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Monday, February 13, 2006

Plants for Water Garden

Nymphaea 'Froebelii'
Water lily

Although ideal for smaller ponds, including barrel ponds, the 10-13cm diameter flowers are still a good size. These are deep pinkish-red with central stamens of orange-red. Its leaves are an attractive bronze as they unfurl in spring. Plant in a water depth of 15-30cm.

Propagate by division of rhizomes in spring. Separate offsets or remove plantlets.

Nymphaea 'Pygmaea Helvola'

Pygmy water lily

For restricted areas, or moderate ponds where more than one lily is to be grown, this is ideal. Leaves, heavily mottled with purple, are attractive and not overpowring. They are joined by semi-double, clear yellow flowers 5-8cm across in summer. Plant in depths of 15-23cm.

Propagate by lifting, dividing and replanting into baskets for aquatics.

Nymphoides peltata

Fringed water lily

Suitable for a wildlife pool, teh leaves resemble small lily pads and grow from long runners, quickly colonizing the water surface. Bright yellow flowers 2cm with fringed petals are held above the water by stout stalks in summer. Water depth 15-60cm.

Propagate by division in spring or separate runners in summer.

Stratiotes aloides

Water soldier

A curious free-floating plant, the rosette of spiky leaves hangs half in and half out of the water. As the temperature drops in autumn, rosettes sink to the warmer depths of the pond, rising again the following spring. White flowers are sometimes borne in summer.

New plants form from spreading stems and can be separated in spring. Water depth 30-90cm (1-3ft).

Myriophyllum aquaticum
Parrot's feather, Diamond milfoil

Submerged or marginal, parrot's feather pokes its stems of feathery foliage above water and will climb happily up the pond's banks. Submerged leaves are longer than emergent ones; the summer flowers are so tiny that nobody really notices them.

Propagate by cuttings. Grow in baskets of loamy soil in water 15-90cm (6-36in) deep.


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