Tips

Water cools the summer garden

Water Feature

The ancient Egyptians were some of the first to make water an integral part of their gardens. They knew the importance of storing water for dry times, and the pools they established for this purpose eventually became central features in their garden design. Ponds were planted with sacred lotus, filled with fish and shaded by pomegranates and palms.

Even though we have much to learn from ancient Egyptian, Persian and other Middle Eastern gardens, our gardening traditions have been more influenced by the soft climates of England and Europe. But, in the height of summer, the idea of using water features to cool the garden takes on great appeal. There’s nothing better than the sight of a container of water or the soft sound of a fountain to create a cool atmosphere in the summer garden.

Here are some tips to help make water an integral part of your garden:

Water garden plants

Waterlilies are the most popular water garden plants but must have plenty of sun to flower well.

It’s best to keep waterlily roots confined in pots, or the plants will try to take over the whole pond or container. Waterlilies are also very hungry plants, so mix some Yates Blood & Bone with the soil in the pot at planting time and feed well during the growing season. Dynamic Lifter pellets are a good, natural choice, but don’t just put the pellets on top of the potting mix – they’ll simply float away. It’s best to place them into something permeable like a toepiece cut from old panty hose. Tie the top shut with a loose knot and push the stocking ‘bag’ down into the side of the pot. Repeat the fertiliser application at least two more times during the warm weather.

Wet-feet-tolerant edging plants can soften the appearance of a water feature. Daylilies, certain irises and foliage plants like papyrus are good choices. Summer is the best season to visit water garden specialists and seek their advice.


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