What a riotous mess! This time last year my pond had been totally trashed by a neighbor’s black lab. Consequently an established plant was pulverized, and I chose to replace it with the water poppy. As you can see in the above photo, our extremely hot summer has not deterred it and the lemon bacopa from more than doubling in size, and that’s after they both had died back to their root balls last winter. I took this photo just before cleaning the filter box and pump, because I knew that in the process I would probably destroy the overgrown look. I know my three little fish appreciate the shelter and protection that the foliage provides, but this makes it difficult for me to perform my daily fin count. Fortunately meal time brings them up to the surface.