The wonders of water

A pond, a waterfall, a fire pit and family. Who could ask for more?

Kevin and Linda Nyberg and three of their children make use of their backyard oasis a couple times a week by eating dinner together. But the couple goes out there every day.

The stream at the upper end of the waterfall splits around a tree and falls several levels to an oval pool surrounded by blooming perennials.

The scenic yard is part of the 10th annual 2011 Parade of Ponds Pools. The event is a self-guided tour of 20 ponds and pools around Sioux Falls. All proceeds benefit the River of Hope Foundation, whose mission is to spread a positive message of hope and strength to those battling cancer, as well as to raise awareness through the application and support of integrative medicine, says Nathan Heinert, executive director of River of Hope Foundation.

Tickets cost $7 each and can be purchased online at the foundation website and at Rock Garden Nursery, Combined Pool and Spa, and all Nyberg’s Ace Locations.

“The waterfalls have a very calming effect. It’s a great stress-reducing therapy to be by the water, and the beauty helps everyone,” says Linda Nyberg.

“Since the beginning of time, water has been a source of renewal,” Heinert says. “I think people enjoy ponds and pools for the proven fact that the sights and sounds of water can release stress fighters in your body which ultimately help us relax, enjoy and feel renewed by our surroundings.”

A toasted marshmallow doesn’t hurt, either.

Three of the four Nyberg children live in Sioux Falls and go to Augustana College. When they aren’t busy with summer jobs, they have their friends over to use the fire pit and enjoy the pond, Nyberg says.

The Nybergs were inspired to put in a water feature by two things: the contour of the land and good friends who had ponds.

“Our friends with ponds really sparked out interest,” Linda says.

Their house was built seven years ago, and at first, a tiered retaining wall with small boulders was designed with shrubs and perennials. Two years ago, Chris Lee from Rock Garden Nursery collaborated with them and designed a split stream with a waterfall and two ponds.

The landscaping around the ponds has been tweaked each summer. The fast growth of the original aspen trees made them rethink the position of certain sun-loving perennials adjacent to the water. The day lilies, perennial hibiscus, clematis, hydrangeas and magnolia bush now look happy.

The koi pond is several feet deep and fitted with a heater so the fish can overwinter. Water lilies, cattails and Siberian iris are at home there as well.

The surrounding landscape has rhododendron, impatiens and Norwegian weeping spruce.

The couple is ever on the lookout for something more. “It’s fun to find new varieties of plants,” says Linda Nyberg.

Reach reporter Dorene Weinstein at 331-2315.

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