Archive for the ‘Hardy Water Lilies’ Category

The New Battle stations, Part one

March 13, 2009

        Loads of training, preparation and installation of the new North offices in Canton Ohio are almost finished. Thanks so much to Steve Mears for all his help and influence over the fall and winter months, a very good man. Some pictures of the new offices we have built for the new phone service people are included below. My dad and I built the new desks last August and they are working wonderfully.

       This year when you call you will be speaking with Zac (myself), Ruth, Maryanne, Pat, or Nancy. There are four phone lines in the new building and if we are all on the phone like last year, leave a quick message and we will call you right back or zip us an e-mail with your best contact time and we will call you back then. If you have questions on building the pond e-mail me and we can set up a longer phone call for a morning or evening one on one, the phone lines just get to jammed to answer all the nitty gritty questions during peak hours. I have shortened our order line hours a bit this year to leave more time for one on one phone calls for help on nights and weekends.

Zac's new workstation

Zac's new workstationWith few windows, my office gets water lily photos from our two lily nurseries. From left to right we have Crystal (white), Barbara Barnett (autumn), Gypsy (red, hardy), Then and amazing Victoria Lily next to a Madame Ganna Walska cut off on the far right. In another two weeks every square inch of the wall in front of that desk will be covered in papers and post-it notes. I never said my work station wasn't messy. On the desk is our RCA 4 line phone system, same one we used last year and I tell you it is fun to page the other office to make an announcement. If you want to know what water garden books I am reading zip me an e-mail sometime. Next we have part of the break area, gotta have a half size fridge with the full size to fit all the horrible food we eat in the summer. The ladies (Ruth, Pat, and Maryanne are good cooks but good bakers too... that leads to bad food all summer).Breakroom, Nancy's whoppers in front of framed 2008 April catalog!

Since we are not at the nursery we like to look at the nursery.
I will be adding my pictures of the two
nurseries here in the next couple weeks. Some of them already exist I think down on the Miami Rose water lily post.
I want to show you the plants, growing process and what you will be getting this season. We have great new plants, some good new product.
We are going to carry the pitcher plants outside the collections this year. We have plenty so I don’t think we are going to run out like in years past, if we begin to get low I will keep the blog updated.
Specials will be posted and you can check out pond megastore’s “plants & shipping information” page to see our new snail boxes shipped in coolers for safer delivery, I never got the picture up last year.

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...New artwork, 2008 April catalog on file cabinet, The March Catalog is framed in Ruths office...

The coolers are only for orders of 40 or more snails or tadpoles as fewer than that does not make any sense to ship due to overnight shipping costs. Smaller orders will be available until warm weather in late may without coolers and without overnight shipping.
Plenty of new fish this year, we will have lion heads, black moors, orandas, gold orfs, fancy-tail shubunkins, butterfly koi, sarasa coments, fantails, and regular koi just to get you excited. Call for availability if the fish you are looking for is not listed, we will be able to mix and match per each box.
Nancy's office! She loves the coffee so she's got a brand new cuisinart...nice. She doesnt have one of the 26" monitors though just a 17".

Nancy's office! She loves the coffee so she's got a brand new cuisinart...nice. She doesnt have one of the 26" monitors though just a 17".

To the left is Nancy’s office with smaller photos, the center picture is of the bog plants in the Florida Nursery. The three frames on the far left are from the April catalog from 2008 when we introduced the pink rain lilies, yellow mokey flower, and a few other plants we sold out of by June!

The lilies on the lower level second from the left are Clyde Ikins, even overcrowded they are the best blooming hardy lilies I have ever seen. Not my favorite hardy but one that outperforms. The white hardy lilies next to the center bog plants on the top are moondance. They have magnificent centers that look like no other. You cannot really tell this far from the wall and shrunk but I will post more lilies on here soon.
We had some fun picking what pictures to put up on our walls so I thought I would show you the first two offices. I will take some pictures of the other office and board room with us sitting in them later this week .  I hope to have our 2009 shirts in soon so maybe we can wear those instead of last years. I hope you enjoy the post and yes I have seen the copycat blog that seems to follow everything we do. I am sure in a few days they will need to put a picture of their office up too… It’s too funny to see she cannot come up with her own ideas.  I kind of enjoy making her spend money so lets see if I can find something more expensive for her this time.
 

