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For many hobby gardeners, a pond is the eye-catcher in the home garden and is usually designed individually. So that the gem fits harmoniously into the garden, the edge of the pond should also be taken into account when designing. For this purpose, the pond owner is faced with an almost endless selection of ideas and possibilities, because both ornamental grasses and perennials can beautify the bank.

pond edge zones

The edge of the pond is the transition from water to solid ground and can be embellished with a number of plants. For this purpose, the hobby gardener has a large number of different plants to choose from, so that the pond border can always be designed individually. However, it must be taken into account that a pond edge consists of different zones. These must be taken into account when designing the pond border:

  • shallow water zone
  • swamp zone
  • Wet zone / riparian zone

Create a shallow water zone

The shallow water zone connects directly to the deep water zone and should be about 20 to 50 centimeters deep and at least 30 to 50 centimeters wide. Many plants can and should grow in this zone, because they ensure a ecological balance. The plants in the shallow water zone get their nutrients from the water and the soil, so that excessive algae growth is prevented. In the wild, reed plants, such as reeds, often grow here, but they are only partially suitable for the home garden pond due to their overgrowth. However, the hobby gardener still has a large number of different plants to choose from with which to design the shallow water zone:

Plants with S

Swan flower/ bulrush

The swan flower (Butomus umbellatus) is an extremely decorative aquatic plant, which is particularly effective in small groups of around three to five plants. It needs a water depth of about 10 to 40 centimetres, which is why it is ideal for the shallow water zone of the pond. So that the delicate marsh plant is not washed away, it should first be placed in a plant basket and only then in the pond.

  • Growth: upright, clumpy
  • Growth height: 60 - 120 cm
  • Flower color: pink
  • Flowering period: June - August
  • Location: sunny

Planting from W - Z

water spring

A special eye-catcher is the water feather (Hottonia palustris), which is also known as the water primrose or European water feather. The pretty plant can be planted up to 30 centimeters deep in the water and takes root there in the pond bottom. Its light green stems grow upright, so that the surface of the water is adorned with feathery foliage and decorative pink-white flowers.

  • Growth: flat, spread
  • Growth height: 8 - 10 cm
  • Flower color: pink white
  • Flowering period: May-July
  • Location: sunny to shady

Tongue Ranunculus

The tongue buttercup (Ranunculus lingua) prefers a swampy ground and is therefore ideal in the shallow water zone. The native aquatic plant is considered to be particularly easy to care for, so that even beginners can enjoy the bright yellow bowl-shaped flowers. In winter, the tongue buttercup retreats into the ground and the existing foliage dies. It is therefore advisable to give it a pruning in November to winterize it.

  • Growth: upright, forming runners
  • Growth height: 60 - 130 cm
  • Flower color: yellow
  • Flowering period: June - August
  • Location: sunny to semi-shady

Notice: The pruning not only prepares the tongue buttercup for the winter, it also prevents the pond from becoming dirty. Because the dead plant remains remain in the pond and promote algae growth there.

Create swamp zone

The swamp zone is considered the most demanding edge zone, because the plants living there are often exposed to different conditions: In the wet season, their feet are often in the water, but not in the dry season. Plants that can cope optimally with the changing growth conditions are therefore suitable for the swamp zone. Among other things, the following plants feel comfortable in the approximately 10 to 20 centimeter deep swamp zone:

Plants with I

hedgehog hose

The hedgehog hose (Baldellia ranunculoides) is only rarely found in the wild and is even considered extinct in some parts of Germany. One more reason to cultivate the hardy aquatic plant at the edge of the pond. There it does particularly well in combination with the dwarf cattail and the variable arrowhead. The hedgehog hose impresses with its long flowering period, during which it adorns the pond with its whitish-pink flowers.

  • Growth: upright
  • Growth height: 5 - 20 cm
  • Flower color: whitish-pink
  • Flowering period: May - August
  • Location: sunny to semi-shady

notice: The hedgehog hose also tolerates salt water!

Planting from V - Z

Different colored flags

The multicolored flag iris (Iris versicolor) creates a special play of colors at the edge of the pond. The decorative aquatic plant has enchanting multicolored flowers, which can also vary in shape. It is often cultivated in groups, with a planting distance of 30 to 40 centimeters about 10 plants per square meter. The multicolored flag iris is not only particularly good looking, because it is also one of the reposition plants and filters the water.

  • Growth: upright, forming clumps
  • Growth height: 60 - 80 cm
  • Flower color: multicolored
  • Flowering period: June - July
  • Location: sunny

notice: The multicolored flag iris is considered to be frost hardy and easy to care for. To encourage new growth, the faded stems should be cut back.

Dwarf Cattails

The dwarf cattail (Typha minima) is in the wild almost extinct, since it is literally being deprived of its living space. However, numerous specialist dealers offer the lover's plant so that it can be planted in the home garden. The dwarf cattail reaches a height of about 40 centimeters and forms spherical, brown pistons. The foliage of this plant is also exceptional, as it is almost needle-like thin and turquoise in colour.

