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20/02/2014 at 12:04

Afternoon all.

My pond (2.6 metre x 1.8 metres x 61cm at its deepest) as you well know is now installed and the pump is running happily. I was told by the lovely people who supplied the pond (pump, and my two fish who they even looked after over the winter til the pond was installed - what service!) That plants would start to be available from March onwards.

I'm trying to come up with native plant ideas that will add colour and height to the pond. Does anyone have any suggestions? We don't have much of a design style in the garden so the plants don't need to conform to any modern / classic styles!

20/02/2014 at 13:24

Hi Clarington, puddleplants.co.uk have a whole section of native marginals and also native plants especially attractive to wildlife.

20/02/2014 at 13:50

Hi Clarington. If you go on eBay and do a search for 'pond plants', you will get loads of specialist sellers (I think Puddleplants are on there), lots of pictures for you to browse as well.

Colour and height? For colour you can't beat Marsh Marigold, but they are low bushy plants. Water forget me nots are a lovely light blue which set off beautifully against the yellow of the marsh marigold and flower most of the season.

For height, I love purple loosestrife and Lysimachia (yellow loosestrife) - the veriagated lysimachia is really lovely and is about 15" tall - flowers for a long time. Iris in lots of colours add height also, although I have found them to be temperamental.

I found a good site when I was planting up here:

http://www.pond-life.me.uk/plants/index.php

The site doesn't sell plants but it is full of good photos, advice and descriptions, and all the plants are categorized into bog, marginal, deep water and floating plants.

I have found that quite a few plants cross over between bog and marginal (i.e they will survive in muddy soil and in water up to about 5" or so).

Good luck with it - I love my pond and envy you planting up for the first time.

 

20/02/2014 at 14:17

 

Some great native marginals include Flag Iris, Purple Loosestrife, Marsh Marigold, Marsh Orchids, Meadow Sweet. You can get plugs for these and more from: Naturescape or http://www.wildflowers.co.uk/ or seed from Emorsgate Seed.

 

Good luck.

20/02/2014 at 14:42

Oh thank you ever so!!

20/02/2014 at 15:18

Now I'm confused. I thought marginal just meant it lived on the edge of the pond where it was shallow but they say soil "moist". I think in the pond would be soil "saturated" ?!

21/02/2014 at 01:01

I'm confused about Lobelia 'Queen Victoria' as I've seen it described as not liking to be in badly drained soil in the winter but it's also sold as a pond marginal and Charlie Dimmock planted it in the shallow edge of a pond on her garden revival segment.

21/02/2014 at 10:14

Clarington, marginal plants live in the pond in shallow water - if you have made a 'shelf' in your pond, marginals sit on that shelf. Plants that live in any moist soil at the side of the pond are called bog plants. Just to confuse the issue further (!!) some plants are happy as either marginals or bog plants.

Ashleigh,  Lobelia Queen Victoria can be either a bog or a marginal pond plant - in fact it is one of the plants that Illustrates what I have said to Clarington. I have tried growing Victoria in a herbaceous border and it failed (but that may have been just something I did to it.)

I have always been a Charlie Dimmock fan, but the thing that really confused and  annoyed me about Charlie's pond revival is that she spent most of the segment encouraging us to plant native pond plants but when it came to planting her own pond she stuck in lots of non natives because she wanted some 'colour'. Queen Victoria, as a case in point, comes from the Americas.

21/02/2014 at 12:21

Lobelia Queen Victoria is slug food!!  You will have to protect it.  But you will be amazed how determined the critters are to get at it!

Lovely plant, mind.

22/02/2014 at 07:09

Oh dear. Who  thought it would be quite so complicated!  Too much for my fluffy brain this morning 

24/02/2014 at 13:55

This is hard work! I'm quite tempted by:

  • Typha minma (don't know if its native or not)
  • Common Cotton grass (native)
  • Blue/Purple Iris (definitely not native but a beautiful colour)
  • Greater pond sedge (native & good for wildlife)
  • Water mint (native & good for pollinators)
  • Fringe lily (native & will provide some much needed shelter for the fish)
  • Hair grass (native)
  • Arrowhead native (native)

Oh dear this could get expensive. I just hope the pond is big enough!!

 

(This must be what girly girls feel like when clothes shopping!!)

 

24/02/2014 at 14:20

Wouldn't know how girly girls feel Clari! 

Mint is great for fish cover, but like it's culinary pal it's very invasive so keep it contained or it'll take over the whole pond. It'll grow on boggy ground as well. I had a corkscrew rush in my last pond which was very attractive and good cover for fish. Juncus effusis 'Spiralis' is it's name I think. Caltha palustris - the marsh marigold is useful for margins or boggy areas and will seed around. It can almost be a weed if it likes it's home! It's in flower at this time of year so a handy one for some early colour. A really useful one is Equisetum which is a relative of Horsetail , but before you panic, it's a cultivated form. I had it in my first pond - it's very architectural and ideal for dragonflies to climb out the pond when they're ready. 

24/02/2014 at 15:40

Fairy. I had rather intended on keeping all my plants in the large plastic baskets you can get (which at least allows me to make the 12th adjustment to their position in the first month as I am awful for things like that!) That should be enough to keep the plants (esp. the mint) contained shouldn't it?

24/02/2014 at 17:41
Clarington wrote (see)

This is hard work! I'm quite tempted by:

  • Typha minma (don't know if its native or not)
  • Common Cotton grass (native)
  • Blue/Purple Iris (definitely not native but a beautiful colour)
  • Greater pond sedge (native & good for wildlife)
  • Water mint (native & good for pollinators)
  • Fringe lily (native & will provide some much needed shelter for the fish)
  • Hair grass (native)
  • Arrowhead native (native)

Oh dear this could get expensive. I just hope the pond is big enough!!

 

(This must be what girly girls feel like when clothes shopping!!)

 

Here's a list I compiled. I got it from the NHM website, then they took it down. I have noticed a couple of mistakes but more than 99.9 accurate. 

Use your find facility on your browser to check if they're included on the list. If not, it's probably not native. 

 

By the way, don't totally exclude the idea of none-natives, especially if it's a species, that is not a hybrid and closely related to our native stuff, such as Siberian Iris which are like our yellow flag but blue. There's a few very similar and all will play the same role for bees. Avoid hybrids because they could well offer little benefit for wildlife, not always but it's more likely, if in doubt do without.

24/02/2014 at 23:43

Hi Clarington, delighted you asked this question – I’m in the same situation desperate to get planting up a new pond (filled last October). I’ll be back here to keep an eye on this thread

25/02/2014 at 07:19

Shirlsgw my local pond place has told me they'll be getting plants in from mid-March (and they have all of the ones on my list). Not long now!

25/02/2014 at 12:54

The info above is great, and will help me when I make my pond this summer.

26/02/2014 at 23:51

Thanks Clarington,

I think it will be the same up my way. I've ordered a couple of plants online so we will see when they turn up - prob mid to late March with them.

27/02/2014 at 07:55

Clari big pots will be fine for the mint. It's easy enough to pull out if it gets thuggish anyway. I know what you mean about moving things - a pond's no different to a border in that respect! 

27/02/2014 at 09:03

At least anything that goes a little "too well" in the pond can't escape across the borders like other weeds! My parents have a large pond which fills with this one oxygenating weed. I don't know what type it is only that we damn near fainted when we saw it for sale at £5 for a few pathetic little strands and there we were removing two or three wheelbarrows a year at least just to avoid the fish being smothered in it!

 

Oh well. Inching closer to March! I'm rather looking forward to BBQ season!

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