Hop into Spring with Irises for Mother’s Day

Today is both Iris Day and Mother’s day and I’ve been thinking about Irises a lot over the past couple of weeks. Our latest project is a 150’ long pond with a Grand Vulcan fountain nozzle at one end, a stream section and a couple of four-foot-deep, 25-foot-wide pockets occupying the last eighty feet at the other end. That’s where the koi will live. The water is drawn through 4” bottom drains under the koi end and pushed into a row of gravel-topped Eco-Blox submerged around the inside perimeter of the fountain end. Marginal aquatics planted in the 4” – 6” gravel help filter out wastes from the fish. This is in Louisiana, so naturally, I thought of Louisiana Iris for the marginals.

Iris fulva, the Copper Iris

While three of Louisiana’s five species (and three varieties, according to the USDA Forest Service) of native Iris come in shades of blue, Iris fulva, the Copper Iris comes in colors rarely found in other flowering plants – rust, brown, near-black, even copper. There are many amazing red hybrids – Red Velvet Elvis is crimson and mauve, you have to look it up, and it brings in hummingbirds! All of them are perfect choices for the gravel beds over the Eco-Blox. I’m hoping to see masses planted.

Japanese Iris ensata

Two mainstay marginals of more northern water gardens, Siberian Iris sibirica and Japanese Iris ensata,  once graced almost all of my ponds. I admit I still love them but, I’m trying to go native. Not all Iris are created equal. My Mom’s favorite were German Bearded Iris germanica, in royal purple and gold. Fitting for Mother’s Day. They thrived in her garden’s rich but dry garden soil. Submerged, they would rot in days.

Iris pseudacorus, Yellow Flag Iris

Another species, Iris pseudacorus, Yellow Flag Iris, once ate a pond I built. I made the mistake almost thirty years ago, before they were recognized as invasive. I dropped 5 one-gallon plants in an 85×40 pond. Five years later, half the surface area of the pond had vanished. The irises had created vast rafts that moved off the 18” deep shelf all the way around into the deeper water that dropped to five feet in the middle, the only place the iris hadn’t yet reached. It took another five years to get rid of them.

With all the different types and colors of irises, you’re sure to find one that Mom will love for Mother’s Day! Do your research and you may even find there’s a native iris to your region that will bloom happily in Mom’s garden!

Read more blogs from us on Irises and Mother’s Day here! An Iris-istible Flower To Add To Your Pond and 10 Flowers To Add To Your Mom’s Water Garden This Mother’s Day


DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Earth Day, April 22, 2022

This Earth Day I find myself thinking about the changes I’ve seen from years ago. Anyone else remember the commercial with Iron Eyes Cody, the “Indian Chief” who shed a single tear as he gazed out over a fouled and polluted landscape? I’ll bet everyone who was watching TV fifty years ago does remember. That thirty-second spot by Keep America Beautiful, Inc. aired on Earth Day in 1971. The Hudson River he overlooked from the Palisades was a mess. Swimming in the East River, like the Bowery Boys used to do in their films from the Thirties? No way. We just knew the water would kill you, you could smell it was toxic. Well, that silly tear, which Lady Bird Johnson had to talk him into, actually just a drop of glycerin, that tear changed my world. New Yorkers can once again swim in the Hudson, and the striped bass fishery is thriving. Littering, which was a way of life that EVERYONE practiced, almost disappeared. Talk about positive impact. Wow. 

As a pond builder, I’ve always felt the need for sustainability. Like the rest of the industry, I started moving away from high energy pumps and massive filtration, taking advantage of the new technologies that have revolutionized motors in all fields, from cars to vacuums to computerized variable speed pumps. The features we build these days use a fraction of the electricity we used to need for the same flow. But I’m thinking even the ponds themselves can do more with less. Most of my past projects were purely ornamental features, meant as a panacea to sooth the souls of onlookers and nothing more. And that was a lofty goal, one I am proud of. Lord knows we all need all the soothing we can get these days. But, I’m beginning to feel that my ponds should do more than simply delight the families I built them for. 

Pond with white lilies
Photo by Pixabay

Aquaponics makes sense to me as the next step. With food costs spiraling, and no end in sight, why just look at the fish? I’ve started thinking about raising different species of fish, not just nishikigoi. Have you ever seen a Mozambique Tilapia in its breeding finery? Gorgeous. And tasty. And before anyone starts to protest, don’t forget that the fish we call Koi were at first just dinner, until they were reprieved because of their pretty colors. I’ll bet they still taste good. Now, I’m not saying you should eat your prized Tancho. Just that you could. Can you say gefilte fish? Carp were until recently a prized delicacy here in the States, as they still are pretty much everywhere else around the world. Caught and ate them all the time as a kid, floured and fried in butter. Don’t knock ‘em until you try ‘em. 

It’s not just fish that could be… ”utilized”, shall we say? So-called “dirty” pond water is full of nutrients, it can grow a lot more than algae and waterlilies. Ever since the Nelsons of Katy Texas showed me what could be done, we’ve been experimenting with all sorts of plants in graveled streams and headwater pools. Want a bumper crop of tomatoes? Swap out the pond grass and rushes in your veggie filter. You won’t believe the yields. Not only do most plants, not just “water plants”, grow prodigiously in submerged gravel beds, they also clean the water crystal clear. And that muck at the bottom of our ponds? Black gold for the garden. Nowadays, at botanical gardens, we build collection beds outside the pond that we can drain the sludge into to dry with the turn of a valve, then harvest it to supplement store bought fertilizer. 

