Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Garden Gathering Recap: Wet & Wild!

We're onto the second installation of our Garden Gathering recaps!  In case you missed it, you should definitely check out Sue's "Designing with Food & Flavor".  Now it's my turn to share a little bit from my Garden Gathering topic "Wet & Wild!"... so here we go!


Wet & Wild!

Fiberoptic Grass, Water Celery, Creeping Jenny

I've always found water to be an attractive feature in a garden.  Fountains, fish ponds, bird baths... they all add a refreshing and unexpected element to a garden of any size.  It's not difficult to incorporate a water feature into your own garden.  You can get just as much enjoyment out of a small, concrete leaf bird bath as you can from the impressive fountains at Longwood Gardens.  A bonus:  with a small feature like this, maintenance is simple.  Just wash it out and change the water when you water your plants and planters.  Easy!

But you don't have to stop here!  Just like in ponds, small water features are enhanced by adding plants.  Some of my favorite water plants are not for use in water exclusively.  There are a number of versatile annuals that can be used just as well in patio planters as they can in pond planters.  I've compiled a small collection of some of my go-to "marginals", or plants that are happy to have their roots submerged in the water.  (This is not a complete list of water plants by any means!  Just a few of my favorites.)

AKA Elephant Ears, these plants offer height and drama- perfect for a larger scale installation.  Colocasia come in a wide variety of heights and colors.  I especially like 'Mojito' for it's splotchy, varigated leaves.

Perhaps a gimme, but there so many to choose from!  We often think of 'King Tut' and 'Baby Tut' as plants to use in patio containers, but they'll thrive in the water as well.

Great for a sunnier location.  They provide height and will flower for some extra pop!

Similar to cannas, but these plants are all about the foliage.  They will not get a flower, but their rich, dark leaves are just gorgeous!

AKA Butterfly Weed.  Another flowering option, plus they attract butterflies as the name implies.

Water Celery
A gorgeous accent foliage!  Gotta love those lavender edged leaves.  (In photo above.)

Fiberoptic & Twister Grass
Texture adds depth to any planting, and what a better way to add it in than with some grass?  Two of my favorites for water use are Fiberoptic grass and Twister Grass.  Fun! (In photo above.)

Perhaps another gimme, Creeping Jenny adds a nice spot of color. (In photo above.)

Blue Moneywart is just so sweet!  It covers itself in tiny blue flowers...irresistable!

These plants work well in mixed containers for larger water features, as well as in trios, pairs, or singles in a birdbath!  As with any other planting, I like to mix colors, textures, heights, and habits for extra interest.  Maybe even add in some other elements like shells or stones...or whatever you like!

I absolutely encourage you to try out some water plants or water gardening this season, no matter your scale!  Get you feet, hands, whatever wet and try something new!

-Anna Mary

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