Alternative pond plants
Our pond this year.
How about some cactus? Yarrow? Palm Trees? The list is absolutely ENDLESS on what you can fake in your pond! It's.... truly.... utterly....... amazing!!!!! How on earth do you grow a cactus in your pond? I know you're asking yourself that. Well, honestly I don't know if a cactus will survive the humidity of evaporation but if they can then you can do it. Here's how.
Take a pot or trough, making sure they are water-proof then fill with the appropriate soil for whatever species you're growing. Sink this planter in the pond leaving the lip well above the water level. Make sure that if it rains the pond won't rise and flood the containers! I hate seeing a pot sticking out of my water so I plant things in with other plants that will cascade over and hide the pot. Some will even continue to grow in the water itself. I've rooted a lot of plants this way to later distribute them throughout my gardens.
Here's another idea.
Make an island out of rocks and pots. If you're careful with placement of the hollows and crannies you could have a beautiful "waterfall" of sedums, yarrows, junipers and other various plants cascading into your pond. If you restrict the roots on yarrow and give it the occasional "haircut" it will grow "prone" and stay short and compact. It will bloom this way too.
How about a nice raspberry? I am not sure how long these will grow in a pond. Mine have been growing with their roots completely submerged for most of this season. That's a few months and they're growing very well.
Don't forget the hostas! Word on DG is that they make great pond plants.
Your dreams are what lead you...
Our container pond
When planting your water garden with non aquatic plants don't forget to toss in some plain ol` mosses! Draping moss across rocks and stuffing it into nooks and crannies really helps add a lush yet neutral background. Just right for showing off your "New Fangled" pond plants! Another plant I like to use are sedums. I tuck them in with my mosses where they are growing partly in the water. I am not sure what kind I have but it grows just fine with wet feet. The combination of soft moss and spiky yellowish sedum leaves/blooms really imparts a lush river shore feeling.
To a bounty of God's great design.
Vinca growing in our pond.
How about a floating pot you can plant? If it wont sink then you could have an ever moving landscape. This would look best in a larger pond but if done right and special attention was paid to the sizes of each plant then it would work in a very small pond as well. Use plants from your garden of varying heights, shapes and textures. Toss some well aimed rocks and sticks in there too. A beautiful bonsai style conifer would look especially nice if under planted with perennials that stay (or can be trimmed) compact. As long as the container can support the weight you could build a floating mountain out of a lightweight Hypertufa mix, then plant your very own mountain or tropical landscape/s. All this from plants out of your LAND gardens! There's no limit to your imagination, so never limit the ideas in your heart. Try and if you fail, at least you tried. Don't ever let someone tell you it isn't possible.
In my next water gardening article I will go in depth on how to set up a self sustaining pond without the use of mechanical filters or moving water.
Until we talk again,