Posts Tagged ‘ponds’

Nancy’s Pond. . .

February 28, 2009

by Nancy G. deGarmeaux:

     Hello Fellow Water Garden Fans,   Tomorrow is the 1st day of March and the pond season is upon us.  Days are getting longer, we “Spring Forward” next week, and we are all impatient for Spring to arrive.  Zac has asked me to fill in for him on his blog as he is busy on his website getting ready for the 2009 season!  The  pond plants and water lilies that PONDMEGASTORE has to offer this Spring are simply amazing. 

Mr. MARTIN E RANDIG          !!!NEW!!!

Mr. MARTIN E RANDIG !!!NEW!!!

  Many of these water lilies aren’t offered anywhere else.    I like to plan what plants I will be adding to my water garden this spring.  I usually start with the plants that I will submerge to oxygenate the water.  Then I like to add bog plants to give some definition to the pond.  Last but not least, I like to imagine  the exquisite water lilies that I will add to my pond.  I try to give my pond as much bloom time and interest as I can.  By bloom time, I mean I add water lilies that bloom day and night.  I add lilies that have longer bloom times throughout the day and that bloom from first bloom til frost.  I add interest by adding complimentary colors with my bog plants and ones with interesting shapes (sword-like leaves, fern-like foliage, spiky blooms,  etc. )  Nothing is quite as peaceful as water lily pads and blooms  “floating” magically on the calm water.  It’s also exciting to hear and see splashing water from the waterfalls and the flash of orange, red, yellow, or white koi or other fish in the water.  Once your plants are established and your snails, toads, frogs and other creatures are making their homes in your water garden surroundings bees and butterflies will be visiting for fly-by snacks or to add beauty just by their presence.     Two plants that I will be adding to my pond are Orange Sedge and Pluumbae Taro.  The Orange Sedge is an aquatic grass that grown 14-18″ tall.  Its’ bright orange color and  narrow blade-like leaves gives unusual color and texture and catches the slightest breeze.  The Taro “Plumbae” has large, shiny plum colored leaves that can grow to 4′ wide.    The Sensitive plant  is a tuber that can be potted or floated in your pond.  It has numerous yellow flowers and leaves that close instantly when touched.  All of these plants should compliment my yellow  Water Snowflake flowers in the calm, shallow end of my pond.  My Moon Dance water lily will add interest with its’ white flowers and mottled pads.  Try to remember not to overfeed your fish.  That’s one of the reasons you might have problems fouling the water.  Your pond is an eco system and the plants and fish create a “balance”.  We hope you enjoy  your water gardens and pond plants as much as I do.  Take care!  Think Spring!

MIAMI ROSE, my favorite water lily, we have brought to the homeowners market to date!

January 18, 2009

Miami Rose. In 2008 I declared this my favorite water lily to date.  I intend on showing you some new varieties that have just been hybridized that  we will be bringing to the mass market in 2010,  that may surpass this. There are NEW reds and purples that I cannot wait to show you this summer that are not available to anyone yet, you find them here first!

Zac's Favorite Water Lily to date! Miami Rose. Intense, long lasting, mottled foliage!

Zac's Favorite Water Lily to date! Miami Rose. Intense, long lasting, mottled foliage!

Miami Rose,  brought to market in 1999. A amazing cultivar from Florida Aquatic Nurseries (you will notice as you read through each species the same names over and over, its not that I just have favorite water lily developers it is more that there are so few people and companies that specialize in this and every generation has many developed species. The Annual or Tropical varieties will have many species developed by William Tricker from the late 1800s to early 1900s and then much more development by Craig Presnell of Luster Aquatics and Brad McLane of Florida Aquatic Nurseries from the 1980s-2000s. It seems like mainly winter hardy lilies were hybridized between the 1930s and 1980.)  

