Friday , March 24 2017
Home / Garden Plants / Water Garden

Water Garden

A water feature is an irresistible attraction in any garden. Water can appear in many ways, from formal ponds graced by water lilies and goldfish to a tickling stream bordered by ferns or a simple pond reflecting the silhouette of a clump of irises, there is a style suitable for every setting.
A garden water feature allow you to grow many plants that do not grow in any other conditions.
When deciding which type of water feature to create, bear in mind the size and style of your garden. You can choose from: informal ponds, formal ponds, fountains, water spouts, streams, watercourses, waterfalls, bog and wildlife areas.
  
Pond spring care
When spring show its signs, the weather warms up and the risk of thick ice developing has passed, is time to remove floating electric pond heaters and bring pumps out of store and place them back into your pond to drive fountains, waterfalls or any other moving water features. Before installing any of those features, tidy up the pond by cleaning and removing any dead stems and foliage.
Keep an eye on the weeds so you can keep them under control by scooping them out regularly with a net. As time goes warmer, filamentous algae will soon develop and spread all over your pond, so you have to remove them regularly to not let them cover the pond surface and straggle the pond plants. Use a small net to scoop out accumulated debris or to remove floating duckweed.
You can now lift and divide any marginal plants that have overgrown and replant them in smaller groups. You can even buy new aquatic plants in this period, like water lilies, sedges, iris or reeds, and plant them in aquatic baskets. To bring some extra help in your fight with the algae you can add some extra oxygenating plants to the pond to improve water quality.
Give your aquatic plants a good meal that will help them over the growing period by pushing fertilizer pellets down into the established water plants compost.
If you have fishes in you pond, as the weather is warming up, they will become more active and will need regular feeding, like once a day will be sufficient but if you miss a day or two it will be no problem.
Pond summer care
Warm weather will evaporate water from the pond so is necessary to top up water levels as they fall. Playing water on the surface of your pond will help to aerate the pond water, thing mostly important if you have fish in your pond.
In early summer you can start introducing tender floating plants to the ponds and if the other floating plants are not enough you can still add some more until you cover about two-thirds of the surface area in order to achieve the right balance for your pond. You can also add some more aquatic plants in baskets if they are necessary for a better coverage.
In early summer you can also add fish into your pond, as the water gets warmer they will get acclimatized quickly to the new conditions. Bring the home as soon as possible after you bought them, let the bag to float in the pond for in hour or two until the water temperature from the bag gets the same level as the one from the pond. Cut the bag under water and lat the fish to go out by themselves, not forcing them.
Pond weed, like blanket weed and duckweed are a regular problem of a pond. Remove them regularly using a net or cane. Tidy the pond margins regularly by removing any dead flower stems or leaves. Clear up filters regularly to not let them get clogged up with algae.
Encourage wildlife into your pond, building a pebble beach along one edge on the informal ponds. To help the fish from your pond to get more oxygen you can install a water feature that will keep the water moving and so the oxygen levels will be high.
It is good to have oxygenating plants in your pond as they will help to prevent the algae to spread but they can also become invasive and take over the pond completely. Pull them out with a rake and let them by the side of the pond to dry out and to allow to escape any wildlife that might be hiding in them. They can be added in the compost heap as the weeds can too.
Pond autumn care
In early to mid autumn, before fish go into hibernation for the winter, feed them with floating wheatgerm pallets, which can be digested easily in the cool autumn water.
In late autumn stop feeding fish once the weather turns cooler and they become less active, otherwise unused food will decompose and pollute the pond.
In early autumn lift and divide large marginal plants, or those growing in bog gardens. Cut up or pull apart, ensuring that each piece being replanted has a portion or root and shoot attached.
In mid to late autumn remove any dead or dying foliage from marginal plants as their foliage dies back for winter and take out floating aquatics, that are not frost-hardy. These can be over-wintered in jars of pond water on a bright windowsill indoors, or discarded.
Cover the pond with netting to prevent fallen leaves contaminating the pond. Clear dead leaves from the netting frequently. On small, formal ponds make a frame covered with netting to fit right over the pond. Remove once all leaves have fallen.
Remove pumps and filters. Clean well and replace any worn parts before storing in a dry place until spring.
Float a pond heater on fish ponds, especially those made from concrete, to prevent thick ice forming on the surface. This expands to crack ponds and can trap harmful gases.
Pond winter care
In winter, your pond still might need your attention, because in many regions, ice may form in your pond, trapping methane gas released by submerged or decaying vegetation. This gas have potentially lethal effects on the fish that you might have in your pond. Ice also exerts pressure on the sides of concrete or fiberglass ponds as it expands and may cause them to crack.
Ensure that a small area of the pond remains ice-free. This will prevent the damage of ice pressure and will also allow methane to escape into the air. You can use a floating electric pool heater that will give out just enough heat to maintain a small area of open water.
If you don’t have a heater than you can use instead a ball that will float on the water. When the ice forms, just pour boiling water over the ball and remove it. Then cover the hole with a sack. In a thaw, remove the sack and replace the ball.

Selecting Water Plants

Like any other plants, water plants should be clean, fresh-looking and vigorous. Look for specimens that are growing in tanks that are free from duckweed and algae to avoid introducing them into your pond. Also check the plants to see if the undersides of the leaves are free from jelly-like deposits of snails or whelk eggs and that there are no strands of blanket-weed in the foliage. Once you will involuntary introduce these to you pond it will be hard to get rid of them.

Read More »

Stocking with Fish

If you have a pond in your garden, sooner or later you will want to add some fish into it or other water creatures. Of course you will have wildlife visitors but you might want to have some permanent living creatures in your pond.

