Monday, 25 December 2006

Aquatic plants

The oxygenators were only about five inches long and had little metal weights on them to aid their journey to the bottom of the ponds, where they would wedge themselves in the soil and begin to grow. Never did we imagine that, with time, they would grow into an underwater forest, a metre long in parts, and that we would have to thin out their growth with garden shears. All the other plants were bare-rooted and had to be potted up in special baskets with holes in the sides and base. We had to use soil which was low in nutrients. That was easy. We dug up an area with clayey soil and used all of that. We used strips of old sacking to line the base of the pots.

For the floating leaved plants we chose a variety of large and small water-lilies. Among the emergent plants we bought are bogbean, arrowhead, the small flowering rush, greater spearwort, water violets, flag irises, and a variety of grasses. In the wetland area we planted bistort, lots of marsh marigold, monkeyflower, ragged robin, loosestrife, golden sedge, water mint, veronica and water forget-me-not. These all continue to flower throughout the season and, with their colour and scent, bring many insects, dragon and damselflies, bees, wasps and hoverflies to the ponds.

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