Types of Water Garden Plants
Cortaderia argentea – Pampas-grass
Pampas-grass has such similar requirements tothat one without the other is almost a crime in the well filled water garden.
It needs a deep (about 3 feet) richand an abundance of moisture and provides a tall growing plant most suited to the rear of your planting area. They can be grown from seed planted in their intended permanent location, but it is more usual to purchase a clump of grass from a nursery and thus provide more instant furnishing.
Pampas-grass can also be cut and dried for use as flower decoration. The right time to cut is in Summer whilst the grass is still green and drying and should be accomplished in a cool airy position. If the grass is gathered wet or allowed to dry in an unventilated place, mildew can form. It is essential that the grass is collected when the exterior is quite dry and dried carefully in a well ventilated place.
A moist peaty soil suits these low growing plants which are well suited to carpeting spare areas of ground. Can also be grown in shallow water around the pond perimeter.
– Pickerel Weed
A beautiful, graceful subject – among the finest of. The arrow-shaped leaves are about 2 feet long and form in close knit tufts, surmounted by spikes of blue flowers. Plant in a minimum of 6 inches of rich soil covered by a couple of inches of water.
americanum – Bog Arum
A deep wet soil suits this plant. A position where the soil is constantly wet or covered by a couple of inches of water is ideal. The large yellow bracts about one foot long precede the even longer shiny leaves (up to 2 feet). Seeds are easily germinated but take three or four years to mature to flowering size.
Requires a deep rich soil covered by 2 or 3 inches of water. Blue-green leaves almost heart-shaped with red stems that are surmounted by a cone-shaped inflorescence of small white flowers protected by four white bracts.
Calla palustris – Bog Arum
A hardy trailing plant with delightful white bracts. It is a scarce variety from the Himalayas and makes an attractive variation from the usual yellow variety, and its snow-white flowers blend well with them. A dwarf plant growing to only 9 inches. Grows best in wet soil conditions or very shallow water, or when trailing over damp spongy soil. A feature of this plant is the bright red seed pods which follow the flowering period. Dainty lily like flowers and heart-shaped foliage.
palustris – Marsh Marigold
Easily grown and propagated, the Marsh Marigold is effective when planted in bold groups at the water’s edge. The abundant golden yellow flowers in Spring make this an attractive plant that is happy in wet soil conditions or can be grown in 3 to 5 inches of water. Grows to 1-1/2 feet.
Caltha palustris plena – Double Marsh Marigold
Caltha palustris plena is another interesting variety. An early blooming plant producing an abundance of double golden yellow flowers throughout the Spring and Summer. Height 1 to 1-1/2 feet. Cover with 3 to 5 inches of water or grow in wet soil.
Acorus calamus – Sweet Flag
Green iris-like leaves sweetly fragrant. Cover with 3 to 5 inches of water, leaves and flowers above water level.
Menyanthes trifoliata – Buckbean, Bog Bean
Although it will thrive in the very moist border, this plant does best planted in tubs sunk in the pool. Soil surface planting depth under water should be about two inches. The flower clusters are carried on strong stalks and are fringed and suffused with pink. Propagation is easily effected from stalk, pegged down into soil until secured by roots, which quickly form.
Veronica beccabunga – Speedwell, Creeping Brooklime
Veronica is a very large family of plants of which beccabunga is one. Shrubby and dwarf in habit, growing only about 6 inches high, it makes a good dense growth and is liable to self seed. A midway position between low growing and tall plants shows Veronica to its advantage. Blue small flowers and glossy foliage.
nummularia – Creeping Jenny
As its name suggests, this plant – attractive though it is – soon overruns weaker subjects and must be kept in check. In moist soil the shoots grow to about three feet and bear an abundance of yellow flowers. Very hardy, and easily increased by division. The stems creep along the ground and up any adjacent plants.
Ranunculus lingua – grandiflora
The large golden-yellow flowers are shown to perfection by the erect dark green foliage. Growing to 2-1/2 feet they will thrive in virtually any water depth from 3 inches to 1-1/2 feet. Blooms throughout the Summer.
Becoming more common, this once rare plant which grows 2 to 3 feet high, has a loose flower cluster of chestnut coloured flower spikes beneath which are the long shiny green leaves, sometimes 2 feet long. The thick root is aromatic and has been used in herbal medicines.
Alisma plantago aquatica – Water Plantain
This handsome, stately plant has pretty flowers in clusters each borne on a short stalk arising from a protective bract. Once sown the flowers are self seeding.
These moisture loving plants are natives of California, and although dwarf in habit, bear a profusion of large beautifully marked flowers. They are hardy and can be easily grown from seed, sprinkled on the damp soil surface, but not covered. Some protection from birds should be given until the seeds have germinated and are growing strongly. Mimulus guttatus is another variety which looks grand when planted in groups with Mimulus luteus.
Eriophorum angustifolium – Cotton Grass
Interesting, sedge-like plants with heads of white cottony seeds – hence the common name. Grows to 1-1/2 feet. Plant roots in wet soil, crown at water level.
Typha angustifolia – Reed Mace, Large Bulrush
This graceful plant has flat leaves 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide which grow to 18-24 inches in height. The leaves grow in tufts from the centre of which grows a stem some 6 or 7 feet high at the top of which is a cylindrical, dark olive spike about 9 inches long.
This is smaller with more slender leaves. The plant grows between 12 and 18 inches high.
This grows to 8 feet and is unsuited to the smaller pool. Container planting is essential for all varieties to keep the vigorous roots in check.
Suited to the larger pond, available in several varieties, some growing 5-6 feet. Large rose pink flowers in Summer.
Filipendula ulmaria variegata – Meadow Sweet
Gold stained leaves, cream flowers. Height: 1-1/2 feet. Plant in moist soil but not too wet.
Zantedeschia calla/aethiopica – The Arum Lily
This is more commonly grown indoors or in the cool greenhouse, although in mild areas they can be overwintered satisfactorily. Large white fragrant flowers with deep yellow spadix. A sheltered and sunny pool suits them best. Plant in deep loam in a basket and sink in 6-9 inches of water. Height: 2-3 feet.
Trollius asiaticus – Orange Globe-Flower
A strong growing, erect perennial herb, with flowers varying slightly, but mainly orange-yellow with bright orange-red anthers. It is a hardy plant which will flourish in a good stiff loam with a moist subsoil. Propagation is by division of the crowns. They can be grown from seed, but will not attain full strength until the third or fourth season.