Enemies of Water Garden Plants

December 12, 2008

Before we dive into each type of aquatic plant and each species let us discuss what pond plants do not like.

1. Rough Water and splashing

Overall pond plants enjoy calm water, a fountain or “spitter” that splashes water on the upper side of leaves and foliage will get them to begin rotting.

Water lilies planted close to a waterfall that is turbulent or causing the top of the pads to stay wet will cause the plant to die back.

Splashing water, few water plants surround splashing in the pond but outside is ok.

Splashing water, few water plants surround splashing in the pond but outside is ok.

2. Annuals and cool water temps

Cool water will cause tropicals to die back, if you plant annuals. when it is lets say 74 degrees outside in May, the water at 12″ deep in May will probably still be pretty cool. Water warms and cools MUCH slower than the air temperature. If it isn’t time to put tomatoes in the ground it is too early to add annual plants.

Every year I hear from people its after the last frost and safe to plant. Cool weather can kill some tropicals and damage others. Water lettuce will turn yellow and begin to die overnight when temps go below 52 degrees. Tropical water lilies will begin to die back under 60 degrees. 

Now lets say you plant a little early, there is minor damage to some to tropicals, only a little discoloration. It will come back correct? Yes, but you have probably set the plant up to think its fall or winter and they will go dormant for 2-6 weeks before new growth begins to develop rapidly. Hold off for a week in the spring and your plants will be full grown and blooming much sooner than adding them a week or two early and then waiting for them to come back.

3. Extra high PH … (though note PH is fine up to about 8.8)

Bad pond companies will tell you your plants need to be in neutral water around 7.0, this is not true at all, most pond plants are grown in slightly alkaline water to begin with. Fertilizers and good soil will generally increase pond PH slightly and tap water comes out of the faucet in much of the country between 7.6 and 8.4 anyway. Leaves do not begin to brown on many plants before 8.8 or 9.0. Fish too do fine in slightly alkaline water so if you would like to buy overpriced ph down and buffer be my guest. It wont last at the lower level more than a few days and your fish are more likely to get stressed and become ill from bacteria or parasites with swings in the PH. Leave the pond as is and all will be fine.

Salt and Microbe Lift (a beneficial bacteria used in filtration) are the only two addatives I reccoomend ever putting in the pond. No chemicals are ever necessary.

Chlorine remover is also for the most part not needed, if your tap water is more than 24 hrs old all the chlorine has already evaporated. If your only adding a little water (less than 33%, the fish wont care at all about the small amount of chlorine).

4. Constant Shade

Most pond plants are not going to be good bloomers in full shade. There are plenty that do well in shade but if water lilies grew in ponds and lakes big enough to hold them naturally few big lakes are in full shade. This means under a tree is probably not ideal for a water garden full of blooms but you can still have a great water garden and some bloomers.

5. Plants without soil.

Removing floating plants like water hyacinths and water lettuce and oxygenating plants like anacharis and hornwort. Planted plants like water lilies, lotus, and marginal bog plants all need real rich heavy soil.

Bog plants need a minimum of 1-2 gallon containers of heavy loam soil. Loam is a mixture of about 40%  rich topsoil, 40% clay dirt, and 20% sand or sandy soil.  Potting soil is of course too light and will float out of the container when you place the plants in the pond. Topsoil is great as it has some nutrients and is heavy enough to stay in the container.

6.  Rocks around my plants

In the potted containers, plants need to have there crown exposed, this is the part of the tuber or root ball where the plant emerges from the root and begins the foliage or leaves. If you cover the top of your containers with pea gravel and dont watch the crown the plant may be unabel to emerge. The crown must be out of the soil and visible to the sun as seen below. Im sorry the image is scanned and a little pixilated.

Planting a young water lily with crown exposed

Planting a young water lily with crown exposed