On a final note to these random musings on Earth Day, I’m really impressed with the company I work for. As a representative of the world’s leader in ornamental water feature equipment, I’m proud to note that Oase has always focused on sustainability, and that focus has only broadened over time.

Maybe there’s hope for us yet. Happy Earth Day!


DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

National Pet Day at Atlantic-Oase

Today (April 11th) is National Pet Day and what better way to celebrate than looking at a bunch of cute pet pictures on the internet? So, to brighten everyone’s day, I present to you all the adorable honorary furry co-workers here at Atlantic-Oase!

black and white cat sleeping
Tyler’s sleepy kitty, Hilda!
two collage pictures of a dachshund
Erica’s dachshund, Watson!
black and white cat looking up
This curious cat, Zorro, loves to have photoshoots with our camera-pro, Leah!
collage of two pictures of a corgi
Kendahl’s backpack-traveling corgi, Thor is all smiles everyday!
two black and white dogs
Ashley’s dogs, Nova & Luna are best buds!
collage of two dogs
Cynthia’s two cute pups, Ziggy and Buddy!
golden doodle dog sitting next to a stuffed Scooby Doo
Peter’s pup, Scooby, on a day off from the office. Scooby visits us in the office a few times a week! It looks like he approves of his stuffed doppleganger!
two dogs laying next to each other sleeping
We wish we could nap all day long like Priscilla’s hounds, Bexley & Calla.
collage of two pictures of a tabby cat
Calypso is Kyla and Mason’s fearless feline!
dog picture
All smiles from Brinda’s dog, Bear!
collage collection of pictures of 3 pugs and a horse
Judy’s house is full of furry family members! Socks (horse), Miss Beans, Doodle Bug & Mr Bear
fish
How can we be a water feature company without someone having a pet fish? We love the coloring on Sean’s fish, Bubba! Bubba loves to watch TV in the living room with his family!
collage of a dog wearing sunglasses and a black cat in a red hat
Jim’s pets, Dodge and Mr. Shivers are rocking it out with their outfits!
long haired German Shepard
Good vibes from Todd and his long-haired Germain Shepard, Duke!
collage of cat pictures
Maui and Moana are always up to no good at Caitlyn’s house!
black cat sitting on a laptop
Megan’s kitty, Harrison, disapproves of working from home. Such a needy co-worker!
collage picture of two dogs and two cats
Debbie & Kristin have lots of love to share with all their clothes-wearing cuties!
dog sitting on a patio next to a rock fountain
Kyle’s water feature-loving pup, Bailey, loves to spend time by her pond and waterfall!
collage picture of a German Shepard, two bunnies and three cats
Cats, dogs, bunnies oh my! The cuteness! Gina’s house is full of cuddles!
boxer dog sitting on couch and eating a pup cup from Dunkin collage pictures
Tyson makes himself comfortable on Jeff’s office couch and loves pup cups from Dunkin’ with Jay!
collage picture of two dogs and a cat
How adorable are Carrie’s fur babies?
dog wearing a orange sweater
Oreo is always happy to see Wanqi after a long day at work!
collage picture of two dogs wearing Christmas candy cane pajamas
Tim’s pups love wearing their Christmas pajamas!

If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this blog, thanks for reading! We hope all of these pet pictures made your National Pet Day even better! Share your pictures of your pets with us on Facebook and Instagram! We’d love to see all the furry friends you share your days with at home!

Read our National Pet Day blog from last year here: Celebrating National Pet Day with Your Water Feature’s #1 Fans


Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

2021 Atlantic-Oase Virtual Conference Award Winners

Atlantic-Oase held its annual Professional Conference virtually again this year with over 150 attendees present on Zoom. The one-day Virtual Conference brought presentations on what’s coming in 2022, from new products to future training schedules to a chat on Recreational Ponds. Like every year, we ended the Professional Conference by presenting the annual awards. Join us in recognizing the following contractors for their awards this year!

Zoom screenshot of attendees from the Atlantic-Oase 2021 Virtual Conference

Atlantic-Oase Professional Contractor (APC) of the Year Award

The Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) of the Year is awarded to those who exemplify the finest attributes in our field: the creation of top-quality water features, a dedication to the industry and a helpful attitude towards our fellow contractors. 

Josiah & Anne Crousore of Specialty Water Gardens, the Atlantic-Oase Professional Contractor of the year award winner

This year, we’re proud to announce that Josiah Crousore of Specialty Water Gardens and Landscapes of Columbia, Missouri, embodies everything we look for in an APC. 

Since 2007, Specialty Water Gardens and Landscapes has offered the highest-quality ponds, waterfalls, fountains, landscape and waterscape design, installation and upkeep in the greater Kansas City area. Recently, Crousore and his wife Anne added a pond supply retail location that they run together, and it has earned stellar reviews from their customers. In addition to an admirable and impressive body of work, Josiah is always sharing his knowledge with fellow contractors, making videos and tutorials with tips and techniques on building water features. Josiah was recognized for installing top quality water features and for his willingness to help others.

Atlantic-Oase President’s Award

Landon Malave of LCM Landscape & Design Atlantic-Oase Presidents' Award winner

This year’s President’s Award went to Landon Malave of LCM Landscape and Design of Peyton, Colorado. Landon always pushes the limits in his water-feature creations. With years of study and practice under his belt, he has trained to create some outrageous faux rock features, but he’s equally at home with the natural rock that abounds in his Colorado stomping grounds. His video work is as exceptional as his innovative designs, sharing his work far and wide across the internet. 

