Peaceful Ponds

    • Start seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cool-season crops now. Transplant them to the garden next month and they will be producing for you this fall.
    • Penstemon are bushy, evergreen perennials that attract hummingbirds with their red, pink, lavender or purple trumpet-shaped flowers all summer and fall.
    • Roses need water and fertilizer to keep blooming well throughout the summer. Watch for pests and treat immediately to prevent infestations.
    • Feed annual blooming plants and hanging baskets every two weeks for prolific bloom. Keep dead flowers pinched off.
    • Dig and divide crowded spring-flowering bulbs and tubers including daffodils, scillas, muscari, and bearded iris.

Add a Peaceful Pond to your Landscape

The introduction of a pond into the garden creates a new environment where the flora and fauna will live together in a mutually beneficial relationship.

In order for this to happen, the pond must be designed to reflect natural conditions as closely as possible. It should have marshy or shallow water areas, as well as deeper areas. In the shallow areas live the frogs and newts, beetles and other little creatures along with marsh plants like iris, cannas, arrowhead plant and rushes. Ideally, the marshy area should comprise about one-third of the area of the pond.

The deeper waters of the pond are the home of fish, water lilies and other aquatic plants. Make this section at least 2 feet deep.

The more planning you do, the less work the pond will be later on. Locate the pond where it receives 4 to 6 hours of direct sunshine a day, if you want to grow water lilies and have them flower. Even plants that can take partial sun require 3 hours of sunlight a day to thrive.

If possible, place it away from trees so that the falling leaves and seeds won’t foul the water. The pond should have a surface area of at least 20 square feet so that it will be able to create a balanced water community. The larger the pond the more natural it becomes.

The soil that you remove can be used to landscape the area around the pond or to construct a waterfall. A garden with a natural slope lends itself very well to a waterfall or cascading water feature. Heavy rainfall will cause the pond to fill up, so be sure to install a proper overflow pipe.

A recirculating pump used to run water through a stream or into a fountain will aerate the water, which is particularly beneficial to fish on hot summer days. Ponds don’t use a great deal of water — only that which must be replaced due to evaporation.

Do not locate a pond in a low, wet spot. When the water table is high in the winter, the force of the water underneath will lift the rubber liner, damaging the pond.
Water gardens open up many new possibilities for unusual plants and garden effects. From water lilies and water irises to floating plants and bog plants to go around the edges of the pond, your choice of water plants is wide and varied.

There are two types of water lilies: tropicals and hardies. Hardy water lilies do well in our climate and survive the winters in their pots at the bottom of the pond. Their flowers bloom throughout the summer, with each blossom lasting three or four days. The large, round leaves and splendid flowers float on the surface of the water, opening in the morning and closing in the afternoon. Flowers come in red, white, yellow and pink.

Water lilies require five to six hours of direct sunlight each day. They need 6 to 18 inches of still water over the root ball. Roots are planted in heavy garden soil with no compost.

A garden pond will become more beautiful over time and you will find that it is one of your favorite spots in the garden.

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