Pond & water garden 2012 tour

What: Eastern Iowa Pond Society, 2012 Water Garden Tour

When: 10-4 p.m. Sunday, July 8, rain or shine.

Where: Start at any pond site for maps, tickets, and information. Aquatic plant sale at 1323 34th St. SE, cedar Rapids.

Admission: Children under 18 free. Proceeds will be donated to “Building a Dream in the Country” project which is helping the Sue Spece family build a much needed handicap accessible home in Independence.

Information: www.EIPS.org.

The Japanese have practiced the captivating art of water gardening for a thousand years, but only recently has water gardening exploded as a hobby with Eastern Iowan. The annual pond and water garden tour of the Eastern Iowa Pond Society promises a diverse array of water garden features, ranging from modest owner-designed investments to large professionally planned landscapes with multiple ponds, meandering streams, and tumbling waterfalls. Pond owners will be available for questions and information about ponds, plants and fish.

This year’s self-guided tour features twenty-two of Eastern Iowa’s most beautiful private ponds and water gardens. The sites, split into northern and southern regions, are conveniently located in the Cedar Rapids and Independence metro area.

The tour commences with a ticket purchase at any of the twenty-two sites, with maps and information available at each site.

Recommended southern tour starting point: 1323 34th St. S.E. Cedar Rapids. This 1,600 gallon koi and goldfish pond is rimmed with multi-colored rocks, native grasses, and ferns. An over-looking deck and quaint English garden complete this intriguingly landscaped backyard filled with mini-venues.

Recommended northern tour starting point: 206 North 3rd St, Quasqueton. Three ponds with connecting streams highlight this site’s park-like setting. Surrounding the ponds are lush shade plants and a massive walnut tree. Stroll down the wandering pathways to the roaring waterfall. Don’t forget your camera.

For tour information and maps, visit the Society website: www.EIPS.org. To learn more about the project, visit: www.buildingadreaminthecountry.com