Just like icing on a cake, choosing the right water plants to your water garden adds natural beauty. Water plants also help with the ecological balance of your pond for healthy fish. Based on your water garden setting and effect you would like choose plants based on their mature height, spread and sunlight. While most home pond keepers tend to focus on aesthetics be aware of the important role natural plants play in the healthy ecosystem right in your own backyard. Choosing the right plants mean less toxic and expensive chemicals. Also less reliance on expensive mechanical filters. Here are the primary natural benefits of selecting the right mix of aquatic plants:[list][*]Oxygenation and filtration plants[*]Cool season plants[*]Warm season plants[*]Floating, submerged and shallow water plants[/list]One of the biggest and immediate benefits is the control of algae. Once you find the right natural mix of plants that win that important battle you are on your way to enjoying your backyard water garden - with natural solutions and less reliance on manmade chemicals. Be sure to check out this terrific article on natural solutions to creating a healthy pond environment. Once you have the "water biology basics" down you are ready to move on to the fun part, selecting the right plants that matches your pond's location and specific needs for your look and feel. If you are an experienced flower gardener you already know the basics. Choose plants that match your growing zone. Pay attention to height and location in your pond. Lastly, strive for color throughout the growing season. Enjoy this wonderful resource
PA has one of the more interesting stories of its Governor's mansion. The Governors' first official residence was on South Second Street in downtown Harrisburg. Because of the many crisis planning meetings necessary during the Civil War Governor Andrew Curtain concluded the residence was too small. The next residence for the governor was known as Keystone Hall and was located on North Front Street in Harrisburg. Unfortunately, it was a large and drafty building with small sized rooms. Not ideal for conducting business and social events. After 79 years of use Governor Arthur James lead the legislative process necessary to procure property at Front and McKlay Streets in Harrisburg in 1941. However, the onset of WWII delayed the actual building of the $2.5 million Governor's Mansion until 1966. Now, don't start feeling too sorry for all the governors that had to endure a long wait for their official state home. Three Governors, lived at the State House, a fieldstone residence at Fort Indiantown Gap. This was for the adjutant general of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Two governors chose to reside in Keystone Hall. The last Governor at Keystone, David Lawrence, sold Keystone Hall at auction for $85,000, and moved his family to the State House.
After years of postponement, ground was broken for the new Governors Residence on November 22, 1966. In December 1968, Governor and Mrs. Raymond Shafer (1967-1971) became the first occupants of the newly constructed home. Unfortunately planners from the 1940's era neglected on one key factor, the mighty Susquehanna river flood plain. Less than four years later after the first family moved in the historic Agnes flood of 1972 struck the northeast. In fact, Governor Milton Shapp (1971-1979) and his family had to be evacuated by boat. At the peak of the flood waters there was over 5 feet of flood water on the first floor. It took nearly two years to restore the residence to normal use. During Governor Thornburghs administration, a screened porch was built for the first family. Years later, First Lady Michelle Ridge spearheaded a major garden renovation that visitors continue to enjoy today.
The latest governor at the time of this writing, Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf continue to live in Toms childhood home in York County, but utilize the residence for official functions, meetings and other events. We recognize the 6 BR mansion for state business and social functions open to the public with the kickoff to our latest Harrisburg PA video.