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I need planting ideas for a big pond in a field

(12 Posts)
MintyDixCharrington Sun 12-Aug-07 22:39:06

So we are excavating a pond. It is in the corner of a field, away from the house, beautiful views all around. I want to plant things that reflect in the water, but that don't look too "garden-y" and more "natural landscape-y". I haven't managed to come up with much more than Cornus Alba Sibirica for the lovely red stems in winter. And maybe some birch. Any ideas? Both for around the pond (1/2 acre-ish) and on the island in the middle (a sort of oval shape around umm 20 ft long?)

I know there is also a school of thought which says don't plant anything, let things seed and see what comes - does anyone have any experience of this?

Alva Sun 12-Aug-07 22:43:24

Irises? Bullrushes? Also - this won't reflect in the water, but I saw a gorgeous photo in a book once where the meadow around a pond had had paths mown into it - looked amazing.

MintyDixCharrington Mon 13-Aug-07 09:12:00

ooh alva you think like me!

yes I want definitely want mown paths leading to it. the field is very very fertile (has had cows pooing in it for 200 years) so I can't do much in the way of wild flowers particularly, but I thought maybe some stands of trees (birch? beech? natives mostly) and slightly serpentine mown paths leading to it and then you come to the pond and then...?????

as I say I haven't got much past dogwood for the colour. And I have to put a Gunnera or two somewhere - I've always wanted to grow one because they are so enormous and cool.

Yellow irises - quite right. Not sure about actually planting bullrushes or any other rushes - I think they come by themselves (herons bring them on their feet apparently)and I don't want them to take over.

Do you think maybe a big maple and some viburnums on the island to reflect in the water?

Alva Mon 13-Aug-07 22:42:52

It's all sounding very Japanese, in a good way - landscape rather than courtyard. Especially if you are likely to have herons dropping by. Gunneras would be lovely. And a maple would make a real feature of the island. Maybe one of those that goes orange rather than the reddish purple ones? Would blow the budget - but then if you have a really spectacular maple you could see what self-seeded otherwise!

MintyDixCharrington Mon 13-Aug-07 23:21:54

we have herons already checking it out, and it is a half excavated pile of clay! with some puddling - maybe they are eating frogs or something. amazing. I love them - of course my dh is muttering about his (as yet non-existent) fish stocks ha ha

I thought maybe a big sugar maple - they go orange I think

Yes I think maybe a light touch - a few lovely trees, a gunnera and some dogwood and see what happens after that!

NadineBaggott Mon 13-Aug-07 23:23:58

we've got yellow irises in the pond - they've gone bloomin berserk and I can't get in to rip some of them out. Likewise the lilies have multiplied like mad - there's no room fo rthe blardy fish.

we inherited this pond and don't have clue what we're doing

NadineBaggott Mon 13-Aug-07 23:24:17

we have a net over to stop the herons

MintyDixCharrington Mon 13-Aug-07 23:31:20

I've bought a rowing boat on ebay so I'll be able to row around ripping out plants in the wrong place!

I can't net the thing - for starters its too big, and if I did - how would I row around?!

NadineBaggott Mon 13-Aug-07 23:32:04

oh blardy hell, ours won't take a boat!

shall we start calling you Cap'n?

MintyDixCharrington Mon 13-Aug-07 23:34:06

aye, you varmint
show some respect or I'll make you walk the plank

KerryMumbledore Mon 13-Aug-07 23:36:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crimplene Thu 30-Aug-07 20:31:06

'Wait and see what turns up' will take ages and it will go through some really horrible looking green stages before it looks good. Make sure you have lots of shallow bits (1m and under) as most of the interesting things grow in shallow water.

In the pond, I'd go for some white waterlilies (Nyphaea alba) and possibly pond lilies as well (Nuphar lutea) if you like the look of them, common water crowfoot (Ranumculus aquatilis), water soldier (Stratiotes aloides), broad-leaved pondweed (Potomageton natans) - and any other Potomageton for that matter, spiked water milfoil (Miriophyllum spicatum)

In the edge, the pond sounds plenty big enough for some yellow flag irises (Iris pseudacorus), you also couold look at: bulrushes (Typha angustifolia), Branched bur-reed (Sparganium erectum),floating sweet grass (Glyceria fluitans), amphibious bistort (Polygonum amphibium), common reed (Phragmites phragmites) as it's so beautiful with the sun shining through it and good for wildlife, arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia), water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica) flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

All of the above are native so will look natural, many of them are pretty spectacular. Plant in blocks so it doesn't look bitty.

You can get chunks of plants form other people's ponds when they clear out in Autumn - but make sure they don't have any species in you don't want hitching on them.

Don't put any fish in ideally, but you could put in a few sticklebacks (they'll breed), or if you want something decorative, even though they're not native, go for some golden orfes rather than goldfish or koi. Don't add any fish until the pond's been established for a few months and there's plenty of plant cover. It will attract ducks and geese as there's an island, but don't feed them unless you want lots of ducks and a green pond with no wildlife.

I'll think of some more ideas after supper

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