Pond plants and water snails

This afternoon we popped across to a local aquatics centre to browse their pond plants. It’s important to ensure you have a range of plants in and around the pond to suit the purpose of your pond. Our pond is for wildlife, so we were looking for plants that would keep the water clear, provide cover and attract insects. I had a couple of plants in mind to go in and around the pond, in particular water forget-me-nots. These beautiful little blue and purple flowers would provide a lovely splash of colour.

Despite the aquatic centre being less than 5 miles away, it was hard to find, hidden down a private road. The farm which runs the sop also specialises in koi carp. The largest pond had some truly awesome giants. The shop had a good selection of water lilies and other pond plants. I decided to buy one plant for each level of the pond, one shallow, medium and deep. The water lilies were all full size and were too big for our small pond. Instead, we found a water hawthorn which has elliptical floating leaves and beautiful white flowers. For our middle depth plant, we chose a purple iris as this would provide a strong flash of colour against the willow screen. Finally, I chose a Himalayan marsh plant with delicate white flowers to grow around the shallow top of the pond. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any water forget-me-nots so my hunt for them continues. Before we left, I asked the shop owner whether they had any water snails. These are excellent for keeping the pond clean. She rummaged around in a pond and came up with five. We added them to our plants and to top everything off, a bag of gravel for the base of the pond.

When we arrived back on site, we tipped in the small bag of gravel to provide a more natural bottom of the pond. The water was freezing but I was rather pleased with the effect. Next, I put in the water hawthorn in the middle of the pond, spreading out it’s leaves. There aren’t many leaves yet but hopefully it will grow well, covering around half of the pond. The iris pot was placed on two submerged bricks to ensure it was at the correct depth. As the plant establishes, we can remove a brick so that it lives at slightly deeper water depth. Finally, I placed the Himalayan marsh plant on an upturned brick. This plant only needs a few centimetres of water to thrive. I draped the greenery over the branch and edge of the pond. Admittedly, the plants look very small but they should quickly grow to fill the pond.

The next job was to add some oxygenating plants. I found some with a rootstock and potted it in a tiny plant pot and placed it into the pond. It was time to release the snails! I put all of them into the pond one at a time and watched them sink to the bottom. Hopefully they will enjoy their new home!

Left to sort for the pond are the logs around the base. I have decided I think I would prefer more logs than stones as I like the idea of creating a small bog area around the pond. It also means getting more plants, which is always good!

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