Spring in the garden

Where a water garden grows, beauty and tranquillity flows! Celebrate spring by bringing it to your pond with stunning plants and flowers that add colour and texture to the environment. Transform your pond into a tropical oasis by planting these bold beauties.

Louisiana Irises
These easy-going, seductresses of the pond are simply a must for the backyard oasis. Louisiana irises can be grown in pots, raised beds, dug out beds, shallow water, and at the edge of ponds or streams. They produce bold, flamboyant flowers from September through October in all the glorious colours of the rainbow, ranging from pure white, yellow, orange, red, purple, violet, magenta, blue, lilac and pink. Louisiana bloom best in full sun, but will make do with part-time dappled shade. The price to pay for this beauty is a lot of feeding! Visit your nursery for their favourite food, which you can serve at least twice a year during autumn (when they should be replanted) and again about a month before they flower in spring.

Louisiana Irises

Thalia – aka Alligator Flags
Nothing says tropical like lush, overlapping foliage. Thalia dealbata and Thalia geniculate will certainly deliver with their bold paddle-shaped foliage, parading in and around your pond. Thalia dealbata has dusty blue-green leaves, whereas Thalia geniculata has eye-catching red stems. They flower during summer and will flourish in full sun, performing best in rich clay-loam, sandy and mucky, moist to wet soil. Try growing these island-style beasts in large pots to add height and ambiance to your water garden oasis. They have no serious pest or disease concerns and are excellent additions to bog gardens and ponds of varying sizes, growing in standing water of up to 60cm deep. An added bonus is that Thalias are super winter hardy, withstanding temperatures as low as -17° C.

Thalia – aka Alligator Flags

Nymphaea – aka Waterlilies
Nymphaea are total water nymphs and have lured many a wary green thumb into a lifelong devoted relationship with water gardening. While individual blooms may only last 3 to 4 days, a well fertilised Nymphaea will flower profusely from September through April. Their exquisitely perfumed blooms come in shades of white, yellow, peach, salmon, pink, red and blue, which rest gracefully above their floating leaves. Waterlily leaves provide shade and cover for fish, while offering a handy perch place for bees, frogs and other friendly pond critters. They require full sun, all day, and prefer tranquil waters with a depth of 15 to 50 cm above the plant’s container. Transplant waterlilies into larger pots using aquatic plant soil and fertilise regularly with bonemeal.

Nymphaea – aka Waterlilies

(Source: lifeisagarden.co.za)