Landscaping the Pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, you’ve just installed a water garden and you’re wondering how to landscape around it without looking like the pond was a mistake or haphazard addition to your yard. A pond looks best if it appears to “belong” in your landscape. Whether your garden has a natural look or a formal style, the secret is to use plants that look right at home at the water’s edge and blend well with your existing landscape.

Getting Started

Lining the margins of the pond with small rocks disguises pond liner edges and gives an informal look to the water garden. A larger boulder actually overhanging the pond is an ideal spot for kids (or you!) to watch fish, frogs and dragonflies. Continue the theme in the surrounding landscape with some groupings of larger rocks, creating additional shelves or niches for an uneven, natural look.

Trees

In general, trees should not overhang the pond, as a water garden needs 5 to 6 hours of sun for aquatic plants to thrive and intrusive roots could damage the liner as trees grow. However, a small specimen tree will give your water garden scale and is a good starting point to the planting surround. Select smaller growing trees such as Japanese Maple, River Birch or low-growing flowering trees like Star Magnolia, Crepe Myrtle or Snowbell (Styrax). Position them slightly back from the pond’s edge in a suitable space for their own growth needs.

Shrubs

Shrubs give the landscape substance as well as flower and foliage interest at different times of the year. For winter color, select some evergreen shrubs like pines, spruces or junipers. A water garden located in the corner of your yard might have a backdrop of taller shrubs and smaller growing ones in the foreground. A more centrally-located water garden should have lower-growing shrubs all around so the pond can be viewed from all sides. Azaleas are a favorite for early spring color.

Perennials & Grasses

Perennials and ornamental grasses form the final layer of landscape. Select perennials that bloom at different times or with interesting foliage for color and texture all season long. Some favorites include Siberian iris, coneflower, rudbeckia and daylilies for sunny areas, with astilbe, hosta and ferns for more shaded locations. Plant perennials in large clumps or flowing drifts for the most impact.

Ornamental grasses are a spectacular addition to the water garden. Where a tall-growing grass is needed, use varieties of Miscanthus, Erianthus and Molinia. Graceful Fountain Grass is attractive planted in large groupings, while vibrantly-colored Japanese Blood Grass forms a dense low-growing mass for foreground plantings.

Finishing Touches

Be sure to create a place in your pond landscape where you can sit and enjoy your water garden – an overhanging rock or strategically placed garden bench can be ideal. Lighting, too, is important to bring your water garden to life at night. Create dramatic effects both by spotlights around the pond and submerged lighting if possible.

With thoughtful landscaping, your pond can be an integral, beautiful part of your landscape and a focal point for stunning landscaping design.

 

Tree of the Week – Crabapples

July 8-14

40% OFF all Crabapples!

Crabapple trees in flower are a sight to behold. They are the showstopper trees of spring, and are compact enough to fit in nearly any size, shape or style of landscape. But how will you pick the variety that is best for you?

About Crabapples

The unrivaled spring beauty of these trees can take your breath away, as they frequently bud in one color but the flowers open in another, which can create a glorious variegated effect. To add to their appeal, they perform again in the late summer or fall with a fabulous display of hanging, showy fruit that wildlife loves.

Crabapples are available in a range of flower petal colors that include white, pink, red and all shades in between. Flower forms may be single or semi-double with some varieties being fragrant. Selections may be made for fall fruit size and color, including shades of green, yellow, orange, bronze, red and purple. Crabapple trees are also available in a variety of leaf color, size and growth habit to accommodate a landscape of any style and size.

Crabapple Varieties In Stock Now (while supplies last):

Plants for Wet Soil

More water is always good for plants, right? Wrong! When water stands in the soil, air is displaced, which in turn smothers the plant roots. Once the roots are damaged many symptoms appear on leaves and shoots including wilting, marginal and inter-veinal browning of leaves (scorch), poor color and stunted growth. But the excess water isn’t always coming from overwatering, it may be the result of poor draining soil.

Poor drainage is often produced in disturbed sites when heavy clay soil is compacted by construction machinery or other excessive use, such as yards where several children are often playing. Areas cultivated for plantings, such as flowerbed or borders, then collect water running off the compacted ground – this is called the teacup effect. Wet areas may also be the result of swales, drain spout runoff and low areas even when soil percolation is adequate in most of the site but when general moisture levels are routinely high.

To check for a potential drainage problem, dig a hole at least 2 feet deep, fill it with water and note how long the water remains. If it doesn’t drain completely away within 24 hours a severe drainage problem exists.

Fortunately, you can correct drainage problems in different ways. Easy options include…

  • Divert water past plantings using drainage pipes, splash blocks or rain chains.
  • Plant in mounds or raised beds so water will run off and away from the plants.
  • Install drain tiles in saturated areas or use French drains to contain excess water.
  • Amend the soil with organic matter such as compost to improve its structure.

An even easier solution is to simply select plants that tolerate wet sites. The following trees and shrubs tolerate wet sites and flooding better than most. Few tolerate standing water for long periods (those that grow in truly swampy conditions are marked *), but all will do better in wet areas.

