Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

The Tranquility Garden

on July 19, 2013


When we purchased our house, one of the features we fell in love with was the fish pond that was built off of the patio. Over the years we discovered that an indoor fish pond requires a lot of expensive filtering equipment and pumps to keep it habitable for little Nemo’s. Eventually, as our maintenance skills decreased and the algae and murky water increased, the pond started to  look like a Louisiana swamp.


Instead of brightly colored fish swimming happily in crystal blue waters, the current inhabitants consisted of: a multitude of lizards, a community of croaking frogs, the occasional snake. It also provided a great breeding ground for blood sucking mosquitoes which were invading our lanai area.  It was time to wave goodbye to all the unwelcome guests that had made our pond their home.


We considered our options and decided the easiest and cheapest plan was to convert the pond into a garden.  A Tranquility garden.  Oh Yeah!  After all, how hard could it be to build?  We just remove the swamp water, fill in the hole with dirt and chango..presto..a garden!  Oh, how naive we two can be.

So, we started on the first step of the project..removing the water.  We didn’t have a pump and we weren’t bright enough to rent one, so water removal equipment consisted of the only bucket in the house and two silly geriatrics.  But, we had a plan! Danny, my brave, brave man would walk into the middle of the pond and would scoop up a bucket of water and then hand it off to me to carry outside and dump out.  A two man Bucket Brigade was sure to make quick work of removing the water.


I never realized how heavy two gallons of water could be.  After the first six or seven trips to the yard and flinging the water across the grass (didn’t want puddles, according to the guy standing in the middle of the swamp), I found that muscles in your body Really Can Scream!  But, I carried on like a good little team member and didn’t start whimpering until the second hour of toting those damn buckets.

Taking pity on me, Danny called a halt to work after three hours of listening to my grunts and cries of agony and said we would complete our water removal on the morrow! It actually took three days to remove the water as whoever built the pond must have been trying to dig their way to China.

We were now ready for the next step…filling the hole with dirt.  Relieved to be off bucket duty, I hoped that my role would now be a supervisory position since my arms were so sore and my fingers had lost the ability to pick up a fork.  My hopes were dashed when Danny arrived with a truck load of dirt and a spanking new wheelbarrow.

We were now on a Dirt Brigade, with Danny standing in the back of his truck, shoveling dirt into the wheelbarrow while my duties consisted of transporting the dirt to the hole and dumping it in.  Oh yeah, then raking…don’t forget the heavy rake!


Once again, I was surprised HOW DAMN HEAVY a wheelbarrow full of dirt was.  Also, after the first truckload was empty, it seemed that we only succeeded in filling the hole with a thin layer.  As the days went by and the trucks kept coming, I started to wonder if someone was removing the dirt while we slept.

But, all fun times must come to an end.  The hole was filled and now it was time to cover it with mulch.  This time I was prepared…I knew how heavy those bags of mulch were but took comfort in the fact that it only took TWENTY bags to cover the area to Danny’s satisfaction.  And then I raked it…yeah, again with the raking!

To reward me for my hard work and choosing to forget about all the whining I did, Danny took me to Lowe’s and we bought a nice gate to frame our project (and to keep the digging doggie out of the garden) and a centerpiece to bring the tranquility into our “Tranquility Garden.  So, keeping in mind I still have to buy some plants, or flowers or maybe just some more ceramic doo hinkies…here’s the end result.

DSCN0217 DSCN0219 DSCN0222

Sadly, we still have one dissatisfied customer that misses the swamp!


“Hey, where’d my lily pad go?”

23 responses to “The Tranquility Garden

  1. Bastet says:

    I’m going to have to make up a frog or bird challenge so you can show your pictures on We Drink!!! Another fine story dear lady…and a laugh I had…needed it too! 😀

  2. mcwoman says:

    You have such a talent for humor! The garden looks great and after all that work, I bet you do, too. Pushing Ken in a wheelchair is enough to make my joints and muscles protect. Can’t wait to see the finished project — with flowers and stuff.

  3. mummyshymz says:

    Loved the humour. And the picture of the poor little fella is the perfect ending to the post!

  4. Too funny. The wheelbarrow picture reminds me of my mother who also comes up with such projects.

    • M E McMahon says:

      I hate manual labor and am not shy about admitting it! I’m okay with these projects as long as I can play designer or supervisor. This wasn’t one of those times!

  5. JayNine says:

    Oh Granny, you are sooo good! I thought I already commented on this (my WP Acct’s been acting up?) I honestly have sore cheeks from smiles and chuckles!!!

    I know you don’t do ‘awards’ anymore but if the questions aren’t too forward, maybe you could even just take a moment to share your answers for ill ole me 😉 lol! Take a look at the post. I also included BOTH of your links for others to follow. Take a look:
    hugs from Canada

    • M E McMahon says:

      Yup, gonna get to those questions tomorrow! Hang on to the seat of your pants…I might put a chuckle or two in the answers.

      Love the thought and I always enjoy hearing from you!

      Hugs from hot, sweaty and steaming Florida!

  6. […] my life like comets and disappeared never to be seen again…others like Charles Yallowitz, M E McMahon, and Eric Alagan  and MT Blu have become a part of my blogging life.  A special thanks to ME […]

  7. Basharr says:

    I was thinking (always a dangerous thing) When you said swamp, nuff said toss in a couple baby gators. Though long term you made the better choice…Bonsai trees maybe? When I worked in San Francisco I bought a couple of the trees and they can really become an obsession. Our tranquility garden (vegetable Garden) is producing now. For me the watering is nice and I love to sit in the shade and admire all the goodies we have growing.

  8. Patty O says:

    Funny post! I understand what all the hauling, hauling, hauling and grunting, puffing and panting is like! UGH!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: