O water, where art thou?

A brief tutorial on water gardening for the novice:

Do: Add plants to your water garden.

Don’t: Forget to prune them occasionally.

runaway pond plants

Do: Use bricks to support planted baskets.

Don’t: Forget to prune, such that the roots envelop the bricks and make the plants very hard to remove from the pond.

bricks rescued from water iris roots

Those brick fragments are enjoying their first taste of freedom after spending at least a year in captivity of vigorous iris roots.

Do: Plant a variety of species.

Don’t: (ahem.) Let them grow together. They’re really hard to separate. But if you forget,

Do: Keep a sturdy garden knife around. Or a chainsaw.


Do: Add fish to the garden to control mosquito larvae.

Don’t: Ask to see what happened to the fish in this garden. Basically, the plant roots grew together, creating an impenetrable mat. The water above the mat evaporated in three weeks of dry fall weather, and he couldn’t break through to the shallow water beneath the plants.

He was worth every penny of the dime I paid for him, though. He lived for two, or maybe three years. He now sleeps with the anemones. I feel terrible.

Do: Try again.


2 thoughts on “O water, where art thou?

  1. Nice! Your garden pond is an aquatic paradise compared to mine! I never worked out the leak problem so instead of tackling it head on I ignored it every time I looked in that direction (and it’s a hard to ignore location!)
    Do you empty the pond for winter or is this the annual trimming?

    • I only empty it when it gets disgusting. I don’t have a filter system for it, and it is small enough that I really should. I have maintained a reasonable balance with one six-inch fish and a nitrogen-hungry iris, but one day I hope to do a bit better.

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