Converting Garden Pond area to Native Garden


JBtheExplorer

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Some of you know about my native garden, but I also have a goldfish pond. It sits next to my patio, right between my house and garage. For those who've never seen it before, here it is:
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When I initially built the pond, the plants I bought were pretty much anything I could find on clearance. I was on a tight budget. Of course, since then, I've learned a lot more about native plants and their importance. I've also learned that buying seeds is the most affordable way to go, which I always knew, but never knew if I could be patient enough, or if I could even successfully grow them, but I figured it all out fairly quickly

The photo below shows my original native plant area by the pond that I added in 2014. Purple Coneflower was added just last year and bloomed for the first time this Summer. I also have Orange Milkweed, Blanket Flower, and Black-eyed Susans.

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Over the last year, I've started replacing the non native plants for native species. I've removed maybe a dozen non-native species. This Autumn, I ripped out the last of the daylilies. I put Blazing Star in it's spot, which was a plant that was already growing along my pond. Where the Blazing Star originally was, I planted about 15 Blue-eyed Grass plants, as well as a Nodding Onion and Penstemon. Blue-eyed Grass is a low-growing native, so I'll have a good view of the pond.

Here's the Blazing Star
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...and the Blue-eyed Grass.
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Earlier this year, I added Bush's Coneflower seedlings, which I'm hoping to see bloom in 2017. If you've never heard of them, they're the only naturally yellow Echinacea. In Spring, I added a Wild Geranium plant, which is another plant that should bloom next year. The only photo I have of it was taken this November as it was turning red.
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In my pond, I have a few native plants as well. Horsetail Rush, Blue Flag Iris, and Smooth Black Sedge are all native to my area.
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While I'd like to convert the pond area to 100% true native species, I'm not sure I will, at least not right now. I enjoy my different-colored waterlilies. I also like the way Dianthus looks by my pond (in the second photo, just to the left of the pond, with a duck egg in it). Frogs also like sitting in it.
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I may not get to 100% native, but I'm pushing for 95%. In 2017, I have more plans to continue the conversion to a native garden. I may remove three or four more non-native species to make room for more native plants. I'm hoping to add Meadow Blazing Star, which is known for attracting Monarch Butterflies. I already grow it in my native garden, and have seen how Monarchs fly to it like a magnet.
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I may figure out ways to squeeze in more plants too. Smooth Oxeye is a favorite that I'd like to see in the pond area, but for now, I'll have plenty of time to plan it all out. I'll have to wait about two or three months for the snow to melt, and then another month or two before I can plant. :cry:



Regardless, the project continues!
 
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Some of you know about my native garden, but I also have a goldfish pond. It sits next to my patio, right between my house and garage. For those who've never seen it before, here it is:
View attachment 16165


When I initially built the pond, the plants I bought were pretty much anything I could find on clearance. I was on a tight budget. Of course, since then, I've learned a lot more about native plants and their importance. I've also learned that buying seeds is the most affordable way to go, which I always knew, but never knew if I could be patient enough, or if I could even successfully grow them, but I figured it all out fairly quickly

The photo below shows my original native plant area by the pond that I added in 2014. Purple Coneflower was added just last year and bloomed for the first time this Summer. I also have Orange Milkweed, Blanket Flower, and Black-eyed Susans.

View attachment 16169
View attachment 16168




Over the last year, I've started replacing the non native plants for native species. I've removed maybe a dozen non-native species. This Autumn, I ripped out the last of the daylilies. I put Blazing Star in it's spot, which was a plant that was already growing along my pond. Where the Blazing Star originally was, I planted about 15 Blue-eyed Grass plants, as well as a Nodding Onion and Penstemon. Blue-eyed Grass is a low-growing native, so I'll have a good view of the pond.