An avid family man, he is also currently training the next generation of innovative water feature artists — his two talented entrepreneurial daughters. 

Atlantic-Oase Monster Award

Joe Adams of The Pond Butler winner of the Atlantic-Oase The Monster Award

Finally, Lloyd Lightsey, the Pond Monster himself, presented the Monster Award, recognizing those who have gone above and beyond, who have given back to those around them, and who have made a difference in their community. Lloyd was the first recipient of the award in 2019, which was named after him for his and his wife Karrie’s contributions in the fight against cancer. Every year following, Lloyd has passed on the award to a participant he feels embodies the values of the Monster Award.

The Pond Monster presented this year’s Monster Award posthumously to Joe Adams of the Pond Butler in recognition of his huge impact on the many who knew, respected and loved him. Joe was honored and the award was presented to Joe Adams’ wife, Kim, at the 2022 Water Garden Expo in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

We want to thank all the participants for attending the 2021 Virtual Conference in December and we can’t wait to see everyone in person in the future!


DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

How to Install an Atlantic 24″ Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

Create a water feature with ease with Atlantic’s Formal Spillway Project Bundles! You provide the hardscape materials and we’ve got the rest. Atlantic’s Project Bundles include all the Atlantic components you need, ready to be assembled into the water feature of your dreams. Build a beautiful Color Changing Colorfalls water feature using your choice of stone.

Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature built from the 24" Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

What’s Included in the Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle?

Formal Spillway bundles are customizable to your project! Choose your Color Changing Colorfalls size from either the 12″, 24″ or 36″ size in length and we’ll send the correct sized Basin to match.

How to Install

The Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundles, with two people, should take less than a day to install! We’ve created Quick Install Guides and how to install videos to help walk you through the process.

You can see our Quick Install Guides here: Color Changing Colorfalls Bundle Install Guide

In our install videos, we show you how to complete this water feature, step by step: preparing the base, building the structure, installing the plumbing and capping the columns. The only exception to our videos is that we dry stack the block, you’ll be gluing your blocks together with construction adhesive according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Watch our how to install video here!

Tools You’ll Need

For the Layout

  • Markout paint
  • Tape measure
  • 2-ft level
  • 4-ft level
  • A straight 2×4

For the Excavation

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Tamper

Most stone manufacturers recommend setting their stones on a 4″ bed of tamped sand, stone dust or screenings. You’ll need about 8ft³.

For the Stone

  • Lump hammer or mallet
  • Grinder or chisel

For the Plumbing

  • A large wrench (Channellock 16.5″ tongue and groove pliers)
  • Screwdriver or nut driver
  • Tubing cutters or PVC saw

For the Hardscape

You will also need your hardscape stone and the manufacturer’s recommended construction adhesive. Atlantic’s Flexible Basins are sized to accommodate the most common engineered stone dimensions. For this installation we installed the Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle to an already existing wall and used a trapezoidal block curved wall solution by Belgard but, you could also create a rectangle enclosure.

Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature built from the 24" Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

Step-By-Step: Installing the Color Changing Colorfalls Bundle

Preparing the Base

Man tamping out sand for water feature base

If you’re starting from scratch, prepare the base by digging out a 4′ x 6′ area, about 6″ below final grade. Tamp the subsoil and then add 8 to 10ft³ of screenings or damp sand. Tamp again and carefully level the base to about 2″ below grade.

To demonstrate how versatile the Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle is, we added the bundle to an already existing wall.

If you’re also starting with an existing wall, remove the soil to a depth of about 2″ below the bottom of the wall. Tamp the subsoil and then add the screenings and tamp again. Carefully level the base to end up at the same level as the bottom of the existing wall.

Building the Reservoir

Man installing flexible pvc pipe and funny pipe through a stone wall for a water feature installation

Pass a length of 1.5″ flexible pipe from the bottom of the wall to the back side, about 8″ in from the left corner. We removed a section of block but, you could also dig the pipe under the wall or drill through the wall with a 2″ core bit.

If you’re installing an autofill, which is strongly recommended, pass the fill line through or under the wall about 8″ from the right corner at the same time.

Installing & Plumbing Basin

Man installing an Autofill Kit into an Atlantic Formal Spillway Basin for a Colorfalls water feature installation

Set the Formal Spillway Basin in place to check that the pipes fit in the molded channels in the bottom of the basin. Then, install the plumbing. It is easiest to install the plumbing before installing the block surround.

Drill a ⅞” hole in the basin, where indicated, for the Autofill. Remove the retaining nut on the Autofill, leaving the washer in place, and apply 3 to 4 turns fo sealant tape to the threads. Insert the Autofill into the basin from the inside out and reinstall the retaining nut. Then, thread the ½” funny pipe adapter onto the Autofill and push the funny pipe onto the barbs of the adapter.

TT3000 pump being installed to a bulkhead fitting and into a Formal Spillway Basin for a water feature installation

Disassemble the single union valve and apply 3 to 4 turns of sealant tape to the threads of the male end with the retaining ring. Install the male end of the vale assembly into the bulk head fitting, making sure the retaining ring is in place. Install a male thread adapter to the outlet of the pump. Then, glue in the 90° elbow. Glue the nipple into the elbow and glue the valve to the nipple. Reassemble the valve to complete the plumbing inside the basin

Refer to the included instructions provided in the box as needed.

