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Ideas on what to plant in these areas near my pond?

I've just had some very messy and overgrown reeds dug out near my pond, they had increased so much they were taking over the areas and if we tried to cut them back it seemed to compromise the rest of the plant.

I have grown hosta by the pond very successfully but they die down in winter, I was hoping to plant something that will show all year round but it is very wet being right next to the stream/pond. There is some sunlight/partial shade.

The first two photo's show the reeds before removal.
Photo's 1 + 3 are the same area but from different angles. 
Photo's 2 + 4 are the same area.

The text was directed at my sister so ignore the bit about the cat ... not sure why the photo's are so big either, sorry.

Is it 'marginal' plants I need to be looking up?  What is that green stuff in the water?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.













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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    edited September 2021
    The green stuff is duckweed. It can be a nuisance, so you'll need to keep scooping it out with a net.
    That stuff you're taking out can be very invasive, so keep an eye out for any bits that have hung around! 
    Marginals are plants which are happiest in the shallowest areas of the pond - the pond edges. They can also be sited in the damp ground alongside, depending on the plant. There aren't many which are evergreen, so you'd be better looking at some standard ground cover for the edges, along with a few evergreen shrubs - ones which will give cover for wildlife, not get too big that they'll affect light, and perhaps ones with early colour.
    If the ground's suitable, some of the Japanese azaleas would fit the last criteria. As long as the soil isn't too alkaline, most of those will be good. Again, check the sizes as some do get big, and not all are evergreen. 
    Many of the Carexes are good too - pick some of the smaller, variegated ones like Evergold, for the best effect. Anything that will cope with damper conditions is suitable, and early bulbs are good for that too - snowdrops and snakeshead fritillaries for example.
    As for marginals which are longer lasting for foliage, Acorus is good, and even just the marsh marigolds - Caltha. They can be evergreen in mild winters. Have a look on some of the pond plant suppliers' websites - Puddle Plants and Devon Pond Plants are both good, as is Waterside Nursery.  :)

    Just looking out my window at my pond - native primulas and Hellebores are also good for permanent planting if conditions are reasonably damp. Primulas in general are very useful. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • I have some very boggy areas and I can't think of anything that grows there and looks good over winter. Some plants hold on to some foliage but generally look tatty. I usually just  tidy them up and look forward to spring! Some plants like Caltha palustris (Marsh marigold) and Lysichiton are early into growth and the skunk cabbage foliage is impressive all summer and the primulas put out early foliage too..
    However you could use dogwoods for winter colour. They grow in boggy soil here for preference . Cornus sibirica, and Cornus  sibirica 'Midwinter Fire' will give you plenty of good colour from their bare twigs over winter, and can be pruned if need be to limit size and/or encourage new growth which has the brightest colour. These two are plain green in summer but other varieties of Cornus alba will give you yellowish leaves (C.alba aurea) or prettily variegated ones,  (C. alba elegantissima), but still have red stems in winter.
    They may still be larger than you want, however, as though they can be pruned back to the ground and will regrow - this is often done to the first two - it can weaken growth if done every year and  I think is detrimental to their appearance, especially of the elegantissima which makes a nicely shaped small tree if allowed to do so.
  • Flag irises, Rodgersia. Drumstick and candlestick primula.gunnera.Azaleas prefer semi shade. By the way, I am SERIOUSLY jealous!
  • Look at Persicaria amplexicaulis, Purple Loosestrife (my favourite bog plant), Rodgersia, Astillbe or Aruncus, Hydrocotyle in very wet ground (for ground cover), Siberian iris or Candelabra Primula for spring flowers.
    You even have room for Rheum...these grow quite large but can be effective even so.
    Most bog or marginals will die back over winter but a dogwood would give a nice show - the thing is during the warmer months they're essentially just a large leaved green shrub. I still have a few in my "wet" garden though.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    I don't think there's a shortage of shade on the site.... ;)
    We had some of the red Berberis at the last house which was really effective - especially if it's allowed to have full rein and grow properly. No problem with any wildlife eating it either - repels everything.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Flag irises, 
    The only precaution I would suggest is plant Yellow Flag iris in a large aquatic basket - nice though it is - once it's estsablished there aint no stoppin' it!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    Yes - it's a thug. I think @ren.b already has some - looks like it in the 2nd pic.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ren.bren.b Posts: 161
    Fairygirl said:
    Yes - it's a thug. I think @ren.b already has some - looks like it in the 2nd pic.

    Well spotted!!  I nearly killed myself trying to tidy that damn Iris, it was planted in a little basket when the pond was built, it has spread back onto the ground and into the pond itself.  I might divide it and just leave a small piece.  I've just dug up about eight siberian iris from my border and moved to clumps to the stream but not sure if they will like the shade.  Not my favourite plants when they start drooping over ... got lots to think about now with all the info from everyone ... just got a message from a local nieghbourhood site, someone has got lots of pieces of York stone (for free) .... hoping to get some for those gaps ... I bet that big piece has dropped into the bloody pond.
  • ren.bren.b Posts: 161
    Flag irises, 
    The only precaution I would suggest is plant Yellow Flag iris in a large aquatic basket - nice though it is - once it's estsablished there aint no stoppin' it!

    I have realised that lol .... it's spreading out like crazy ... the pond guys planted one tiny one and it's gone mad!
  • ren.bren.b Posts: 161
    Flag irises, Rodgersia. Drumstick and candlestick primula.gunnera.Azaleas prefer semi shade. By the way, I am SERIOUSLY jealous!

    ohhh I saw the candlestick primula last night online - love the look of it ... don't Azaleas prefer ericaceous soil though?  I don't know what the pH is by the pond, I grew some azaleas in a pot with acid soil but they kept getting ferns stuck in the middle - drove me nuts. I do love them when they flower though. I'm sorry you're seriously jealous - better not tell you about the ducks and badgers we have .....I wish you lived near us - you could come and have a look. xx

    Is this the primula you were talking about? Does it all die down in winter?


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