• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up

Little Shop of Horrors - How EI frightened the gardener


The Ajuga is growing in soil outside the pond liner and it isn't boggy, but it does trail over the edge and into the water and seems happy.

The large area of plant to the right is water forget-me-not, Myosotis scorpioides. It's a great plant and I recommend it heartily. It is evergreen, although some of the stems and leaves do blacken during the winter and it looks slightly untidy. Soon it'll come into flower, producing little blue flowers with yellow centres just like the 'normal' forget-me-not. I don't know if they're related or if this is just an example of convergent evolution.

Further round on the right there's a new patch of mare's tail Hippuris vulgaris, and behind that is a new patch of marsh marigold Caltha palustris 'Auenwald', which has now finished flowering. In the middle, with a plastic trellis for support against the wind, is a Pontederia lanceolata, which should grow well over a metre tall and bear purplish-blue flower spikes in later summer. Behind the heron, the water is only a couple of inches deep and there's a patch of Summer snowflake Gratiola officinalis, and I've also grown some purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria from seed which I'm going to plant in that area.

To the left in the foreground of the picture is the large area of watercress, Nasturtium officinale. Right in the very central foreground there is some pickerel weed Pontederia cordata, which seems slow to get going this year, and also another plant similar to purple loosestrife whose name I've forgotten but it could be a member of the mint family because it has the characteristic square-section stems. There's also a very cute little plant called American water willow Justicia americana, which produces small white and purple orchid-like flowers.

There are no fish in the pond, but I have seen newts again this year. I didn't get any frogs breeding this year, although I've seen an adolescent frog in the pond - they seem to like staying in the pond for longer than the adults. As I mentioned, I stole a bucketful of frog tadpoles and these have grown fat on the remaining algae in the margins - you can often see the floating plant (Azolla caroliniana) moving as they wriggle about below.

Thanks Mike. Just looking for ideas for a new wildlife pond i'm planning. I have a very similar mix to yours in my fish pond but looking for smaller species which will cover the edge for the new one. The Ajuga is something I have lots of so will give that a go and the Summer snowflake looks interesting if I can find it. Its the smaller species I have problems with as my dog likes to pull anything grass like or small enough out of the pond and relocate to somewhere I can't find or alternatively shred it (normally only a problem for the first few days, I guess till it doesn't smell of us, but some things are just too irresistible and get "played with" until there's nothing left. Miniature bulrush fits that bill with her). So new pond will be going in the front garden where she doesn't go.