Man installing the plumbing in a Formal Spillway Basin for a Color Changing Colorfalls formal spillway project bundle

To finish the plumbing outside of the basin, apply 3 to 4 turns of sealant tape to the threads of the threaded elbow and install in the outside of the bulkhead fitting, oriented downward. Cut a 6″ length of pipe and glue it to the remaining 90° elbow, then glue the other end of the short pipe to the threaded elbow that’s connected to the bulkhead fitting. Finally, glue the bottom elbow into the pipe that’s going into the wall.

Building the Reservoir Walls

Atlantic’s Formal Spillway Basins accommodate most engineered stone dimensions without cutting. We used a curved wall solution by Belgard for our installation but, you could also create a rectangle enclosure.

Man hiding the pump cord of a TT3000 pump in the back of a stone wall for the installation of a Colorfalls water feature

Set the first course of block around the Formal Spillway Basin, then bond the next course of stone with adhesive. Follow manufacturer’s recommended adhesive and adjust or cut as needed. Build up and finish the four wall courses to 16″ tall.

You will eventually need to remove the pump for service or replacements so, you must make provisions for the cord at this time in your construction. In the back wall, cut a groove or leave a space large enough for the plug of the pump to pass through the back of the wall either in the fourth course or between the fourth and fifth course.

Diagram showing the 48" needed to be left open for the installation of a Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature

Build the back wall up another course and the columns up another five courses. Carefully measure to leave 48″ between the columns. In the space between the columns, stack the outer stones flat, leaving space for three vertical stones.

Man placing the hardscape blocks into place for a Colorfalls water feature

Before installing the three vertical stones, cut ½” off of the long dimension to make each 11½” long. Set them side by side, broad side to front, in the center of the wall, 1″ back from the front edge. This will create a relief panel and a ½” deep notch for the lip of the Colorfalls.

Image showing the support blocks needed to support a Color Changing Colorfalls body on the back wall of a hardscape water feature

Be sure to support the body of the Colorfalls behind the three vertical stone wall. We used extra wall block to support the body of the Colorfalls.

Man installing a Color Changing Colorfalls onto hardscape stones

To install the Colorfalls, apply 3 to 4 turns of sealant tape to the threads of a male adapter and install it in the center inlet of the Colorfalls. Test the Colorfalls for fit in the ½” notch then, measure and cut a 1½” piece of flexible pvc pipe. Glue the short pipe into the elbow and install the elbow into the male thread adapter. Finally, glue connections to the long supply pipe to complete the plumbing.

Man capping the stone columns of a hardscape water feature

To secure the Colorfalls, apply silicone, NOT permanent adhesive, to the front lip and block the Colorfalls is seated on. The silicone will allow you to remove the Colorfalls in the future if desired. Apply silicone, not adhesive, to the top of the Colorfalls and secure it with capstones to complete the center wall. Then, cap the columns with 6 blocks each. Measure to ensure the overhang is even all the way around.

Fill the Formal Spillway Basin until the Autofill float rises. Check for proper function and adjust as necessary. Then, cap the pump chamber and install the splash mat.

Man installing the lighting plugs for the Color Changing Colorfalls
Color Changing Colorfalls project bundle light testing of the Colorfalls before turning on the water to the water feature. The light on the Colorfalls is red

To finish off your Color Changing Colorfalls installation, download the InfiColor App on your smart phone or tablet. Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, this app will allow you to fully customize the lighting colors and sequences for your Color Changing Colorfalls.

Apply a dab of the provided dielectric grease to the plug of the Colorfalls and securely tighten to the outlet of the InfiColor Module. Apply another dab of dielectric grease to the plug of the Module and connect securely to the transformer. Plug in the Module and test. You’re now ready to program your InfiColor Color Changing Colorfalls. See manual for details if needed.

Color Changing Colorfalls hardscape water feature built from the 24" Color Changing Colorfalls Project Bundle

Plug in the pump and enjoy your beautiful new Atlantic water feature!

Be sure to check out our YouTube for videos on the other Formal Spillway Project Bundles and read more on the blog!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

What Happens to Turtles and Frogs in the Winter?

Today was a reminder of just how brutal Winter can be – the car said it was a balmy 1° this morning on my way into work. Add in the wind chill and my freezer at home would feel positively comfy in comparison. When temperatures drop this low, some may wonder what happens to fish, turtles and frogs in the winter?

The cold is bad enough for us, and we have the equipment and technology to keep ourselves from freezing. Other warm blooded animals cope with the lack of warmth and food by hibernating. A bear will store up enough calories in fat to stoke her inner fire for months, find suitable shelter then go into suspended animation, lowering her temperature and metabolic functions to the very minimum needed to stay alive. She will ‘sleep’ thus until she runs out of stored fuel. She’s bet the farm that it will be warmer by then.

Cold blooded critters don’t generate inner heat. Their core is going to be the same as the temperature outside. So what happens to the various crawling, hopping and swimming critters in your pond when temps drop below freezing? They have to deal with freezing temperatures very differently than us warmbloods.

Frozen pond in the winter
Photo by Monica Malave on Unsplash

Fully aquatic animals and fish can hibernate in much the same way as warmbloods if the water is deep enough that it doesn’t freeze solid around them and there is sufficient oxygen. They take advantage of water’s unique properties. First, water can hold a lot more oxygen the colder it gets, so they can simply absorb it through gills and skin without physically moving to breathe. Then, the water at the bottom of the pond is always warmer than the ice on top, because unlike every other compound on the planet, frozen water is less dense than liquid water. Ice floats, right? Water is actually at its densest, and therefore heaviest, at a balmy 39 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s cold enough to slow the metabolism of fish, frogs and aquatic turtles way down, decreasing oxygen demand, but warm enough for them to simply hang out under the ice.

