Posted: 3 March 2023
If you are thinking about adding a pond to your outdoor space, regardless of size, they can be beneficial to you and the surrounding ecosystem in your garden.
Ponds are exceptionally good for attracting and helping to support wildlife in your garden. Even the smallest of ponds, and those in containers, can attract wildlife such as dragonflies and amphibians such as frogs and newts. It’s also an ideal feeding spot for birds, hedgehogs, and a multitude of insects.
Ponds make a lovely feature in your garden that you can grow plants in and around. In fact, planting in and around your pond makes them even better for attracting wildlife as plants offer shelter and food. Planting in your pond is essential to provide oxygen to the pond water, keeping it clean and fresh.
We’ve been looking at some of the best plants that are ideal for your pond, plants that look beautiful but also have purpose.
In the Spring and Summer months, you are not limited in choice for adding interest to the edges and shallow areas of your pond. At Smith’s, we love the Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold). With its rich green leaves and clusters of large golden flowers, they can look like Buttercups. The colour is beautiful too. Grow these in rich soil towards the waters edge, and in full sun for best results.
Also, Myosotis scorpioides (Water Forget-Me-Nots) are great with their bright blue flowers in the summer that really stand out in the surroundings of a pond. Grow these in wet soil at the water’s edge in full sun or partial shade.
Top tip! If you have a small pond or a container pond, take care when selecting your plants because some can overwhelm the smaller areas. However, they can make a lovely addition to larger ponds.
Planting in the pond can add an extra dimension whilst also providing purpose. Growing submerged plants in your pond can help to oxygenate the water, keeping it clean and fresh for the wildlife that live inside and come to visit.
At Smith’s, we recommend Ranunculus aquatilis (Water-Crowfoot), especially between April and June. During these months, they have dainty white flowers that sit just under the water and are great for a low-maintenance pond, positioned in full sun.
Another flowering plant we would recommend is Hottonia palustris (Water Violet). They produce bright white flowers and like the water-crowfoot, their leaves sit underneath the water. Their leaves are feathery, providing great texture. Whilst categorised as a submerged pond plant, they hold their flowers above water during the spring.
For some more submerged greenery try Fontinalis antipyretica (Willow Moss). This is a fabulous plant for the pond that is best planted attached to a stone.
A pond wouldn’t be a pond without some floating plants. A perfect spot for bees and other insects to land on and we all love to see a frog sitting on a Water Lily.
The most common of the floating plants is the Water Lily. However, some are only suitable for larger ponds. Miniature water lilies are ideal for smaller ponds and even those in containers.
If you are looking for a flowering plant, then the Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (Frogbit) is also perfect – it produces small white flowers in the Spring. They’re also great for foliage right through till the Autumn/Winter period.
A container pond is ideal if you want the benefit of a pond in your garden, but don’t have the room, or don’t want to make it a permanent fixture. They bring the same benefits as a full-scale pond, and the best bit is you can still grow plants in it too!
For a container pond, you can use small-scale water plants. Miniature Water Lilies, Scirpus Cernuus (slender club-rush) and Small Cowslips are lovely miniature plants to use. For something a little different, there is Equisetum hyemale (Dutch Rush). This is a great plant that’s not only interesting and striking to look at, it is low maintenance too. It’s best not to plant Dutch Rush directly in the ground or in a bog garden though, as it can have a tendency to spread if not in a container.
No matter the size or location of your pond, they really help to make a space come alive with wildlife and colour.
Here at Smith’s, we offer a range of Pond Plants & Marginal Plants to help get you started. Come and talk to one of our team to find out more.