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A pond stuck in the middle of a vast expanse of lawn may look artificial and barren. Add some perennial borders or use shrubs to define a pond side seating area. Larger shrubs and trees can serve as a pleasant backdrop to frame the pond, or they can mask views of property fences or a neighbors house. Remember that plantings need to be in scale with the pond and the rest of your yard. Clipped evergreen will only look good next to the most formal pool; a mix of plants if best for an informal pond, particularly a natural water garden, look as though it belongs in its setting is to surround it with plants that occur near ponds in nature. The plants described here in this section like moisture, but they also need soil that drains well. In their natural setting, you would find them on the banks above a stream or a pond, not right at the waters edge.


Although there are many members of the iris family, they are not all appropriate to grow in water gardens. The Louisiana iris thrives in wet conditions. Bearded irises, on the other hand, grow best in well-drained soil. Plant them in a sunny location, with their rhizomes exposed. Bearded irises produce the most flowers when the top surface of the rhizomes bake in the sun.

The Iris is the first flower in the pond to bloom. If you purchased your iris in the summer you’ve never seen its flower. Now’s your chance. Some of you may have lowered your iris in the pond for winter. Put them back on the plant shelf where the top of the pot is at water level and they will do wonderfully! You may want to push PondTabs into the soil to give them a boost.

Red Iris Water Plant

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Native to marshes, bogs and swamps, this iris adapts readily to any environment. This brick red colored flower attracts hummers and bees. Spring bloomer so get them in early. Zone 5

Recommended Landscaping Perennials


Description: Jack is the flower (a tiny knob called the spadix) and the pulpit is the hooded spathe that surrounds him. The spathe is green, sometimes streaked with dark purple, and about 5 inches long; the spadix gives way to a stalk of bright scarlet berries. Either flower or berry is a delightful surprise to fine in eastern woodlands. The leaves, which follow the “flowers,” have three parts and reach 6 to 24 inches tall. Give this plant a cool, shady place with moist but well-drained soil.


Description: Goatsbeard grows 4 to 6 feet tall and in rich soil can spread 6 feet, but it is surprisingly delicate for such a large plant. Its five-part leaves are toothed and ferny, and in late spring plants develop flowing, creamy white “beards.” Give gotasbeard afternoon shade if you live south of Zone 5.

Swamp Milkweed

Description: Like other milkweeds, this has tough stems, a lot of branches which make it almost shrub like, and narrow elliptical leaves. Plants are topped by a flat cluster of small flowers, each purple-pink with paler little upright “horns” and slightly fragrant. ‘Ice Ballet’, developed as a long-lasting cut flower, offers white blooms. Flowers give way to spiky pods that pop open to release dark brown seeds on silky threads. Despite its common name, swamp milkweed can grow in fairly dry soil. Milkweeds are slow to emerge in spring.

lotus pictureTo Learn About the Lotus Flower for Your Pond Click Here!

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