Shade Trees

  • *Acer rubrum/Red Maple
  • *Betula nigra/River Birch
  • Liquidambar styraciflua/Sweet Gum
  • Alyssa sylvatica/Sour Gum
  • Platanus occidentalis/Sycamore
  • Quercus phellos/Willow Oak
  • *Salix spp./Willow
  • *Taxodium distichum/Bald Cypress

Flowering Trees

  • Amelanchier Canadensis/Serviceberry
  • Magnolia virginiana/Sweetbay Magnolia

Evergreen Trees

  • Calocedrus decurrens/Incense Cedar
  • Ilex opaca/American Holly
  • Thuja occidentalis/Pyramidal Arborvitae

Deciduous Shrubs

  • *Aronia arbutifolia/Chokeberry
  • Clethra alnifolia/Summersweet
  • *Cornus spp./Twig Dogwoods
  • Enkianthus campanulatus/Enkianthus
  • Ilex verticillata/Winterberry
  • *ltea virginica/Virginia Sweetspire
  • Lindera benzoin/Spicebush
  • Myrica pennsylvanica/Bayberry
  • *Rhododendron viscosum/Swamp Azalea
  • *Salix spp./Pussy Willow
  • Viburnum spp./Viburnums

Evergreen Shrubs

  • *Andromeda polifolia/Bog Rosemary
  • *Chamaecyparis thyoides/White Atlantic Cedar
  • *llex glabra/Inkberry
  • Kalmia atifolia/Mountain Laurel
  • Leucothoe spp./Leucothoe

Perennials

  • *Arundo donax/Giant Reed Grass
  • Aster nova-angliae/Asters
  • Astilbe spp./Astilbe
  • Chelone/Turtlehead
  • Cimicifuga racemose/Snakeroot
  • Helenium autumnale/Helen’s Flower
  • Hibiscus moscheutos/Hardy Hisbiscus
  • *Iris kaempferi/Japanese Iris
  • Iris siberica/Siberian Iris
  • *Lobelia cardinalis/Cardinal Flower
  • Lobelia syphilitca/Blue Lobelia
  • Monarda didyma/Bee Balm
  • Myosotis scorpiodes/Forget-me-nots
  • Tiarella cordifolia/Foam Flower
  • Trollius europaeus/Globe Flowers
  • Viola spp./Violets

Ground Covers

  • Gallium odoratum/Sweet Woodruff
  • Gaultheria procumbers/Wintergreen
  • Hosta spp./Hosta
  • Mentha spp./Mint
  • Parthenocissus quinquifolia/Virginia Creeper

Annuals

  • Cleome hosslerana/Spider Flower
  • Myosotis sylvatica/Forget-me-nots
  • Torenia fournien/Wishbone Flower
  • Viola wittrockiana/Pansies

Not sure which water-loving plants to choose? We’d be happy to help you evaluate your landscape moisture and other conditions to help you choose the very best plants for your yard!

Winter Interest in the Garden

Many gardeners think of the fourth season as a time for rest, but winter can be interesting and fun to plan for a bold, appealing landscape. While most of us plan our landscapes for bloom times in spring and summer, there are many plants offering color and texture appeal for the cold season landscape.

Winter Beauty in Your Landscape

Winter is a time of special beauty and interest. Berries sparkle on shrubs under a layer of frost and ice, while other shrubs have shades of bronze leaves that cling and rattle in winter breezes. The leafless branches of larger trees cast dramatic shadows across the freshly fallen snow. Bark hidden by the leaves of summer stands out gorgeously in the winter. Barks of silvery gray, white, green, yellow, purple or red hues add a burst of color when the landscape is covered in white. Even barks that are deeply fissured, sleek as satin, peeling in thin layers or curiously pocked by a pitted surface give interest to a wonderful winter landscape. Dried grasses stand out in bright contrast against the backdrop of dark evergreens, shaking snow off their delicate heads. There is even the surprising yellow ribbon-like blooms of witch-hazel which flower in mid-winter or the delicate lavenders and blues of tiny species of crocuses under the snow. Pansies are also a gr

eat addition for late-season winter color in your flowerbeds. Everywhere you look, there can be beauty in the winter landscape.

Top Plants for Winter Interest

Many different plants offer interesting features that reach their full potential in the winter landscape. Popular options include…

  • Paperbark Maple (Acer grisium)
  • Threadleaf Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum dissectum)
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifalia)
  • Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)
  • Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’)
  • Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’)
  • Winter Dephne (Daphne odora)
  • Common Snow Drops (Galanthus nivalis)
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
  • Christmas Rose (Heleboris niger)
  • Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis)
  • Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata) Need female and male plant for berries
  • Christmas fern (Polystichun acrostichoides)
  • Common Camellia (Camellia japonica)
  • Heathers/Heaths

Want our experts to help you plan the best landscape design for all four seasons? Fill out our Landscape Request Form and we’ll contact you to schedule a consultation.

 

Exciting Trees + Shrubs for 2018

March 13, 2018
 
Every year our Nursery Manager searches far and wide for a great selection of trees and shrubs, from the tried and true must-haves, to the unique and hard-to-find items that plant collectors seek. We asked our Nursery Manager, Vic, to give us his top picks to keep an eye out for this season. Follow the links to learn more about each plant.
 
Golden Duchess Hemlock-dwarf hemlock with golden yellow foliage
 
Golden Spirit Smoke Tree-foliage emerges lime green, matures to brilliant gold in summer, then turns coral, orange and red in fall.
 
Licorice Lollypop Hydrangeaelectric pink double mophead flowers held upright on glossy black stems
Holger Juniper
 
Holger Junipertwo toned foliage. new growth is yellow backed by deep blue-green foliage
 
Dolcemente Rhododendron-salmon pink ruffled flowers with a yellow throat
 
Lemon Dream Rhododendron-soft pastel yellow flowers
 
Itoh Peonies-prolific bloomers and get a second set of blooms, resistant to blight

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