Read More »

Water Features

A water feature is an irresistible attraction in any garden no matter how small or big the garden is. Water features vary in type and size and you will always find the right one for your garden. You can find the suitable water feature for every setting. Creating a water feature in your garden you will provide habitat for a specific range of plants as well as attracting a wide range of wildlife into your garden, including newts, frogs, toads, dragonflies and maybe even water birds, depending on how big and wildlife friendly your water feature is.

Read More »

Create a Bog Garden

A bog garden contains permanently moist soil and allows you to grow plants that are well-adapted to such conditions. Bog gardens associate well with water features, helping to integrate them into the wider garden. They can also make an attractively lush feature in their own right. Mid spring is an ideal time to make a new bog garden.

Using flexible liner when you create your garden pond is easier to extend the excavation to create a depression of 45 cm deep for an adjacent bog garden. Buy a piece of liner that is large enough to cover both areas and lay it on a bad of sand. The piece of liner that is covering the bog garden needs to be perforated with few holes and lined with a layer of gravel of 5 cm deep to provide a good drainage.

Read More »

Water Lilies

White Lilies Image

One of the most common plant that we grow in our ponds is Nymphaea, on its common name of water lily. They are a graceful addition to any kind of pond, whether is a formal pond, a natural setting or a city courtyard, by their elegant floating cups and lush foliage. Their foliage also help to keep the water clear because they are large and create shade, thing that is helpful to control the growth of algae.

Their flowers vary in shape from star-like to globlet-shaped and peony blooms and color from the purest white to cream, shades of red, yellow or blue. Some of them have even perfumed flowers. Most of them bloom in the daytime but there are some that open at sundown.

White Lilies Image Violet Lily Image Pale Pink Lily Image

They will like a place where will be full sun several hours a day, a calm water at about 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). They will need full sun for a rich bloom, otherwise they will only develop a mass of leaves and only few flowers.

Read More »

Water Garden Plants

We use plants in any garden design, so the plants are important also in the water garden design. Plants with lush foliage and flowers enhance the pool and link it with the rest of the garden. Plants are vital to maintain clear water in the pool and to oxygenate the water if the pool contains fish. Plants should be introduced into the pool during their growing season and planted in containers (lined baskets, plastic tubs, dishpans, clay pots) to prevent them from spreading and overcrowding. Fish can be introduced into the pool 2-3 weeks after planting the plants, but it is best to wait about 4-5 weeks in order to give enough time for the plants to get established.

There are specific type of plants that are suitable for a water garden design. They range from plants that thrive in deep water to plants that require moist soil only around their root tips. There are six main categories of plants that are used in a water garden design: oxygenators, deep-water plants, surface floaters, marginals, bog plants and moisture-loving plants. A properly planted mix of all of those types of plants will ensures a thriving and self-sustaining system.

Read More »

Plants for Ponds

water-hawthorn

Aquatic plants add color and structure to a pond and they are also essential for the well-being of the pond life. Floating plants leaves are shading part of the surface and discourage the rapid developing of algae. Submerged, oxygenating plants revitalize and oxygenate the pond water. The roots of aquatic plants also play a good part in removing minerals on which the algae feed so the algae are discouraged to form in your pond.

Water hawthorn (Aponogeton distachyos) is an aquatic plant with long, oval, floating leaves that grow from a tuberous rhizome and bears white, sweetly scented hawthorn-like flowers, with purple-brown anthers that open in spring and autumn. The flowers are held just above the water surface on forked branches. It is adapted to growing in ponds and vleis which dry up in summer. The dormant tubers sprout again as soon as the pools fill in autumn. If you want to propagate this plant divide the rhizomes of mature plants when the plant is in its dormant period and repot them into aquatic baskets. Roots must be 30-90 cm deep in the water. The seeds of Water hawthorn germinate freely on the water surface so the young seedlings can be collected and grown on. They will reach flowering size in one growing season given ideal conditions.

Read More »

Miniature Pond

When we say miniature pond we are talking about a water garden in a container. Those water gardens in containers are suitable for small gardens, where the space does not allow the building of conventional ponds or installing preformed pond kits.

There are few factors that will determine the success of a container water garden. The plants that you will buy must be carefully selected and then placed in their appropriate light conditions in order  to survive and achieve their potential. The container should be big enough, blend with the surroundings where you intend to place it and provide an adequate depth and surface area of water to suit the plants that you have chosen. Some plants that are vigorous can quickly take over the whole container if you will fail to exercise proper control. The surface should also be partly covered with foliage so the water does not become fouled by algal growth.

Read More »

Marginals and Bog Plants

flowering-rush image

At the edge of the ponds and streams is the perfect place for marginals - plants that like to grow in shallow water. Those plants are important for pond wildlife. Bog garden plants like moist soil but with a good drainage, they don't like to stay in water or in waterlogged soils. Those plants are used to make the connection between the pond and the rest of the garden.

Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) is a rhizomatous perennial, marginal plant, with tall, rush-like foliage and showy umbels of flagrant pink flowers that appear in late summer. It can grow in water that can vary between 5-25 cm deep. Propagation can be done by dividing the rhizomes in early spring, just before the plant that its growth.

Marsh marigold or Kingcup (Caltha palustris) is a herbaceous perennial, marginal plant, easy to grow. It has deep green foliage with rounded to kidney-shaped leaves and waxy texture. and bright yellow, waxy flowers that appear in spring. It grows well in boggy ground or very shallow water of about 15 cm deep. It will grow and spread into good clumps but will not become invasive. Propagate by division of the clump in early spring or late summer.

Read More »