Glyceria (Water Grass)
Yet another grassy Marginal, and one with a bad reputation for being invasiveand for swamping the more delicate plants. Glyceriaspectabilis variegatus (Manna Grass) is a striking plant growing 2 – 3 feet high, with Green leaves which are boldly variegated with Yellow and Whote stripes. The young spring foliage has a distinctly rosy hue. The wide-spreading grass flower heads are of little ornamental value and should be removed. The planting depth is 0 – 6 inches and it can be grown in the bog garden. Unless Glyceria is used to stabilise the bank of a lake or large pond, it should always be grown in a container to restrict its sideways spread. It is an easy plant to grow even in partial shade and it quickly becomes established and stars to spread, this is the main problem with this particular plant.

Houttuynia (Houltuynia)

An easy to grow carpeter for planting between taller specimens, but you must grow it in a container to keep its invasive nature in check. The stems are Red and the Bluish-Green leaves are distinctly heart shaped. It grows 6 inches to 1 foot high and in early summer the cone shaped flowers appear, each one surrounded by 4 white bracts. Houttuynia cordata bears single flowers – the double flowered variety ‘Plena’ is preferred. Variegata has the most colourful foliage which is Reddish-Green splashed with Yellow and cream but with only a few flowers. The recommended planting depth is 2 – 4 inches. It will grow quite happily at the surface or even in damp soil, but the roots can be damaged in winter if they are exposed to frost or ice.

Caltha (Marsh Marigold)

The Marsh Marigolds are perhaps the most popular of all Marginal plants, and quite rightly so. The size of the smaller types makes them suitable for small ponds and they are reliable under a wide range of conditions. The recommended planting depth is no roblem, they need very little water above the crowns and will grow quite happily in the bog garden. Their greatest advantage is the time of flowering, the Buttercup-like flowers appear above the round or heart shaped leaves in spring. These April blooms herald in the start of the floral year. Grow Marsh Marigolds in groups in full sun or partial shade. The basic and most popular species is the Kingcup Caltha palustris. In April the bright Yellow waxy flowers are borne on branching stems above the dark Green leaves. Height 1 foot to 18 inches, planting depth is 0 – 2 inches. The best Caltha of all is C.palustris Plena – double Yellow flowers which look like small pompon Crysanthemumsappear in April. The leafy mounds are small (6 inches th 1 foot) and are often completely covered by the blooms. The White variety alba produces its blooms in May – height 6 – 9 inches, planting depth 1 inch. It is often disappointing as a Marginal s o it is best to grow it as a bog plant.C.leptosepala is a more attractive White floweredCaltha, but it is not easy to find. C polypetala is the giant growing 2 – 3 feet in height, planting depth 2 – 5 inches. The leaves and the Yellow blooms are large. Not one for a small pond.
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I spend a great deal of my spare time in my garden but I must admit that most of it is spent either improving my pond or just sitting by it watching the world in water. A lot of of my fascination with ponds was created with the help of a Landscape Gardener London company. They gave me all the help and advice that I needed, as and when I asked them for it.

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