Here's the Blazing Star
View attachment 16167

...and the Blue-eyed Grass.
View attachment 16166

Earlier this year, I added Bush's Coneflower seedlings, which I'm hoping to see bloom in 2017. If you've never heard of them, they're the only naturally yellow Echinacea. In Spring, I added a Wild Geranium plant, which is another plant that should bloom next year. The only photo I have of it was taken this November as it was turning red.
View attachment 16170


In my pond, I have a few native plants as well. Horsetail Rush, Blue Flag Iris, and Smooth Black Sedge are all native to my area.
View attachment 16173 View attachment 16171 View attachment 16172


While I'd like to convert the pond area to 100% true native species, I'm not sure I will, at least not right now. I enjoy my different-colored waterlilies. I also like the way Dianthus looks by my pond (in the second photo, just to the left of the pond, with a duck egg in it). Frogs also like sitting in it.
View attachment 16174 View attachment 16175 View attachment 16176



I may not get to 100% native, but I'm pushing for 95%. In 2017, I have more plans to continue the conversion to a native garden. I may remove three or four more non-native species to make room for more native plants. I'm hoping to add Meadow Blazing Star, which is known for attracting Monarch Butterflies. I already grow it in my native garden, and have seen how Monarchs fly to it like a magnet.
View attachment 16177



I may figure out ways to squeeze in more plants too. Smooth Oxeye is a favorite that I'd like to see in the pond area, but for now, I'll have plenty of time to plan it all out. I'll have to wait about two or three months for the snow to melt, and then another month or two before I can plant. :cry:



Regardless, the project continues!
So Pretty !!!
 
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Lovely! I don't have any good pics of my pond (which is more humble than yours) but I just went to local lakes and rivers to get water lilies and water plants for it...which I guess is pretty native. :p

And I have goldfish and summer frogs...but no cool surrounding plants. The dogs are hard* on backyard plants so anything pretty has to be out front or in the side yard.

* The boy dogs pee on anything that is 6" tall or taller, :rolleyes: and all three of them tromp all over things. It's why I can't have nice things. :)
 
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Beautiful @JBtheExplorer! (y) Another advantage to growing from seed is that you can be sure your plants are free of any sorts of toxins that the grower and/or garden center may have used on the plants. I see your solar panel there. Does it power the pump for the pond? I have a similar sized solar panel for the birdbath and i let it run all day, guilt free. Did you convert the pump from ac/dc to solar? or did you purchase the two items as a package?
 
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You have one heck of an eye JB. Blanket flower can be quite proficient at self seeding. I have a bunch of seeds sent to me by a fellow gardener in Texas. My plan is to sow them this holiday weekend before we get hit with snow.
 
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Simply gorgeous (y) Just goes to show how beneficial it can be having native plants in a garden :)
 

JBtheExplorer

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Beautiful @JBtheExplorer! I see your solar panel there. Does it power the pump for the pond?
No, it's one of two solar spotlights that light up the pond at night. Helps me enjoy the pond a few extra hours at night. :)
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Blanket flower can be quite proficient at self seeding.
They do produce a lot of seed that's easy to grow, which is always a plus for me, but I have yet to see any seedlings pop up around the plants in this photo. I had a bunch of seedlings growing out of some cut seed heads in my native garden in October, but they won't make it through winter. At least they tried :LOL:
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Simply gorgeous (y) Just goes to show how beneficial it can be having native plants in a garden :)
Thanks @Becky!
 
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The pond looks beautiful at night with the lighting and i'll bet you get to hear little frogs singing too :)
 

JBtheExplorer

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The pond looks beautiful at night with the lighting and i'll bet you get to hear little frogs singing too :)
The Bullfrogs do their calls randomly at any time of the day. I love hearing their call. I've never found eggs in the pond, though, so they must not have been successful yet.
There were a couple American Toads doing their mating calls a couple years ago. One female laid quite a few eggs, which I carefully gathered up and brought to a natural pond nearby. The toad's call can be pretty annoying, at least when it's that close. I was thankful when they moved on. This past Spring I didn't have any toads using my pond for mating, and I was pretty happy about that! :) I'll have to wait and see if they return next Spring.
 
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Let me see, i am trying to figure out the ecology here. Do you have fish in the pond that will eat the frog eggs? Does it attract Dragonflies that eat the mosquitoes? Do the fish and frogs also eat the mosquito eggs? Do people ask too many questions? :)
 

JBtheExplorer

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Let me see, i am trying to figure out the ecology here. Do you have fish in the pond that will eat the frog eggs? Does it attract Dragonflies that eat the mosquitoes? Do the fish and frogs also eat the mosquito eggs? Do people ask too many questions? :)
The goldfish would likely eat the frog eggs, but the frogs have never mated. When they do, I will take the eggs to a safe location, or even raise them myself. I get all kinds of dragonflies, but mainly Blue Dashers. Frogs won't eat mosquito eggs, but the fish will. and yes. ;)
 
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