Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Twenty Drops of Rain.

Okay, maybe 26.

It's a start.

Probably could use a little more.

Meanwhile the little pond with the fountain is refreshed. The plants, of whom I know almost no names, are thriving.

When I buy water plants, I buy them by their shape, on the premise that building a water garden is similar to composing a painting. It should look balanced, with form and texture providing visual depth. It should be a miniature landscape that has hidden corners and surprises that reveal themselves from each viewpoint. Not only does this prodice visual relief, but it offers various frogs, insects, and the occasional wild creature a protected spot to take a drink.

When a coleus stems snaps, I stick it in the water pond. Coleus is one of those wonderful plants that will not only survive in water, but grow profuse roots at the same time.

Form and shape - they should pull the eye downward.

Even the simplest green leaf can have multiple shades (I notice these things because green is my favorite color).

And then there's Bloody Dock with its blood red stems and green leaves. Bloody Dock is happy in dirt, it's happy in water, and it's happy in swampland. We have it sitting in pots, as well as stuck in the water ponds.

When building your water garden, remember: color, shape, form. Build a background or a center, then layer the plant heights around that.

Sometimes, it's obvious what goes where, and sometimes it's necessary to sit and contemplate it.

That's called taking a break, and a water garden is the perfect place for that.

And here's the overall view. We have a liner in the original concrete fountain, thanks to a persistent leak that couldn't be resolved.

Another view from the side path. Sometimes, in spite of best intentions, plants have their own agendas. This pond has a water canna that is determined to grow on the diagonal, and has resisted all of my attempts to correct it. So, diagonal it is.

Lots of warm flat rocks and shady leaves in the water for dragonflies and bees to perch on.

(And for curiousity's sake, did you know wasps land, then walk up to the water and lean forward to drink, almost standing on their heads?)

This is the big Italian style fountain, no liner in it, chock full of plants growing in a much cooler spot. Under the huge Boston fern, there is an upper water level, where the birds like to sit, drink and peek out.

All it takes is different plants, that grow to different heights.

And a certain understanding that the canna will grow diagonally if it so chooses, and the Boston fern will grow as large as it feels like, even if it hides the top of the fountain.


  1. Oh, how about a picture of the full water garden. I love the individual shots. How big is it. Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. Thanks Carole & Chewy. I love those. I'm not sure I could have them as Belle would be trying to take a bath in them. Maybe the high one, but that rascal looks really heavy.

    Do you circulate the water? Mosquitoes?

  3. Both have fountains in them - no mosquitoes if the water's moving.