I watch my Koi just float, mostly motionless, through the icy window covering my pond. Turtles need so little oxygen they can sleep burrowed in the muck. Native Leopard Frogs need their skin exposed to absorb oxygen; they just sit on the bottom staring, waiting for Spring.

But how do terrestrial cold bloods deal with cold winters? They can’t take advantage of those ‘warm’ bottom waters insulated under ice and snow, they’d drown. They can’t hibernate because they don’t produce any inner heat to keep from freezing. These guys have to ‘brumate’. Their metabolism drops to near zero, they don’t breathe, their hearts may even stop beating and they partially freeze – then revive themselves in the Spring.

The challenge they face is to keep ice from forming inside the cells of their organs when temps drop. Ice crystals are sharp, and water expands when freezing, which would damage or destroy cell structures and burst cell membranes, killing the animal. Frogs, turtles and a number of other animals can partially freeze without damage the same way you winterize an RV – by filling the most critical structures with antifreeze.

Turtle with head sticking out of pond
Turtle Photo by Chris F from Pexels

As temps drop, they dump excess water inside their cells, expelling it into the spaces between the cells. Then they flood the cells with glucose, creating a concentrated sugar solution that resists freezing well below 32 degrees F. At the same time, special proteins bond to ice crystals in the water around the cells, blocking the individual crystals from attaching to each other. The water around the cell can freeze but the ice crystals stay in suspension instead of clumping together, keeping the ice from solidifying and harming the animal.

Frog sitting in pond
Photo by Fatih Sağlambilen from Pexels

In this way, frogs can literally be 70% frozen, cocooned in mud all winter, not breathing, heart stopped, looking dead to the world. When Spring arrives they defrost, their lungs and hearts resume activity and they pop out of the mud unharmed. In fact, the sight of frogs and toads emerging from the ground as it thawed gave rise to the ancient notion that they were literally made of mud, a myth that wasn’t dispelled until the 18th century.

So, don’t worry about that frogsicle you thought croaked – chances are he will rise to croak again.  


DEMI FORTUNA

Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Holidays All Around the World with Oase

From -30 °C in Siberia to 30 °C in Singapore, from ice skating on a frozen river to eating ice cream at the beach – the seasons around the world when the old year comes to an end and a new year starts couldn’t be more different.  But there is one thing that all the countries across the globe have in common: although every culture has its own cultural, spiritual and fun traditions, these customs all connect people, family members and friends. It’s about celebrating together. It’s about togetherness.  That is what our global Oase family is all about. Our Colleagues from all over the world, from Scandinavia to Japan, have gathered together to share their cultural traditions with one another.  Be part of the cultural adventure and journey through the different countries to find out about ancient rituals, special decorations, delicious recipes and holidays all around the world celebrated by our Oase family!

Spain | Orujo Festival

Spain Orujo Festival holiday tradition

This traditional festival has been celebrated in Cantabria every November since 1984. Thousands of people travel to the north of Spain to participate in the celebrations. Orujo originates from the region of Liébana and is mentioned in documents from the Middle Ages found in the monasteries of the region. Have you ever heard of the importance of this spirit liquor, which was once used as currency? Enjoy watching orujo being distilled before sampling it on the streets of the town, taste the different varieties from the local cellars, and discover well-known local dishes, accompanied by music shows and folklore performances. 

Germany | German Christmas Markets

Germany Christmas Markets holiday tradition

A typical Christmas market in Germany consists of numerous stalls on the streets and squares of a town or city. Christmas baked goods and regional specialities are offered. Warm drinks, such as mulled wine, are also served. Regularly at a Christmas market there are stalls selling Christmas gifts or handicraft items. Most Christmas markets also include a cultural program of plays and music. The Christmas market usually gets its special charm from a large Christmas tree and festive lighting.

United Kingdom | Apple Wassailin’ 

United Kingdom Apple Wassailin’ holiday tradition

The word ‘wassail’ comes from the old Anglo-Saxon ‘Wæs hæl’, ‘Be in good health’, and the aim is to bless the apple trees to give a good crop next season. Originally, orchard workers wanted to ensure a good crop as their wages were linked to the cider they produced. The wassailers will dance around the apple trees making as much noise as possible to ward off evil spirits. Everyone then places pieces of toast that have been soaked in cider on the branches of the trees in the orchard to welcome the good spirits.

Japan | Yuzu baths

Japanese Yuzu baths holiday tradition

This traditional Japanese winter custom brings wellness for your senses. In Japan, at the winter solstice, many people have the custom of bathing with yuzu fruit, a small, Japanese citrus fruit. The fruit is placed in the 38℃ to 40℃ (100°F to 104°F) hot water either whole or sliced (in a net) or with the juice squeezed in (this is not recommended for people with sensitive skin). Taking a bath with yuzu for 15 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes is said to ward off bad luck and bring good luck. The aroma of the yuzu relaxes the body and mind. 

China | Chinese Spring Festival

Chinese Spring Festival holiday tradition

Winter brings the Chinese Spring Festival. It is a time to end the year-long journey, when families gather to celebrate with fireworks, good cheer, love and blessings. People celebrate the festival by putting up paper-cut decorations. Some are shaped like koi fish, some in ‘Fu’, some in swallow patterns. On New Year’s Eve, the whole family gathers around the table, dining and chatting. Outside, fireworks and firecrackers are lit to make everything lively, as a sign for a good start to the year. 

