Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Thursday 17 May 2012

Oxygen for the pond

Filed under: Pond — Helen @ 2:44 pm

Today it didn’t rain, and I went to Squires Garden Centre at Badshot Lea to buy some plants for my ponds. In the temporary pond, I already have some Pontederia Cordata, Iris Laevigata ‘Midnight’ and a water lily ‘Rose Magnolia’. Unfortunately I also have some New Zealand Pygmyweed, which is not approved of by the RHS as it is very vigorous and invasive. I decided I would try to use gentler oxygenators in the raised pond, so I bought some Water starwort (Callitriche) and some Water crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis)

I also bought some plants that weren’t on the list. I bought an Iris ensata because it looked as if it would be pretty, and some handsome Equisetum Japonicum. When I got home I looked up the Equisetum in my book and found that it could be invasive. But it’s probably all right when kept in a pot.

Pond plants: Iris ensata and Barred horsetail

Pond plants: Iris ensata and Barred horsetail

When I got home the first thing I did was to print new labels for the plants so I could take off the existing labels and read the instructions. Then I attempted to “plant” them. You might think that planting marginals and oxygenators is a doddle – just dump them in the pond. It wasn’t that easy. The raised pond has a shelf all around it for marginal planting, but it is designed to hold the plants when they are much bigger and are sitting in very big baskets. The plants I bought today were in quite small baskets, and some of them didn’t want to be very far under the surface of the water. Even those that wanted to be drowned a bit were vulnerable because if they fell off the shelf they probably really would drown.

So I ended up putting some of the plants in the corner of the raised pond, jammed in by edging blocks, and some of the plants in the corner of the shallow pond, again jammed in by edging blocks. This is not ideal because the concrete blocks are not sealed and may leak concrete chemicals into the pond. I think that what I will have to do is to repot the plants into big baskets with heavy stones on the bottom and filled with heavy aquatic compost. I think it would also be useful to get some heavy blocks from B&Q and paint them with pond paint to hold the plants in place.


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