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Planting background for pond

AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

After much deliberation I have decided to have another go at installing a small wildlife pond.  The only spot I can put one is seen here, marked with the X.  My previous attempt at pond installing was a disaster so am hoping to get it right this time. I won't be using a preformed liner, that I think was the reason my first attempt didn't do too well! 


Obviously there is a bit of work to do and whilst I am still at the planning stages I would like some advice/suggestions on what to plant as a sort of hedgerow/back ground.

The spot in question is running parallel along the length of the greenhouse.  I've left a space of around 2ft all the way around the greenhouse (currently a chipped bark path).  I've edged on the side you can see with a board to keep the bark in position meantime.  Here's a bit of a closer look.  I'd like to keep the Photinia Red Robin (not my favourite) but it's now a good size and I think the fact that the stems are bare at the base give it more of a tree look than a shrub. The birds do use this as a perch too.  I am thinking that I don't want anything too tall since that would hamper light into the greenhouse but at the same time create something natural looking and of course too benefit to the critters that might like to make my pond their home.  Under the Photinia would also be the place I could site a log pile.


Another question is would I be better to do away with the Cornus?  I understand that I can keep that in check by annual pruning but I am concerned about its deciduous manner since it is suggested best not to have trees or deciduous shrubs nearby.  The perennials all planted in and around the shrubs will all be removed.  They were only temporary until the shrubs were a decent size anyway.

So many questions, these are the first of many I will have over the coming weeks/months as my plans progress no doubt.  I should add that it's a sunny site and can get a bit wet in winter but obviously not too wet since the sedum doesn't seem to mind.  

I thank you all for your suggestions/comments/advice in advance.    


  • Ponds will cope with leaf fall if it's not too much, so don't worry too much about the cornus. Perhaps lift up the crown a little/remove a few of the lower stems to allow a little more light in and space for some ferns (polystichum setiferum and dryopteris erythropoda are two good evergreen ones).  Heucheras, hostas for leafy cover, gillenia and actaea for airy height on the shadier side nearer the greenhouse and one or two chunky attractively shaped logs.  To the left, acer palmatum 'Garnet'. The list could go on . . . First thing is to get the pond in, lined and planted, because that may well change your perception of the area.  A couple of small lilies, no more and plenty of oxygenators (under and out of the water).  They'll get established now and have a head start on any late spring algal bloom, which is bound to happen, but will be reduced dramatically by a strong planting.  I've almost always completed the ponds I've built in early to mid autumn for that very reason - getting the planting established while the water's (relatively) warm.  


  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Thanks for your input H-C.  Plenty of planting choices for thought there and the bonus is that most of the ones you mention are already in the garden!  I'd best get a move on in digging it out.  I was going to wait until winter and I had more time to spend getting it done.  I'll need to be mindful of the hedgehogs and not leave it uncovered at the moment.  Another reason I was going to leave it until I could be sure they were hibernating.

    I think you are right about the fact that once is dug out I might get a change of perspective.  Your comments have already changed those by the fact I thought the area would benefit from a small hedgerow of some sort.  I'll be back with more questions I'm sure.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,063

    I'd get the pond dug first Angi - then think about the planting. You might find you'll want something completely different to what you imagined!

    I'd keep the cornus, unless you want more perennials, and maybe grasses to provide cover and colour.

    Last edited: 29 September 2016 17:29:51

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Yes, I'll be biting the bullet and getting on with it Fairygirl.  The hose will be out tomorrow at some point, followed swiftly by the spade!

    I'm not fussy about perennials by the shrubs, its really the rest of the pond surround that concerns me but as you and H-C both suggest get the pond dug and then think about planting.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,063

    All very exciting - good luck with your digging!  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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