Arts and Entertainment

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish

Above: Charlie Frohman points out one of the dozen ponds in his seven-acre backyard in Seabeck. Below: One of the more than 20 koi fish that call the Frohman’s pond home. - Bill Mickelson/Staff photos
Above: Charlie Frohman points out one of the dozen ponds in his seven-acre backyard in Seabeck. Below: One of the more than 20 koi fish that call the Frohman’s pond home.
— image credit: Bill Mickelson/Staff photos

Olympic Koi, Goldfish and Water Garden Club puts their ponds up for show in the annual Pond and Water Garden tour, Aug. 9.

Sitting in serenity, next to the 9,000 gallon man-made lilly pond at Poulsbo’s Roadhouse Nursery, listening to a slowly trickling stream in the distance with silent greenery all around, it’s easy to become enamored.

It’s easy to want a place like this for yourself.

Charlie and Becky Frohman, Seabeck residents and members of the Olympic Koi, Goldfish and Water Garden Club, say the 10 or 12 ponds on their property, along with numerous little waterfalls and streams, make it easy for them to unwind.

“You come out here after a hard day, get out the wine and just relax,” Charlie said.

But beware, water gardens aren’t quite that easy to create.

The Frohman’s Garden (or Frogman as they’re sometimes known) will be one stop of seven spread throughout the county for this year’s ninth annual Pond and Water Garden Tour, sponsored by the OKGWG Club, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 9.

It’s a $5 admission, self-guided driving tour throughout the county featuring the ponds, fish and gardens of club members in addition to their wisdom and pond expertise. Maps and tickets are available at the Roadhouse Nursery, partial home for the OKGWG Club, located on Central Valley Road in Poulsbo.

The first year they attended the tour, the Frohman’s were completely captivated by it and soon after they became members of the pond-lovers social club. Becky grew up with a fish pond in her backyard, so her husband, Charlie, had built her one out of nostalgia at their home in Seabeck, and they wanted to learn more.

The OKGWG Club, or simply the Olympic Koi Club back then, was the perfect venue, and now the Frohman’s backyard is full of water features.

“It’s not a real snooty club,” Becky said. “We’ve become friends with these people ... it’s a nice small club, we meet at each other’s houses once a month.”

The Olympic Koi Club was established in 1987 to promote and encourage the hobby of keeping, breeding and exhibiting koi fish, then in 2002 the name was changed to its current moniker to involve even more members and assist beginners in becoming successful pond keepers.

They meet on the first Tuesday of each month at a member’s home for pond viewing followed by an educational business meeting where members toss around ideas, techniques and troubleshooting. Dues are $20 per family, per year.

“You can kind of get a little bit of everything from the people of the club,” Becky noted. “We all have our different strengths.”

From a look at Becky’s before and after photo gallery of their garden, it seems renovation is the Frohman’s specialty. They took their backyard from dirt-covered drop-off to vibrant sanctuary all in the past 15 years.

“The joke is: you can never stop with just one pond,” Becky said.

It all began with one 700-gallon goldfish pond. Soon thereafter they decided to expand, and it’s now in the thousands-of-gallons with more than 20 koi fish and an untold number of goldfish swimming around.

Their 7-acre backyard plot is dotted with a dozen ponds, large and small, some connected, some free-standing, almost any type of pond you could imagine from the free-stacked cement centerpiece to plastic free form — both lilly ponds and fish ponds.

“We’ve taken different aspects from people’s ponds that we’ve seen and tried to incorporate them into ours,” Becky said.

But it’s not all aesthetic beauty and peaceful din, the Frohman’s ponds, and water gardens in general, come along with a significant amount of upkeep, maintenance and protection for fish.

The Frohman’s have built structures to keep Heron out of their koi ponds, as well as biological filters to keep bacteria out of the water.

However, the beauty it is, one can tailor their pond to their lifestyle. Fish or no fish, running water or still pond, lilies or no lilies — it’s all in the eye of the pond keeper.

For more on the pond keepers of the Olympic Koi, Goldfish and Water Garden Club, go to www.olympickoiclub.org or talk to them on the tour.

GRAY BOX / ITALIX

LOOK THROUGH THE EYES of local pond keepers on the ninth annual Pond and Water Garden Tour, sponsored by the Olympic Koi, Goldfish and Water Garden Club, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 9. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Roadhouse Nursery, 12511 Central Valley Road in Poulsbo. Info: www.olympickoiclub.org or call the Roadhouse Nursery at (360) 779-9589.

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