The Miami Rose is amazing from its intense blossoms and vibrant color to its heavily mottle purple foliage. The pads are lined and specked heavily with purple and teased with dark green patters inside the purple. I love showing people who have never seen anything but common, sometimes boring yellow or white hardy lilies with green pads something like the Miami Rose.  Once you go to the tropical lilies I don’t think you can ever come back! To me hardy water lilies have become boring except for a few species (I like Clyde Ikins for its ability to bloom no matter what, pink grapefruit is amazing, and the deeper reds like black princess hold a special place in my heart). Why no distributor is in love with the Annual water lilies is astonishing to me! Gardeners love annuals, they are the spice and flavor of a garden. There is nothing difficult about growing the annuals in any part of the 48 continental states or Hawaii. They bloom much more than hardy lilies, come in intense wonderful colors, have unbelievable pads, and few have ever seen these plants. They are not found at Wal Mart and I do not suggest they attempt to sell these as boxed roots as they do other species.

Tank of Miami Rose from the side, underside are specked with purple while heavily striped on top.

Tank of Miami Rose from the side, underside are specked with purple while heavily striped on top.

 Plant in a 2 to 5 gallon container with heavy loam soil. Fertilize heavily, loves sunshine and warm water. Plant when constantly above 75 degrees in late spring. Water temp must be in the 60s no 40 degree nights. The more shallow the more warm your water and more blooms you will get!

Rated as a perfect 5 or 5. Miami Rose is a award winning champion water lily. An over-achiever in the water garden.

On another note off topic. Funny but terrible story from 2008. Recently I began writing some generalized tips to include in a water garden newsletter I hope to get out this Summer.  Note for those of you who don’t know me I only get about 1 in 10 ideas finished and out the door on Water Gardening. I have found that if I dedicate a large sum of money into projects I am more likely to nurture them. Last summer we sent out 3 mailings which I am not sure bring in many new customers and they cost us around $23,000 with printing and mailing costs. The first two we spent months putting together and the third we threw together in about 4 days and it was a little shorter but the best of the 3. However we printed the wrong phone number on the first page of that catalog (inside front cover). Luckily the correct phone number was on every one of the rest of the pages however after Miami Rose. In 2008 I declared this my favorite water lily to date. Though I intend on showing you some new varieties that have just been hybridized we will be bringing to the mass market in 2010 that may surpass this. There are NEW reds and Purples that I cannot wait to show you this summer that are not available to anyone yet, you find them here first! a few weeks what I believe was a teenager called us and asked us why all our customers were calling her boyfriend. I apologized. I was hoping it wasn’t a real number and had not called it because I was afraid it would be. After discussing it with a coworker and feeling horrible I called the number back only to get a voice mail “I am not a company”.  We offered to pay phone bills for the guy but we never received a response and I think the phone number was changed soon after. I feel terrible about that and you would think I would check details more closely but I find typos on here daily. Given I don’t have 10 people to proofread it for me, I am glad I have been persistent in blogging except the first 10 days of the year when I decided to get a bad sinus infection.

Winter: early, cold, and nationwide

December 26, 2008

Tomorrow will be the first warm day here in Ohio since October.  I get to write this post a second time because I somehow refreshed my page and erased thirty minutes worth of work.  I provided some winter and Christmas images, as it’s just too cold and snowy to  put up green images.

I will rewrite most of what I wanted to talk about today,  including how this winter and the current rocky econmic conditions will affect the home and garden industry as a whole, or at least my predictions for 2009. You may or may not care about this as it is not a common topic to discuss how enviromental and economic conditions affect plants.  However the economy will most certainly affect what you find IN garden centers each spring. 

 Last year I was asked how I thought the 2008 season would go as at the time we felt we were going into an economic downturn.

When you see economic reports in the news that the country is in a recession it is not necessarily true that everyone or every business is participating in a downturn. I am not forecasting that our sector of the water garden industry will suffer in 2009. In fact it is still quite possible the garden industry will do well in 2009. I see localized trouble for landscaping in some parts of the country but that is isolated. You can probably save on maintenance services should you be someone who hires someone to do your lawn or leaves. Take advantage of the situation. There will be more people willing to do yard work in 2009 due to both layoffs and a slightly tougher job market. A lawn business is something easy to start up that has immediate revenue and has a few costs or barriers to entry. Make sure who ever you hire is professional and that they know what they are doing. Most professional landscapers are still very bad water garden planners and installers. If I offended any landscapers feel free to e-mail me. Perhaps in the future I will put up a water gardening quiz. If your landscaper cannot answer the questions correctly than have them do everything but the water garden.

