pond & garden Plants

Although not prevalent in a purest Koi pond, aquatic plants soften the look, help with water quality and provide interest and spawning media for our fish. Koi need to interact with their habitat - in a sterile environment they will inevitably become bored. Although I personally prefer koi ponds over watergardens, the addition of plants in a koi pond makes things much more attractive. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a koi pond that looks like a swimming pool with fish in it
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    This is a pond in Milton we helped the owner build. Hosta is a great perimeter plant. Click to see more
  • taro.jpg
    Taro is a beautiful tropical bog plant with big leaves
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    The aesthetic meshing of plant and stone takes year to acheive
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    Lush is an understatememnt with this pond we constructed in 1997. Click to see more of Gary's Pond
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    Many ponds get completely covered with hyacinths if the koi can't eat the roots fast enough

Types of Aquatic Plants

There is a huge selection of plants suitable for our ponds. The basic categories are submerged, emergent (bog) and floating plants. Submerged plants usually require pots or other substrate to anchor in. Examples of these plants include Potamogeton [of which there are numerous species], Hornwort [which can be rooted or free float] and Elodea.

The ubiquitous iconic Waterlily is of course a standard that everyone can identify. Both tropical "night blooming" Lilies and hardy specimens are available. Tropical nightblooming Lilies offer huge flowers and fragrance. Hardy lilies will come back year after year as long as the tuber doesn't freeze. With monthly fertilizing, lilies will maximize their blooms throughout the Summer
Typical emergent plants are bog plants which can grow in wet soil or shallow water of up to about 6 inches in depth. Popular choices include the early blooming Marsh Marigold, Obedient Plant, Arrowhead, Rushes and Irises to name just a few. An abundance of plants fall into this category
Floating plants include tropical's such as Water Hyacinths and Water lettuce. In good conditions these water weeds will take over the pond in no time and need to be culled. Other smaller floaters include Duckweed [which fish love to eat] Frogbit and Azolla. Parrots Feather is another popular plant that grows quickly partially in and out of the water

before & after

  • the stone work is almost finished
  • just a couple years later, the pond looks much better
  • another pond before plants were added
  • again, a dramatic difference after plants have grown in

Terrestrial Plant Considerations

Visit any nursery and you may be overwhelmed by the choices. Several factors to contemplate are colour, size when mature, evergreen or coniferous and foliage contrast. I don't think any pond is complete without a Bloodgood Japanese Maple. They don't grow really large, hold onto their leaves until late in the season and if you pick the right cultivar, will remain a brilliant red throughout the season. This colour complements the rest of the garden which is predominantly green

Ornamental grasses
provide a lot of interest and are great for border plants. There are many types of grasses available. Potentilla flowers for most of the growing season. Euonymous is an evergreen which creeps more than it grows in height. The variegated leaves are something that appeals to many

The classic mistake is to place plants too close together. For the advanced gardener, this is a technique that can make the plants grow faster and the idea is to remove some in a few years. That is unrealistic for most, so take note of the adult spans and space accordingly. Also consider scale. Many plants will grow too large for the the typical garden shading our your pond and littering leaves down in the Fall
  • ornamental grasses really compliment ponds
  • potentilla is a consisten flowering plant
  • Japanese maples are fabulous red compliment around a pond
  • variegated, hardy and evergreen make this a great choice
Avoid fast growing weed trees which are usually short lived and not attractive. Although they provide quick cover, they will become maintenance nightmares requiring frequent trimming. Chinese Elm, Manitoba Maple and Poplar trees fall into this category

Planting should not look contrived. Mix it up and remember, you want plants to grow over the rock around your pond to soften the undesirable look of a continuous string of stone. Plants are often placed in small groupings but a formally planted garden will visual clash with an informal pond. Stone and plants should complement each other in a balance, not compete or dominate
Download a PDF of the plants we either stock, or can order for you