6 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Pond5th August 2021
A pond will always be a wonderful addition to any garden, bringing with it all sorts of benefits for wildlife – and you’re sure to see all manner of frogs, toads, birds, insects and newts if you do decide to have this kind of water feature installed outside.
But what to plant in your new garden pond? There are all sorts of amazing plants you can go for, so it’s simply a matter of doing some research and picking out your very favourites. Here are a few of our favourite plants to help get you started. Which will you pick first?
Marsh marigold (Marginal or bog garden)
This is an excellent marginal plant for any pond that comes in two colours, either a vibrant yellow or white with a yellow centre. The yellow Marsh marigold is a native plant that grows up to 50cm tall whilst the white is smaller, around 25cm, and is a cultivar so not strictly native. The white is ideal for container ponds, barrels and smaller ponds where space is limited, but equally will be a lovely addition to larger ponds especially if planted in groups.
These are amongst the earliest marginal plants to flower, usually starting in March (though in some mild years occasionally late February) and going through to April/May, so provide a good early food source for pollinators. They will usually produce a second flush of flowers in mid to late summer.
Water forget-me-nots (Marginal or bog garden)
Another of our favourite natives, these have very pretty small blue flowers that are excellent for wildlife, flowering as early as May and continuing right through the summer. They will raft across the water, providing cover and habitat for pond life, and are especially popular with newts who like to lay their eggs in folded over leaves!
Purple loosestrife (Marginal or bog garden)
Looking for a beautiful plant for your pond? Purple loosestrife would be a wonderful addition, since it grows tall spires of stunning pinky-purple flowers which bees and other pollinators also love, so you’ll be helping support local biodiversity, as well as having a gorgeous pond to admire. They can grow quite tall (up to 1.5m) so for smaller ponds the Purple loosestrife ‘Robert’ (not strictly native) is a smaller slightly neater cultivar which grows to around 75cm.
Lesser water plantain (Marginal or bog garden)
This is a much smaller compact version of the Water plantain (Alisma plantago aquaticum) which is ideal for smaller ponds or in groups in larger ponds. It is very pretty, producing masses of small very pale lilac flowers from May through to late summer, so another great plant for pollinators. If you have space the larger Water plantain is a striking addition to any pond.
Irises (Marginal or bog)
There is only one native iris, the Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus), which is one of the largest water irises and grows up to 1.5m tall producing lovely bright yellow flowers in June/July. As well as providing food for pollinators when many other flowers have not come into bloom it is a good strong upright that Dragonflies nymphs use to climb out of the pond before metamorphosing into fully-fledged Dragonflies! Not suitable for smaller ponds due to its size and vigour so a good alternative for smaller spaces is the Iris versicolor or Iris versicolor ‘Kermesina’ which are very reliable flowerers.
Water lily (Deep water)
Every pond needs a water lily! Not only do they look beautiful but they perform several important functions in the pond: providing cover for wildlife in the pond from predators; helping to keep the water cool and cutting down sunlight to help control algae; and providing landing pads for Dragonflies and Damselflies to lay their eggs. They come in all different colours and sizes so make sure you choose one suitable for your pond -see our lilies categorised by size and also colour to help you choose (we are happy to advise). There is only one native lily, the ‘Alba’, which is white and one of the largest, so not suitable for ponds of less than about 5 sqm.
A really good, reliable and robust native oxygenator that provides a good habitat for many pond creatures. It grows into long strands with bottle-brush like foliage that turn green in late spring and summer before blackening in cold winters and sinking to the bottom of the pond, reappearing again in spring.
Water crowfoot (Oxygenator)
This is a native oxygenator that lives mostly under the water, but you’ll see some beautiful foliage appearing on the surface in May, with white flowers that have a gorgeous yellow centre. Bees, butterflies and hoverflies all love a bit of water crowfoot!
Take a look at the range of pond plants for sale we have in our online shop.