked by 1 person

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