Switzerland | Cheese fondue  

Swiss Cheese fondue holiday tradition

Cheese fondue is a dish made of melted cheese. It is prepared across Switzerland in numerous regional variations. Besides cheese, the ingredients are traditionally corn starch, white wine, some kirsch liqueur, garlic, lemon juice, pepper and nutmeg. The heated mixture is placed over the rechaud on the table in a special pot, usually ceramic. The guests place pieces of bread on a long fork, dip the fork in the liquid cheese, and gently swirl it until the bread is coated with cheese.   

Austria | Vienna Opera Ball 

Austrian Vienna Opera Ball holiday tradition

Every winter, the Vienna Opera Ball is a social highlight of the ball season at the Vienna State Opera. It is Austria’s largest meeting place for cultural figures, entrepreneurs and politicians from Austria and abroad. Around 180 dancing couples from the Young Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Committees are involved in the opening ceremony. The ball begins with the entry of the Federal President of Austria. The committee enters the ballroom to the sounds of a polonaise. 

Russia | Russian banya 

Russian banya holiday tradition

The Russian banya is one of the oldest Russian traditions. The steam bathhouse was usually built near lakes or ponds, and after taking a steam bath, people ran out naked and jumped into the water. If there was no natural water nearby, then bathing was replaced by pouring cold water from a well. The first Russian baths were built exclusively from logs, and each type of tree exuded a special aroma, which gave the bathing ritual a special charm and produced positive health effects. 

Poland | Gingerbread biscuits 

Polish Gingerbread biscuits holiday tradition

Ingredients: 

  • 320 g (about 2.5 cups) of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 150 g (about 3/4 cup) of sugar
  • 1.5 tsp of baking soda
  • 20 g of gingerbread spice (ready-made is easiest, or homemade)
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 egg (+ additional 1 egg for the egg wash)
  • approx. 2–4 tbsp. of warm milk

Preparation: 

Sift the flour on a pastry board, pour in the hot honey and mix it in (preferably with a knife). Keep mixing while adding sugar, baking soda and spices, and then add butter and one egg. 

Gradually (1 tbsp. at a time) add milk while kneading the dough thoroughly by hand until it is smooth and like shortcrust (you might not use all the milk) – for about 10 minutes. 

On a floured board, roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thick. Use biscuit cutters to cut out the gingerbread shapes. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, approximately 2 cm apart. 

Brush the top with a beaten egg (not necessary if you plan to decorate the gingerbread biscuits) and bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 10–12 minutes, depending on the thickness. 

Czech Republic | Vánoční lodičky – Christmas boats 

Czech Republic Vánoční lodičky Christmas boats holiday tradition

Placing little boats made of walnut shells, with a lit candle inside them, in a bowl or washbasin full of water is a favorite Christmas tradition from the Czech Republic. It is believed that this custom can answer a question or predict the future. It is important that whoever asks the question makes the boat out of a walnut and places it into the water themselves. The number of boats launched corresponds to the number of family members. If a boat moves away from the group, the person who owns the boat will go out into the world. If they stay together, the family will be together. If your boat reaches the other side – successfully and without help – you get what you wished for. If it stays afloat the longest, or the candle stays lit for a long time, a long and happy life awaits you. 

Hungary | Halászlé 

Hungarian Halászlé  holiday tradition

Fisherman’s soup or halászlé is a hot, spicy, paprika-based fish soup. A folk item in Hungarian cuisine, it is a bright-red, hot dish prepared with generous amounts of hot paprika, onion and carp or mixed river fish. It is a traditional dish from the Pannonian Plain, particularly the Danube and Tisza river regions. With its generous use of hot paprika and, often, hot peppers, halászlé is arguably one of the spiciest dishes originating from the European continent. 

Belgium | New Year’s dive 

Belgian New Year’s dive  holiday tradition

The New Year’s dive is an annual tradition, organized for the turn of the year. It is a collective jump into open water. It generally takes place on New Year’s Day but can sometimes take place on another date in January or December, e.g. Boxing Day. The challenge is to jump into the water on a cold winter’s day. In Ostend, the most famous, De Smeets New Year’s Dive, takes place just after New Year’s.  

Netherlands | The Eleven Cities Tour 

Netherlands Eleven Cities Tour  holiday tradition

The Elfstedentocht is the largest skating event in the world, organised by the Royal Association De Friesche Elf Steden. This heroic skating tour starts and ends in Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland, and takes participants along the waterways over a distance of approximately 200 km past eleven Frisian towns. The whole event can only take place during very hard winters when the ice thickness over the whole route is at least 15 cm. The last Elfstedentocht held was in 1997. 

Denmark | Hygge

Denmark Hygge holiday tradition

The importance of hygge in Denmark is linked to the Danish weather, where cold, dark, wet months encourage togetherness inside. It’s what Danes, Swedes and Norwegians do when we’re together with our families and friends. Hygge is a cozy way to be together, an expression of the simple joys of life. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge, as is cozying up with a loved one for a movie. And there’s nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are among the happiest people in the world.  

United States | Halloween

United States Halloween holiday tradition

Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October in the United States. Children dress up in costumes and go ‘trick-or-treating’, where they go from house to house in their neighborhoods asking for sweets by saying ‘Trick or treat!’ Other Halloween traditions include carving faces into pumpkins, known as Jack-o-lanterns, visiting haunted houses and watching horror films. Americans will also decorate their houses with pumpkins, bats, spiders, black cats and ghosts in celebration. 

