As we move from spring into the heat of summer, our early-season plantings and roadside…
Wet Feet? No Problem for These Five Plants.
Whether you’re an experienced water gardener or just considering starting, we have an exciting weekend coming up at NHG. We’ve completely revamped our aquatic plant assortment for 2016, expanding our offerings by over 200%. With both tropical & hardy water lilies as well as floating and tropical plants (and lotus!) you’re sure to find the perfect specimen for your aquatic Eden–be it a few acres or a small bowl on the patio.
Looking for ‘marginal’ plants that are suited to the variable soils around the bank of a water garden? We currently have a wide assortment of plants adapted to thrive in both regular garden soils and bog or saturated soil situations. Some of these plants are also suited to rain gardens and stream bank erosion control plantings where flooding is common. (Not sure what a rain garden is? Read more about these special landscape features here.) Others, even the most luxurious blooming lilies, provide important food and shelter for fish and other small aquatic life.
Here are five highlights from our 2016 water plant collection:
- Bog Lobelias (L. vedrariensis and hybrids), including ‘Vulcan Red’ and ‘Queen Victoria,’ display vivid spikes of flowers in red, blue or pink. These perennial natives will spread to colonize normal to wet soils in sunny to part-shade areas. Reaching up to 4′ tall when in bloom, they provide a brilliant display of flowers and are a major attractant for pollinators and hummingbirds.
- Native Blue Flag Iris, Iris versicolor, is naturally distributed across much of north America in marshes, swamps, wet meadows, ditches and shorelines. It is a marginal aquatic plant that forms a clump of narrow, arching-to-erect, sword-shaped, blue-green leaves (to 24” long and 1” wide). Flowering stalks rise from the clump to 30” tall in late spring, with each stalk producing 3-5 bluish-purple flowers (to 4″ wide) with bold purple veining. Clumps spread slowly by tough, creeping rhizomes.
- Water Mint, Mentha aquatica, is ideally suited for pond edges where it can creep from normal soils to spread into areas with wet or very shallow soils. It’s a true mint and has the classic flavor and aroma; some sources report that it’s the best mint species to use in tea. Its abundant clusters of pale purple flowers will attract a wide variety of pollinators to your pond garden.
- Hardy Waterlilies (Nymphaea) are the belles of the ball in any pond garden. We’re excited to offer both hardy and tropical varieties for 2016, each with luxurious blossoms that will have you swooning. Two favorites include the pygmy variety ‘Helvola’ with teeny, silver-dollar sized leaves and flowers, and ‘Arc En Ciel’ that sports pink-variegated leaves with pointed blooms. They’re both lovely!
- Mosaic Plant, Ludwigia sedoides is a completely new addition to NHG. We were so taken by the photo we received from our grower that we ordered some right away! They’re best planted in shallow water in the muddy soil, where they’ll send up stems to form a spreading clump in still water and fed regularly. They love the warm water of summer and prefer full sun for best color. They’re not a fan of cold temperatures, though, so be prepared to replant after a cold water. They’re also a favorite snack for koi fish, so if you keep them in your pond, plant extra.
See these five beauties and many others during Water Gardening Weekend May 21st and 22nd at NHG! Browse the beauty, attend a live koi auction, and speak with experts for creating your perfect aquatic Eden.
Check out our Basic Guidelines for Water Plant Success
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