Water gardens

Summer garden maintenance

The new watergarden bed-Installation, October '08

Sometime in late July or early August the garden beds need a tune up.  The ongoing weeding just doesn't do the trick anymore as the edges of the bed blur with the repeated exposure to wind, rain, mower blades and animal traffic.  It is time to get out the edger and redefine the garden bed.  There are few tasks as gratifying as this one.  When the bed is finished, it is so satisfying to see the crisp new edge and pristine soil or mulch.  This bed was produced with the 'Lasagne Method' of gardening.  I cut a strip of grass from the edge and then layered newspaper on the inside towards the pond and covered that with compost and mulch. DSC_0005 The holly bushes and Amsonia were added at this time  as was the Ed Hirle Alberta Spruce on the right edge.  Heuchera 'Caramel' was added and perennial geraniums, 'Claridge Druce', for summer interest. DSC_0001 One of the geraniums needs to be moved as it is in the middle of two of the heuchera and they are a bit shorter.  I did add two metal tutuers and a container to add temporary interest to this bed. DSC_0003 The tutuers hold sweet peas which are bloomingDSC_0009

and the container adds a spark of color.    This bed helps direct traffic (not that there is much) to the bench area.  Sometimes children like to stand on the rocks edging the pool and they are not very sturdy so this is somewhat of a safety issue but in the future, when the holly gets large, this bed will provide a bit of privacy for sitting on the bench and watching the fish swim.DSC_0006 The large grasses on the right were part of the original planting. DSC_0007 The bench is a good place for a morning cup of coffee watching the fish and frogs and listening to the birds. DSC_0008This fall I am going to divide some daylilies and add them to the foreground of this bed.  More bulbs will also be added.  A garden is an evolutionary experience isn't it? 


Flora and fauna

High 31 F
Low  17 F
Before the onslaught of the seriously cold weather I harvested some of the water hyacinths, Eichhornia crassipes,  from the fish pond.  I have a clear glass apothecary jar, of sorts, and thought it would be interesting to try to overwinter a couple plants in the jar on the plant shelf.  The jar looked a bit lonesome sitting on the shelf although the roots of the hyacinth are eerily beautiful floating in the water.  I decided that it might be interesting to add a fish to the water. DSC_0023 The Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), is also known as the "betta fish" or just "beta".  The males are the most colorful and since they are territorial just one to a container is the rule.  They have flair, color and pizzazz.  Betas can live in water with low oxygen levels and these factors seem like the perfect combination for this self-contained water world.   Meet Merlin.  He is a beautiful fish isn't he? DSC_0031 His 'tank' holds about a gallon and a half of water and I have just read that it should be changed weekly.  I didn't know this!  Now, feeling like a neglectful parent, I will add some fresh water and use the removed water to water some houseplants.  This being said, Merlin seems perfectly happy and has been in his new home for about a month now. DSC_0030 I think it must be much more preferable than the one cup container he lived in at the store.  Do any of you have any Beta fish and if so, what special treatment do you give them?


Water gardens and water garden plants!

Monet's Bridge
Last week in my travels I stopped at this water garden center.  Paradise Water Gardens is a large supplier of all things water garden related.  They have a very large mail order catalog and  they do have display gardens.  I think most of their business must be through mail order and web site as the display gardens, while extensive, have  a  utilitarian appearance.

Red lacquer bridge

Display pond with koi

The beauty of the lotus leaf!

Lotus Flower

Lotus pod

Pink Waterlily

Water hyacinth!

I never realized how orchid like the flowers of the water hyacinth appear with that delicate veining and splotch of yellow!  How many of you have water gardens?