 I believe 2009 will be similar to the spring and summer of 2002 when fewer people spent money on trips or traveled.  Next year more people will stay at home and when this occurs they get creative. This is when we take time to redevelop our homes and yards. As we spend more time at home, we make our homes and gardens more inviting.  With winter having begun so early (November 1st here in Ohio), and now much of the south and west has had a few rounds of cold and snow and ice. By the time April gets here we will be tired of a cold brown landscape and we will be investing in our yards.

Blizzard conditions

Blizzard conditions

This does not mean we are all shelling out thousands of dollars but we will take out old overgrown shrubs we have been meaning to, dividing our hostas and replanting them. I think annuals will have huge growths in sales like petunias and inpatients (though there’s already bazillions of those). Our yards will be important. In the water garden industry I expect new water lily varieties to do well in sales like Leopardess (blue, mottles) water lily , Panama Pacific purple water lily, Miami Rose (reddish water lily), Pink Passion water Lily, and many more. Also new plants for sunny planters in most all of the country including papyrus which has been common in the southwest for some time and umbrella palms.

blizzard snow

blizzard snow

Last week we had ice storms in the north east, this week in Chicago and Indiana. Snow twice in two weeks in Seattle which is uncommon, and more uncommon they now refuse to salt the roads in the city (for a good laugh look up the news stories about police officers responding on foot in Seattle because the city refuses to salt the streets because the salt may go into Puget sound, a body of salt water?).  New Orleans and Beaumont TX had snow last week as did Las Vegas in the city. Florida has remained same so far but winter just arrived officially 5 days ago. Having lived here in Ohio for 8 or 9 years it wouldn’t surprise me if most of January and February are in the 50s but there is no sigh of that just yet. Tomorrow I will return to plants as I am anxious to begin discussing water lilies and what will be available this spring. We hope to be able to provide you with many new species and they are fantastic. I am having fun reading other blogs, mostly landscape like the whispering crane or searching the holiday making of people around the country.

Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) New 2009

December 16, 2008

Though new for the company I work for, I have been familiar with moneywort for some time. It is easy to grow and can be planted as an oxygenator under the water or a flowering bog plant.  This plant can actually be grown as an herb apparently benefiting the brain. I am not growing it for that purpose so that’s as deep as I will go into that use. As a submerged pond plant it is very easy to grow and enjoys light.  This plant will probably rot and die in shady ponds.

Bacopa monnieri, white flowers surround the base of other bog plants at the surface like umbrella palms or thalia delbata

Bacopa monnieri, white flowers surround the base of other bog plants at the surface like umbrella palms or thalia delbata Moneywort submerged growing toward the surface.

It has small white flowers above the surface and grows nicely along the base of other bog plants covering containers! Neat trick.

NEW! Lemon Bacopa (Bacopa Caroliniana)

December 16, 2008

New for 2009, Lemon Bacopa, named for its lemon scent,  is a very interesting pond plant. This plant comes bunched like anacharis but grows up to the surface of the water and then slightly above. Not only that but once above the surface it begins to bloom with tiny 1/2 inch wondrous blue flowers. This plant can also be planted as a bog plant and will love the soil and bloom more often. A great oxygenator I hope we can keep this  in stock for 2009.

Lemon Bacopa, wonderful oxygenator that blooms once it gets to the waters surface.

Lemon Bacopa, wonderful oxygenator that blooms once it gets to the waters surface.

Provides great hiding spot for fish when predators come around.  Highly reccomended.  Native to zone 8-10.  Other than submerged, great ground cover that is easy to grow in a diverse range of locations including bogs, streams, waterfalls, pond edges and container gardens; foliage lemon-scented.

submerged in an aquarium, this is how each bunch will look at the bottom of the pond.

submerged in an aquarium, this is how each bunch will look at the bottom of the pond.

Seasonal Care:
Cut tips down to 3 in. and float in a cup of water in a warm, sunny location indoors