Monty Don on Gardener’s World showed how he would plant up his wildlife pond this week. He showed Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold), Myosotis palustris (now renamed Myosotis scorpioides) and Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Flag Iris) for the marginal shelf areas and Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) as an oxygenating plant. He had more plants available to plant but these were the ones he featured by name.
You need to ensure you put a selection of plants into your pond that extend across the seasons – to help the insects at all times of year and to use all the areas of water with different types of growth – emergent plants for dragonflies to climb up, rafting plants for horizontal cover for newts and other amphibian tadpoles and submerged oxygenators below the water surface which add oxygen, but also equally importantly, these compete with algae for nutrients in the pond water and therefore help to keep the pond free from greenwater and algae growth.
He did not plant a waterlily but this would usually be included in a wildlife pond to provide more surface cover to the water and give areas of protection for the creatures. In his size of pond we would recommend a small white waterlily like Nymphaea Richardsonii in preference to the Nymphaea alba which, as a Native, would be too big.
He needed to replant his purchases into mesh baskets as they were not supplied in those – if you buy from us you will not need to do this as we do that for you and send our plants out in mesh baskets with aquatic compost.
He then sunk his baskets onto the shelf so that the basket rim and the crowns of the plants were unseen and submerged beneath the water.
He made a good point when he said some Native plants were too vigorous for small ponds and should be supplemented by other non-Native plants as long as they are of a small growth habit. This was also mentioned in the piece from Rowden Gardens where John and Galen Carter said that they had concentrated on developing varieties of Iris versicolor, the smaller American Water Iris, in preference to the larger Iris pseudacorus varieties.
We will enjoy watching how this new pond develops within his garden and encourages many forms of wildlife to visit this wildlife area.