Ancient Egyptian and Persian gardens always contained pools, as they were considered to be sanctuaries from the harsh conditions of the desert. Today, gardeners value water not only for its soothing qualities, but because even a small pond or pool can provide huge ecological benefits, providing havens for frogs, toads and other wildlife. In addition, water offers opportunities to experiment with some beautiful aquatic and moisture-loving plants.
Check out these tips to help transform your pond or pool into a true oasis.
- Create shade: When creating a naturalistic water garden, it is important to grow aquatic and moisture-loving plants with varying shapes and textures. Leaves, such as those of water lilies, are both beautiful and useful, as their large flat leaves help to provide essential shade for the water, thus preventing algae from developing.
- Contain it: In artificial ponds or pools, plants should be grown in containers — either troughs built into the sides of the pond or removable baskets.
- Add weight: Fill removable baskets containing plants with heavy clay soil and cover with gravel to prevent the soil from floating away.
- Plant perennials: The damp ground surrounding a naturalistic pool is the perfect place to grow moisture-loving perennials.
Adapted from the Horticulture Gardener's Guide to Planting for Color by Susan Chivers. Learn more about this book.