For many water gardeners, the best feature of their water garden are the plants. The blooming and stylish look of flowers can be a beautiful sight for both onlookers and the creator.
What are the best flowers for a water garden? Emergent plants are the best type of plants to have if you want your water garden to look stunning. Floating type plants are also another good option as these flowers can look mesmerizing on the water’s surface.
There is more to making your water garden the awesome relaxing spot everyone will enjoy. To make your water garden look great, choosing the right combination of plants can make a huge difference in your garden’s overall beauty.
Choosing the Best Flower Plants
Emergent plants, also called marginal plants, are plants that you generally place around the water’s edge, be it a water garden with or without a water feature such as a fountain. They can also be placed in the water as their stems can grow high enough above surface to sprout their flowers.
Emergent Flower Plants
Not all emergent plants bloom flowers, so here are a few that you can begin to think about:
Marsh Marigold – The marsh marigold plant has yellow colored flowers that usually sprouts between April and August. In some places, these flowers can be of a different color, such as white or pink. The plant can grow up to 31 inches high and is a perennial plant, meaning they can last for a long time.
Pickerel Rush – The pickerel rush can grow up to 30 inches in height and produce purple, sometimes white flowers at the tip. These flowers come in late summer, but they are also a perennial plant, lasting all year round.
American Lotus – The American Lotus is a very beautifully coned-shaped perennial flower plant that can range from the colors of white to yellow. These can flower in late spring and grow up to a whopping 72 inches high.
As the name implies, floating plants are placed on top of the water’s surface and float freely with the wind and flow of water. They can either be rooted in the soil beneath the waterbed or float just below the water’s surface. Floating plants are very common and ideal to have in ponds of all shapes and sizes. They can be placed in water fountains as well, but you just need to consider the spray and that it does not disturb or damage the floating plants.
Floating Flower Plants
Just like emergent plants, not all floating plants produce flowers, so here’s another few to think on:
Bladderwort – It is true that sometimes appearance can be deceiving. This is definitely the case with the bladderwort plant. This is a carnivore plant, so it feeds of small insects that hang around pond water. A perfect addition to your pest removal strategy. They produce beautiful flowers that stand tall, typically in a yellow color, but can come in other colors too, such as white and purple. The bladderwort can be both perennials or annuals, so it depends on the kind you get and where you are located that would be available.
Water Poppy – The water poppy is another perennial floating plant. Its flowers are yellow and in a cup-shaped form. They can grow up to 3 inches tall and is a fast-growing plant. Its flowers bloom between the June and August months.
- Floating Heart – A perennial floating plant, the floating heart is a type of water lily and grows gorgeous five yellow petals during May and October. These are sometimes the better option compared to water lilies as these fit more in contrast with other flowers. If you have a big pond, you could consider the water snowflake plant too. They are very similar to the floating heart but just has a much larger flower.
These plants listed are suggestions to help you get started or get a momentum going. If you’re going for the looks, you want plants that will live for a long time and that are self-sufficient, so long as you keep the water quality and nutrient levels balanced, of course.
There are three kinds of plants you can get that each have varying life length periods. These are:
- Annuals – You can pretty much guess that plants really just have one purpose, to flower or bear fruit, then die. For annual plants, this is exactly all they do. These plants only last for one year or more accurately, for a season. Their process is to grow, flower, then produce seeds so that once the mother plant dies, the hundreds of seeds left behind can take over and repeat the cycle again. All this development process happens within their growing season.
- Biennials – Biennial plants have the same purpose as annuals, but they’re just a little bit slower in growth. These plants can last for two years and take around two seasons for them to flower. During the first year or the first growing season, they only produce foliage or leaves. Then the following year is when the flowers start to show, of which they die afterwards that same year.
On an interesting note, many vegetables are biennials. However, they are harvested during their first season because it is their leaves that are consumed, plants such as cabbages, carrots, and celery, just to name a few.
- Perennials – These are the plants ideal to have if looks and less maintenance is what you want in a water garden as these can last for more than two years. The life span depends on the plant, however, some lasting a few years while others for decades. These plants can flower multiple times within their life cycle. You could even plant just one and over time would turn into a bunch from the seeds produced by the mother plant.
On another interesting note, some perennial plants, such as some types of bamboos can take over 100 years to finally bloom. Furthermore, there are some perennials that die during the winter or when the cold climates come, but then regrows and sprout back from the roots.
Ornaments to Beautify You Water Garden
As mentioned from the beginning, there are more you can do to make your water garden look and appear amazing. After all, that’s the beauty of water gardens, their appearance. Hidden behind the hard work of putting it all together and letting nature take its role can be so personally satisfying. The next part of personal satisfaction is enjoying the view.
Adding ornaments and accessories are great ways to add your personal look to your water garden feature. These can also give them a sense of character or personality. Here are some tips you can ponder on:
- First, it would be best to think of what theme you want to have before you start building your water garden park. This can make it easier to decide how you will build the water garden feature from the beginning.
- Second, decide if you want to use fake flowers or plants. Some people prefer this if they just want to have a small water garden feature or if they don’t ever have to worry about maintenance. It’s important to note that you should still have real plants if you’re going to have fish involved.
- Third, purchase ornaments that will compliment your plants and design. You don’t want to have a giant gargoyle standing over a serene and peaceful looking pond.
- Lastly, add accessories, such as lighting or sound effects. These will certainly give your friends and neighbors the wow factor and make sure they realize how serious you are about your water garden.
The most important part of creating a water garden and looking for the best flowers is choosing what you like. Knowledge and research are vital, but they’re no use if you have a water garden you won’t enjoy. These questions might help you feel confident in choosing what you like.
“Why do you want to build a water garden?” – Perhaps this is the question that sparked an interest in you to learn all about water gardens. Knowing the answer will make it more efficient and effective to prepare all your plants, ornaments, and accessories in advance, as well as your budget for the whole water garden feature.
“What is the weather and environment like?” – If you’re going to add lighting or a sound system, take into account the weather in your area. For example, does it rain often? If so, then you could set up a covering for them. You should also take into account pets and children. If you’re going to install lighting, keep those wires out of reach or underground.
“How do you clean concrete ornaments?” – If you choose to have concrete ornaments, despite their toughness to handle the pressures of life, they still need help maintaining. You need to avoid using strong chemicals or rough cleaning materials that will scratch of the paint or reduce the intricate details. You can use soft brushes and use general-purpose household cleaners. Plastic ornaments are easier to clean, but always separate your ornaments when cleaning them to not contaminate your plants or the soil.