As the surface water continues to warm up the rafting surface cover plants are vital in protecting the water.
For cover in May the rafting plants give a variety of leaf forms and flower as they send their trailing stems across the water using nutrients as they root out and give protection for wildlife as well as surface cover. Some rafting plants are: Mentha aquatica, Veronica beccabunga, Myosotis scirpoides and Menyanthes trifoliata. All these are British Natives and young tadpoles and newt efts born early this year will be protected by them from predators like the blackbird coming down to your pond for a drink.
Some rafting plants that are more colourful in their foliage are Oneanthe javanica Flamingo (pink and cream) and Houttuynia cordata Chameleon (red and yellow) both grow vigorously to create a raft of soft stems that the tadpoles will relish and leaf growth for colour and cover but these are not British Natives.
These rafting plants all give surface cover before the waterlilies have reached the water surface from their basket placed in the deeper water. They should be on their way now and a feed tab of fertilizer into the basket will encourage their growth.