Water Gardens: Maintaining
A water garden needs a circulating water system to work. This does not need it needs constant water movement to work though. Many water plants will thrive in stagnant water, like water lilies. However, it is not a good idea to leave stagnant water sit for long periods of time, there should be a way to remove the foul water and refill the pond.
Once you have created the pond, the next step is to fill the pond. You should mark the water level, allow it to stand for a week, and note any leakage. If there is no leakage, than the water can be run off, and water garden can be planted.
The end of May is the best time to plant the hardy nympheas. And the soil should be a combination of the following:
- Pond mud—2 parts
- Loam—1 part
- Leaf-mould—1 part
- Road scrapings—1 part
If you have no access to pond mud, you can use and extra part of loam and leaf mould in its place. You will also need to have a layer of drainage material, like broken tile or brick rubbish, on the pond floor. The compost should be placed on top, to water level, in the areas where the plants are to be located.
The water should be added and let stand until it reached a constant temperature. After this, the plants can be inserted into their mounds, which should have settled down below the surface level. The water can be run off and renewed at two week intervals. This can be done less often is the water does not have the tendency of fouling quickly.
Twice a year, the pond should be thoroughly cleaned, removing all of the decayed matter, leaves, and rubbish which accumulate on the pond floor. Incorporating animal life is a good way to retrain the growth of undesirable vegetable matter. Snails and goldfish are good additions to ponds.
This may seem like a useless and hard undertaking for simply growing some water plants. However, the trouble will be rewarded with the beautiful and healthy flowers that thrive in your pond. The enthusiastic gardener will welcome the challenge that comes with water gardening.
If you have a limited amount of space, you can grow beautiful nymphaes in a tub sunk into the ground. This still gives you the pleasure and beauty of a water garden without all the construction. You should begin by digging a deep hole, about twice the depth of the tub. Fill the bottom with rubble, so that when the tub is set in the hole, the rim will be above the ground.
Make a center bit hole in the bottom of the tub, and fit it with a plug that is long enough to create a good handhold. Nail perforated zing to the underside of the hole to prevent coarse debris running out of the hole and choking the drainage material. This will all help to facilitate the occasional need to change the water.
The hard circular shape of the tub is the only negative part to this appearance. You can mask this by adding some boggy soil around and between tubs, which will allow you to grow small waterside plants. These plants will spread over the rims without masking air and light from the tub.
Rainwater is the best water to use if possible, as nympheas are intolerant of hard water. Introduce fresh water slowly especially if it is colder than the atmosphere. If the water is too cold, the chill can stunt the growth of the plants. You can also loosen the plug to allow the foul water to escape at the same time. You can find a variety of water plants besides the nympheas that may be of interest for your water garden.
Calla is a wonderful and best kept plant for a water garden. A rich tropical plant is the lotus, which is best planted in a tile container as the roots spread through the soil into the ground. The English arrowhead is a bold, handsome, and desirable plant. Typha—the reed-mace, (commonly called "bull rush")—is easily established, and the native yellow flag, though only semi-aquatic, will thrive in shallow water on a deep bed of soil.