  • Growth: upright
  • Growth height: about 40 cm
  • Flower color: brown
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Location: sunny

Design wet zone / shore zone

The pond border itself is nothing more than the riparian zone and can basically be planted with any bedding perennial. In order for the pond to fit as harmoniously as possible into the overall picture of the garden, there should be plants around the pond that are similar to those in the garden. It is also advisable to consider the planting of the swamp and shallow water zone, so that a harmonious transition arises. There are hardly any limits to the ideas, because the edge of the pond can be designed with a wide variety of plants:

Plants from A - C

Asian lady fern

The Asian lady fern (Athyrium vidalii) often grows on river banks in its native Japan, which is why it is ideal for the edge of a pond. There it adorns the shore with its green, feathery fronds, which only sprout late in the year. The perennial plant comes into its own when placed between plants with bright or red flowers.

  • Growth: arching and spreading
  • Growth height: 80 - 90 cm
  • leaves: imparipinnate
  • Leaf color: green
  • Location: partial shade to shade

notice: The Asian lady fern is not susceptible to diseases or pests and is also considered to be extremely easy to care for.

Chinese reed

The Chinese reed (Miscanthus sinensis) not only ensures a harmonious transition from the pond to the garden, but can also act as a privacy screen. Because the plant grows very compact, but can reach a height of over one meter. The Chinese reed can also convince visually, because it forms many reddish or white flowers. It does particularly well next to other grasses and perennials, but shrubs or roses that remain small are also considered good plant neighbors.

  • Growth: upright
  • Growth height: 130 - 50 cm
  • Flower color: reddish, white
  • Flowering period: September - October
  • Location: sunny

Planting from P - S

Palm Frond Sedge

Palm lovers will get their money's worth with the palm frond sedge (Carex muskingumensis), because the undemanding plant has a palm-like growth habit. Due to the long and sometimes overhanging stems, it can appear somewhat disheveled in growth, but it is particularly good in wild gardens. While the flowers of the palm frond sedge appear rather inconspicuous, the foliage is all the more impressive: the leaves are colored in a bright green all year round until the beginning of autumn.

  • Growth: palm-like, upright
  • Growth height: 60 - 80 cm
  • Flower color: brown
  • Flowering period: July - August
  • Location: sunny to semi-shady

moor grass

The lesser moor grass (Molinia caerulea) not only convinces lovers of wild gardens, because the plant can convince with an extraordinary play of colors. While its leaves are blue-green in color by fall, they turn a bright yellow hue after flowering. The native grass forms slender, brownish panicles, which grow and thrive without much care.

  • Growth: archingly inclined
  • Growth height: 20 - 70 cm
  • flower: brownish
  • Flowering period: August - September
  • Location: sunny to semi-shady

Swamp Cranesbill

The marsh cranesbill (Geranium palustre) is often found in the wild on damp meadows, but also on banks or bushes in moors. Since the native perennial also tolerates moist soil well, it is ideal for pond borders. There it embellishes the edge of the pond with its dark pink flowers, which bloom in summer. A special feature of the marsh cranesbill is that it often forms two flowers on one stem, which in turn bloom one after the other.

  • Growth: forked, branched stems
  • Growth height: 30 - 60 cm
  • Flower color: dark pink
  • Flowering period: June - August
  • Location: semi-shady to shady

Planting from W - Z

water dost

If you are looking for a colorful plant that also flowers for a long time, you are well advised to go with the water daffodil (Eupatorium). But not only people enjoy the soft pink flowers of the water daffodil, because bees and butterflies also appreciate them. The useful insects in turn attract other animals, such as small birds. With the planting, not only can the pond border be designed, but also a species-rich animal world can be supported!

  • Growth: bushy and upright
  • Growth height: 100 - 130 cm
  • Flower color: pink
  • Flowering period: July - September
  • Location: sunny to semi-shady

Meadow iris

With the meadow iris (Iris sibirica), captivating color accents can be set at the edge of the pond, because the native meadow perennial bears beautiful, blue-violet flowers in summer. But not only the flower color is extraordinary, because the flower shape is anything but ordinary. While the meadow iris shows itself in all its glory in the warm season, it withdraws completely into the ground in winter.

  • Growth: upright stems
  • Growth height: 60 - 100 cm
  • Flower color: blue-violet
  • Flowering period: May - June
  • Location: sunny

Lemon Daylily

There are many ideas for adding some color to the pond. One possibility is to plant the lemon yellow daylily (Hemerocallis citrina). The perennial bears a large number of funnel-shaped, narrow flowers which are yellow in color and have a strong scent, especially in the evening. At the edge of the pond, it looks particularly good with other flowers and ornamental grasses.

  • Growth: upright inflorescences, arching inclined leaves
  • Growth height: 80 - 120 cm
  • Flower color: yellow
  • Flowering period: July - September
  • Location: sunny

notice: The flowers of the lemon yellow daylily only bloom for 24 hours, but this is hardly noticeable given the large number of flowers.

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