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Wildlife pond edging ideas

peroroncinoperoroncino Posts: 72
edited 27 March in Wildlife gardening
I've almost finished creating my wildlife pond and one of the last things remaining apart from pond plants is what goes around the pond.
As the surrounding is concrete I have to put stuff on top of it, so my soil depth is limited to only 2 inches deep and 6 inches wide - the pink coloured strips. I can't put the usual rockery stones because they'll stick out too much and I have a limited budget too.
What could I grow along the sides that is good for pondlife and will overhang to cover the liner? The right side is especially important for overhanging plants (more liner is exposed along it) and I know sedge is common but I don't think it will grow with these constraints.
I was also considering just putting a line of river cobbles all around or combine them with plants and gravel, but I don't know what colour of gravel would look nice :|
Do you have any better ideas?
The patches of dirt in the corners are supposed to be for bog plants and I've put a 2 inch layer of aquatic compost in the top pond shelf hoping something will grow to cover that area but I have no idea what would be happy in that small amount of soil. That shelf is only 3 inches deep so no baskets :(

Posts

  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 199
    edited 27 March
    I've found 3 inches of waterlogged soil to be ideal for water forget me not, marsh marigold and some carex pendula. The forget me not spreads so, if planted on the shelf, could quickly hide most of the liner. I'd lay pebbles in the pink margins, it'll help wildlife use the pond and soften up the edges until the plants get established. My experience is that it won't take long, if left untended, for plants to completely overtake the pond such that you'll wonder where the liner is.

    Edit: 9cm aquatic baskets are often only 9cm high, so perfectly suited to your shelf. You can take off the 2cm of soil and place the soil in the basket, buying yourself an extra 2cm.
  • peroroncinoperoroncino Posts: 72
    Oh wow I am glad you told me about the 9cm baskets and water-forget-me-not, that makes things so much easier for me! The shelf is around 8 linear metres so do you reckon plonking a single forget-me-not and marsh marigold each directly into the soil would cover it by next spring? i.e. forget-me-not on the left side and marsh marigold on the right side?
    [Pebbles in the pink margins] - If I understood this correctly, I don't need to plant anything but instead put medium sized pebbles like you get from wickes because the aforementioned plants will grow over the edges of the liner? I'm wondering if that would provide enough cover for amphibians walking alongside the pond. Maybe I could put ferns on the right pink margin hmm...
  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 199
    Only my opinion and based on my experience but I would say...

    I had around 5 linear metres on my old pond and used two marsh marigolds and three forget me nots to get reasonable coverage along the margins, probably covering around 3 metres of the edging. They spread into the pond as well as along it so do bear that in mind. There are a number of other plants that will spread over the water that you might want to look at - water crowfoot springs to mind. I planted into baskets to prevent them spreading as, like most pond plants, they are insatiably vigorous. If planted directly into soil (no basket), I imagine they'll do a very good job of covering in a season.

    I'd just lay pebbles. I don't know if it will be deep enough for any ferns and, in any case, the marginal plants that I've mentioned will creep over too. I used small pebbles, almost gravel-like, with some larger pebbles further away from the shore (in nature, the stones are smaller closer to the water, as at a beach). I did mortar in a small front row to stop them falling into the pond when it rained or when knocked by wildlife but I'm not sure if that is feasible for you. Instead of putting a fern in the pink margin on the right, I might consider putting something in the raised bed that will tumble over the timber. It will soften up those hard edges and also pull planting down close to the water's edge.
  • SophieKSophieK Wimbledon, LondonPosts: 242
    Marginal and boggy plants as recommended by users above. In addition to the round river cobbles, I'd try and add larger flat stones for the wildlife.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 997
    It looks like the pink areas are outside the pond so will they actually stay wet enough for marginals?  The marginals such as water forget me not and marsh marigolds won't take drying out when the water level drops. I have an area beside my pond when dries out and have  dwarf comfrey growing there.  It flops into the water hiding the liner and looks good, also pollinating insects love it. 
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • peroroncinoperoroncino Posts: 72
    Astraeus said:
    Only my opinion and based on my experience but I would say...

    I had around 5 linear metres on my old pond and used two marsh marigolds and three forget me nots to get reasonable coverage along the margins, probably covering around 3 metres of the edging. They spread into the pond as well as along it so do bear that in mind. There are a number of other plants that will spread over the water that you might want to look at - water crowfoot springs to mind. I planted into baskets to prevent them spreading as, like most pond plants, they are insatiably vigorous. If planted directly into soil (no basket), I imagine they'll do a very good job of covering in a season.

    I'd just lay pebbles. I don't know if it will be deep enough for any ferns and, in any case, the marginal plants that I've mentioned will creep over too. I used small pebbles, almost gravel-like, with some larger pebbles further away from the shore (in nature, the stones are smaller closer to the water, as at a beach). I did mortar in a small front row to stop them falling into the pond when it rained or when knocked by wildlife but I'm not sure if that is feasible for you. Instead of putting a fern in the pink margin on the right, I might consider putting something in the raised bed that will tumble over the timber. It will soften up those hard edges and also pull planting down close to the water's edge.

    That sounds reasonable to me, I already have a forget-me-not and marsh marigold together in one basket in a smaller pond so I'll transfer those into the new pond and buy another pair to plant directly into the soil. I think because only the top shelf is covered with soil then they can't grow out of control as the deeper shelves will have baskets only.
    Thanks for the interesting tidbit of pebbles in nature, I'll lay them out as you said
    [Raised bed] - Again something I completely overlooked! Thanks for the suggestion :D
    SophieK said:
    Marginal and boggy plants as recommended by users above. In addition to the round river cobbles, I'd try and add larger flat stones for the wildlife.

    I will have another look for cheaper and flatter stones
    Redwing said:
    It looks like the pink areas are outside the pond so will they actually stay wet enough for marginals?  The marginals such as water forget me not and marsh marigolds won't take drying out when the water level drops. I have an area beside my pond when dries out and have  dwarf comfrey growing there.  It flops into the water hiding the liner and looks good, also pollinating insects love it. 

    Yes the pink areas are actually on top of concrete, sorry my image didn't make it clear as I had coloured the concrete oops. The sides of the pond are raised 2 inches above the concrete so if I were to plant something then it would be in 2 inches of normal topsoil. I love your dwarf comfrey recommendation, that's almost exactly what I was looking for :)
    Where those bricks and logs are on the left and timber beam on the right is, is where I want to plant/put pebbles.
  • WatsoniaWatsonia Posts: 68
    There are some excellent plant suggestions here from more experienced pond owners, so not much to add. As an additional idea, we used large pieces of bark to cover the liner edges in the first year whilst the planting was still filling out. We left them in place and added a couple because they were excellent for wildlife. Lots of insects used it for shade and shelter and the liner wasn’t exposed even if water level dropped. Picture attached to help explain.

  • peroroncinoperoroncino Posts: 72
    That's a creative way to hide liner, maybe I could get some bark next time a tree is cut down in my neighbourhood
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