Slovenia | Potica cake 

Slovenia Potica cake holiday tradition

Ingredients:

Yeast dough: 

  • 1 kg (about 8 cups) of flour
  • 30 g (about 1/4 cup) of yeast
  • 3–4 egg yolks
  • 300 ml (about 1.25 cups) lukewarm milk
  • 120 g (about 1 cup) butter
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 2 tbsp. of sugar
  • fat for the mold

Filling: 

  • 600–700g (about 4.75 cups) of walnuts
  • 200 g (about 1/2 cup) of honey
  • 50 g (about 1/4 cup) of sugar
  • 100–200 ml (about 1/4 cup) of milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Cinnamon 
  • small amount of rum or brandy 

Preparation: 

Dough: Prepare the dough in a warm environment. Add a teaspoon of salt to the flour, and mix the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour and 50 ml of lukewarm water or milk. Leave to rise in a warm place. Make a small hole in the middle of the flour, pour in the beaten eggs, yeast mix, melted butter and sugar. Keep adding the remaining lukewarm milk as you mix. Mix for 15 minutes or until you see bubbles and the dough separates from the bowl. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover with a napkin and leave it to rise, again in a warm place. 

For the filling: Roast crushed or minced walnuts with milk and sugar. Heat the honey so it liquifies. Add it to the walnuts and add cinnamon. Leave the filling to cool down, then add another egg or two and gently mix them in. Roll out the dough until it is 1/2 cm thick and coat it with the warm filling. Roll it tightly and place it in a baking form. Leave the potica to rise slowly. It will rise somewhat in the oven as well. Before baking, coat the potica with a beaten egg. Bake for one hour at 220°C or 425°F(upper/lower heat), and then leave it to cool in the mould for another 15 minutes. Finally, sprinkle with sugar if you wish.  

Romania | Sorcova custom 

Romanian Sorcova custom holiday tradition

Of all the Romanian customs, ‘sorcova’ is the most beautiful and fun. On the 1st of January, children participate in this custom to wish their family and neighbors all the best of luck and health for the New Year. Children go caroling with the sorcova, a stick or twig decorated with flowers of different colors. On the morning of the 1st of January, children gently tap their parents or acquaintances with the sorcova, wishing them health and luck. Nowadays, the sorcova is made with artificial flowers, but it used to be made of twigs of apple, pear or plum trees cut on the day of Saint Andrew (30 November) or on Saint Nicholas (6 December) and placed in water to sprout. After the caroling is over, the sorcova is kept throughout the year, either in an eastern corner of the house or in a clean place. 

Italy | Panevin festival 

Italian Panevin festival holiday tradition

Panevin is an old tradition from Venetia, Italy. The aim of this festival is to celebrate both the end of Christmas and the beginning of the new year with a wish for abundance. During this celebration, a pile of wood or branches is burned on the evening of the eve of Epiphany, as a sign of forgetting the past and preparing for the coming year. As the fire blazes brightly, the directions of the sparks and the smoke are interpreted by farmers to predict whether the new year will begin with rich or poor crops. 

Singapore | Singaporean style Christmas tree decoration

Singaporean style Christmas tree decoration holiday tradition

Local families who celebrate Christmas will take this opportunity to put up their Christmas trees and decorate their homes. Here are the simple steps to personalising your tree the Singaporean way. Invest in a high-quality artificial tree, set it up and fluff its branches. Design the decorations around a theme of your liking. Start with a chain of lights, then choose the decorations for your theme. Make sure to include baubles and ribbons in matching colours for your set-up. Cluster the baubles first. Then layer and wrap the ribbons around the tree. For the perfect finish, choose a themed, expressive tree topper. Turn the lights on and enjoy your Singaporean styled Christmas tree! 


Thanks for learning about all the holidays all around the world celebrated by our Oase colleagues! We wish you a happy and safe holiday season! Read the original Oase Article here!

We create the right flow – Oase presents itself with a full brand relaunch

CEO of Oase, Thorsten Muck announcing the new corporate branch relaunch

Oase relaunches its corporate design on October 4, 2021. The complete updated appearance, which also replaces the logo that has existed since 2006, expresses the strong evolution of the Oase brand. With this relaunch and a strong vision, the company underlines its position as market leader with innovative strength and passion for water.

We create the right flow – From October 4, 2021 the Oase brand will present itself with this strong vision and a completely renewed corporate design. For decades, the name Oase has stood for inspiring ideas around water – from compact aquariums to large-scale swimming ponds and fountain systems. Since 2006, the brand has been identified by its characteristic water droplet logo. After 15 years, it has now been replaced by the new corporate design, with a modern and expressive appearance that reflects Oase’s leading role in the industry.

CEO Thorsten Muck, who has led the company since May 2017, explains:

“Oase has developed enormously in recent years. As a global company, we are active in over 100 markets. At the same time, our approach has grown wider and deeper, and our product range has grown significantly. The new corporate design underlines this evolution, our attitude and our dynamism.“

This innovative strength as well as the passion for water is reflected in the new corporate design and the meaningful statement “We create the right flow”.

“We combine the proven Oase quality with the Oase feeling of life; now in a visual statement. For us, this feeling describes the fascination of water, the desire to create and the diversity of water within a living space; as a retreat, a source of inspiration or social meeting place.”

Thorsten Muck emphasizes.

Along with the new corporate design, Oase has defined the new brand values with an emphasis of the customer at the center, with German Engineering second. The third value is the mindset of seeing water as invigorating as well as calming, an element that stands for an attitude to life, introspection, recreation, experience and the environment.

The new brand logo:

New Oase rebranch logo

The core element of the relaunch is the new brand logo, which will represent the brand worldwide from October.

