Our garden pond. Comes alive in early Spring when the frogs arrive. Join me to find what’s in the garden pond.
Many years ago when Myra asked a visiting relative if she wanted to see our new garden pond, the response when she saw it was, that’s not a pond, that is a puddle. I still to this day often refer to it as our puddle. However today is my chance to big it up. I will show the marginal plants and those planted nearby which I think look complimentary, oh and also the fish, I would show the tadpoles but my attempts to photograph them failed. The first pond was installed in the garden in 1987. Kenny a friend of our eldest daughter Audra, expertly set it out with a header tank and small waterfall which flowed into the pond below. It was one of those preformed fibreglass jobs, and we were very happy with it. Sadly, Kenny is no longer with us. A few years later we decided the pond should be larger. Well there you see it as it is today. Yes we still got it wrong, the pond is still too small, but I am afraid that is how it is going to stay.
The first marginal plant to flower is the Lysichiton Camtschatcensis, what a mouthful, others call it the skunk cabbage. The reason for this common name should be obvious but perhaps the offensive odour is only noticeable when planted in mass. Anyway it has been in the same marginal pot for years and continues to improve, pity the leaves get so bloomin big. However when it comes into flower normally in mid April in Aberdeen the blooms itself are only about ten inches tall, and its not until later on in the Summer when the leaves grow very large, about 30″ tall. You know me by now, I keep them in check which doesn’t seem to do any harm, in spite of the photosynthesis thing which we are often told about. This deciduous plant has pure white flowers which you can see and they are not unlike those on the Arum Lily. The RHS were impressed enough to give it their prestigious award of garden merit.
This other form Lysichiton Americanus starts to flower about a week later and is identical in every way except it is yellow, and the leaves are mottled with a darker shade of grey/green I will give you three guesses as to where it comes from.
The Geum Rivale (water avens) is another great plant for the marginal area of the pond. It doesn’t exactly jump out at you but has a very pleasing appearance. This one is native to the UK and is the only Geum that can stand getting its feet wet. The orange/peach blooms appear in May and last until July followed by ornamental seed heads. It is said that they like it moist, as long as the roots are not completely submerged in water, well ours are and have been for ten years.
From the humble buttercup comes the Marsh marigold Caltha palustris. Native to the UK, it makes for a great marginal pond plant. Normally it starts blooming in April,this year it was May before they made an appearance. To be quite honest our pond isn’t exactly situated ideally, facing east puts it rather too much in the shade, however seems like we just about get away with it, although Water Lilies are out of the question, and yes they do grow in Aberdeen, I’ve seen them with my own eyes.
I often think of planting Iris in the borders, the only thing that has put me off in the past is the very short flowering period. There are some beauties though and I am sure to reconsider soon. In the meantime we have the Pond Iris Versicolour Blue Flag. Planted in the marginal shelf it thrives and flowers every year in late June It grows to a height of about 60cm, a little taller in our shady position.
One marginal plant which does survive but looks like it would enjoy a sunnier spot even more is the Trollius europaeus Superbus. I am not so sure if it is normally grown as a marginal plant, however it has been in this same position for eight years with its roots fully submerged in water. It does flower every year, stretching its stems in search of the sun.
The last marginal plant which we have is the Houttuynia cordata Flore Pleno. Extremely happy in our pond flowering July/August, the double white blooms are attractive, however its the heart shaped leaves of this one which I am very fond of. The fragrance is said to resemble that of orange peel. Does very well as a marginal plant and the height is approximately 30cm.
A few goldfish have managed to escape from the Heron since I placed large stones at the bottom of the pond, in a manner where they can hide
I almost forgot to mention. I always liked the idea of having ducks in a garden pond. Well as you can see with our 7ft x 5ft pond this was not very likely to happen. Imagine our surprise when back in March when the weather was glorious, have I mentioned its not very glorious now, when it should be, well anyway a couple of Mallard ducks decided to check it out, what a treat.
Below is a couple of perennial plants which seem to suit the position in a border beside the pond.
Big bold and blowzy is the Filipendula Rubra. Surprised I haven’t featured this one as yet.
Flowering mid Summer is the Rodgersia, very handsome blooms but just look at those leaves.
Experiments with the camera and the longer shots are still ongoing. The picture below is of a west facing border in the back garden. The shot was taken quite late in the evening, no sunshine, clear visibility. I am pleased with this picture.
This border has had more makeovers than Joan Rivers face. The two arching grasses are Stipa Arundinacea, also two Hakonechloa, two Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens and two Uncinia Rubra in the foreground. There is the hardy Geranium Max Frei at the front of the water feature, with the Flower Carpet Rose Gold at either side of it. There is also two Astrantias, self seeded Foxgloves, a Peony and a Cherry Tree.
Another little update on the greenhouse stuff
Flowers of the Aubergine Scorpio have been forming. I will keep you updated.
The tomato plants are getting huge, small fruits are developing, will they ripen? There is also some Gazanias, Pelergoniums and Coleus in the greenhouse.
Finally something that has been bothering me for some time now. Just behind our garden shed there is a hedge of leylandii. Coming up through this hedge is what I thought was some fast growing tree or shrub saplings, however do you think it may look like Japanese Knotweed.