CATCHING THE WATER BUG
In the midst of the city, pond and garden club members share ideas to create serene, backyard oases
In 1995, Dennis Long, an electrician who worked for Detroit Public Schools at the time, went to a friend’s house to repair a backyard socket. When he arrived, more than just a faulty plug greeted him.
His friend has just finished transforming his backyard into a decorative pond surrounded by irises and lilies. Taking in the picturesque scene, Long was instantly captivated. He soon had a post-retirement avocation to devote himself to — one that would prove to be a lot more fun than freelance electrical work.
Long began to educate himself on the art of pond and garden construction. Through seminars and extensive research, he became familiar with the fine points of design, excavation, and drainage, and how to successfully integrate a pond with plantings. Soon after he built a pond and garden (sometimes referred to as a “water garden”) behind his northwest Detroit home. Over time, Long introduced Japanese koi fish to the pond, creating yet another aesthetic.