“Developing a coherent logo for a global company that also visually conveys our vision in all markets and on all channels is a complex undertaking that we have worked on intensively over the past 18 months,”

explains Marketing Director Matthias Oetting, who oversees this project.

“As the centerpiece of the revised appearance, the new logo embodies our claim and our values in an ideal way, with our Oase Flow as a central element.”

The wordmark is defined by the clear typography, which embodies the brand‘s German Engineering. The details of the typeface are again a homage to water in their subtle roundings, as is the colour scheme.

New Oase rebranch logo

The wordmark is complemented by the energetic flowing wave – the Oase Flow, which replaces the water droplets. The graphic element is based on the alchemical symbol for water and represents dynamic creativity.

“Flowing, but self-confident. Clear, but organic – that’s how we see ourselves. And that‘s exactly what our new image underlines,”

Matthias Oetting sums up. And Thorsten Muck states:

“The new corporate design is a milestone that perfectly expresses our market leadership and our claim as a modern, innovative company.”

With the new brand relaunch at Oase, comes a new logo for Atlantic-Oase as well! We’re happy to announce the change of our logo to connect and grow with Oase’s vision for the future. You’ll start to see the new logo’s for Oase and Atlantic-Oase as we begin this next chapter together in the water feature industry!

New Atantic-Oase rebranch logo

A-O Pro Tip – How to Move Ground Water from Affecting Your Koi Pond with Art of the Yard

Happy Tip Tuesday again! We’re happy to share yet another helpful A-O Pro Tip with you today! Today’s video features another tip from Shane Hemphill and how to move ground water from affecting your koi pond and water that can gather underneath your pond liner and create problems. This is a super helpful tip when coming across ground water issues in your koi pond construction.

Contractors standing in a dug out pond showing how to create a trench to move ground water from underneath the pond liner

This tip comes from a dedicated koi pond project in Colorado Springs done by Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractors from Art of the Yard. We had Atlantic-OASE staff visit Art of the Yard during their build to catch some awesome A-O Pro Tips!

A-O Pro Tip #15 – How to Move Ground Water from Affecting Your Koi Pond with Art of the Yard

Contractors standing in a dug out pond showing how to create a trench to move ground water from underneath the pond liner

In our 15th Learn From The A-O Pro’s series video, we learn how Shane plans on protecting his koi pond from being affected by ground water underneath his pond liner.

Watch the video here!

One of the problems their client was having with their koi pond was that ground water was pushing and bubbling underneath the pond liner. To fix this issue, Shane explains how his team is going to put in a french drain under the pond to bring the ground water to the lowest part of the pond. Then, they will dig a basin in the back corner of the pond and a connect a PV1800 with an extension to go all the way down to the lowest level of the pond. A trench will lead to the Pump Vault to bring all of the water into the pond-free basin with Eco-Blox. There will be a pump with a float inside so that when it starts filling with water, the pump will pump the water out and into the pond-free pit.

PV1800 Pump Vault with extension
French drain trench to help move ground water from under a pond liner

Shane explains that if they were to leave the pond as is and not do these necessary extra steps, the ground water will continue to come back and great huge bulges and bubbles in the middle of your koi pond, causing lots of future issues.

Want to be featured in the next A-O Pro Video?

We’re looking for contractors with awesome tips and tricks for our A-O Pro Tips videos and we want to visit you at your builds! Want to be the star of our next tip video? Tell us what upcoming water feature builds you have planned and what A-O Pro tips you have for us and we’ll send someone from the Atlantic-OASE team out to video you and your work!

Contact your Regional Sales Manager to learn more on the A-O Pro Series. Not sure who your Regional Sales Manager is? Contact us at marketing@atlantic-oase.com

Stay tuned for more A-O Pro Tips here on the blog and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube so you don’t miss out on all the Learn From The A-O Pro’s videos!


About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

World Photography Day

Canon Camera sitting on a wood railing looking out at a fall day in the woods

Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837, built the foundation to what is now known as World Photography Day. On this day we celebrate the photographer in all of us, novice to expert, it’s a chance to see how others perceive the world through their lens.

The first known photograph was taken in 1826 by none other than Joseph Nicephore Niepce. The photo was soon titled “View from the Window at Le Gras”. This was the gateway to the Daguerreotype that was bought by the French government on January 9th, 1839. The patent was presented as a “free gift to the world” so that everyone could partake in capturing pictures.

On August 19th, 2010, World Photography Day held its very first ever worldwide online gallery. Nearly 270 photographers from over 100 countries participated in sharing their photos. This marked the first official World Photography Day.

Here’s a fun fact for you, Robert Cornelius is the OG of selfies, he snapped his first selfie in 1839! How was this done? He removed the lens cap and ran into frame to get the shot. He wrote on the back of the photograph “The first light picture ever taken 1839”.

So how can you participate on August 19th? Grab your phone or tradition camera, and go out and take some photos! We’d love to see some pictures of your beautiful backyard water features!

Have fun with it and remember to share it online using the hashtag #WorldPhotographyDay!

Want to read more on photography and taking pictures of your water features? We’ve got some great blogs for you to check out! Read: Capturing the Perfect Water Feature Picture and Don’t Throw Away Your Shot! It’s Nature Photography Day!


About the Author:


Leah La Farciola

Like the elusive bigfoot, Leah enjoys the great outdoors. Hiking, biking, attempting to longboard, falling off said longboard, rollerblading, you get the picture. Leah attained a piece of paper from THE Ohio State University that states she can make drawings move on a computer. She is the Multimedia Coordinator for Atlantic-OASE, catch her work on the YouTube.