Help planning around a pond


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Hello, I'm new to gardening and was asked to help someone plan the landscaping around their house. One thing that I've been working on is all of the ins-and-outs of putting in a pond/rock garden. I want some variety and nothing too tall. Could you guys please help me? I'm a complete novice and struggling with this a bit!

Thanks kindly,
Abbie
 
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Oh I apologize, I was also looking to plant perennials if at all possible.
 
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Without first knowing what it is you are wanting to achieve - in terms of shape, color and maintenance - as well as the kind of climate you have and how much sun or shade the area you are planning to plant in receives - it makes it very difficult to know what to suggest.

However I would just say that as you are in the planning process - it is often best to leave the planting scheme till last - as its much easier to do - once you have decided on what sort of structure you want the garden to have and whether or not the pond is to be the focal point of the garden together what shape you are thinking of and whether it will be linked to another part of the garden - as well as the type of materials you are planning to use - as that way you can then choose the right plants to enhance and compliment the pond area.
 
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Thank you for the response Gata! I apologize I was in a bit of a rush to get that out there that I kind of overlooked some key things. I've uploaded a rough picture so you can see the layout of the pond/rock garden. It will be built as shown. There is a key on the image to help you identify which symbol means what. The number of flowers on the picture doesn't have to be accurate.

As for color and texture, I'd like a variety, maintenance would hopefully be minimal (pruning occasionally and watering). I live in Minnesota, zone 4b to be more specific. The area is partial shade, briefly getting full sun but not at the peak of the day. What I mostly want is something that will give good color for the duration of the summer and if possible into spring. I'm not dead set on strictly perennials but just would need some suggestions as to what would be good in terms of annual/perennial mixes that would provide the longest blooming. There will be 3 hibiscus trees in there that I forgot to mention. One kind of on each corner of the "triangle" as it were.

Please let me know if any more information is needed! I'm truly kind of lost in all of this! Thank you again so much.
 
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Hopefully the picture will add on this one.
 
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Hello and welcome aboard! (y)

Not sure if I quite follow your picture... are the rocks only around the outside? If so, what will be around the stepping stones? And what kind of heights are involved - is it all broadly level?
 
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You are welcome Abbie and have to say that now that I have a rough idea of what you are working with as well the zone you are in - it certainly makes it a whole lot easier to come up with some suggestions.

There is however one question that immediately springs to mind on looking at your image and that is - are you wanting to leave the rock perimeter as it is - just rocks - or do you want to soften it and make it less like a boundary by planting it with plants that will compliment the rocks ?

As for the main area planting - my suggestion would be to keep the planting simple by choosing only a few different varieties and planting them in drifts or clumps - which can then be repeated throughout the area - rather than choosing lots of individually different plants - as the latter tends to look too busy and will detract from the focal point of the pond.

As your hibiscus trees will only be in bloom in late summer and will lose their leaves over the winter - I'm thinking that you are probably looking for plants that will give you year round color and texture and although there are many more than I can list here - here are a few suggestions of plants that are well worth considering as not only are they stunning to look at - but vary in height and include " walk on it " ground cover for between the stepping stones - all of which are perennial. low maintenance as well as many being evergreen and suitable for growing in your zone.

Foliage plants - most of which have stunning year round color

Leauthcothe Fontanesiana Rainbow - evergreen needing slightly acidic soil
Hostas - evergreen - all shades of blue and green as well as variagated
Houttuynia Cordata - Chameleon Plant - evergreen - spreads easily but in some areas can be invasive
Athyrium Niponicum - Japanese Painted Fern
Heuchera - Coral Bells - evergreen with hundreds of foliage colors to choose from
Hakonechloa Macra - semi - evergreen beautiful mounding grass that looks stunning near ponds
Ophiopogon Planiscapus - Black Mondo Grass - semi-evergreen - grass like but not an actual grass
Liriope Muscari - evergreen

Flowering Plants

Epimedium - Fairy Wings - evergreen with stunning foliage plus flowers
Hemerocallis - Daylilies - hardy and very adaptable to any conditions
Iris
Dianthus
Hellebores - evergreen
Veronicas - most varieties including ground cover
Persicaria Microcephala
Lewisia Cotyledon
Penstemon Barbatus
Geum Chiloense - evergreen
Laurentia Fluviatillis - Blue Star Creeper - " walk on it " ground cover
Sisyrinchium - evergreen with star shaped blue, yellow or cream flowers

I haven't included pictures as it would make this post even longer than it currently is - but have a browse through the list and see what may or may not appeal and should you require further information or even further suggestions - will be more than happy to oblige :)
 
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Around the stepping stones is small sewer rock. We've decided to tier it but that shouldn't effect much.

Yes the perimeter will just be as is so as to make it easier to mow and whatnot around it haha.
I will look into all of these suggestions Gata. I appreciate your help so much!
 
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I'd switch forums I think.

I didn't see a link to it, but there's an associated garden pond forum that might help with more specific answers as it relates to ponds.

unless I missed it (just took a quick look) there no link from here to there, but there is one from there to here (that's how I ended up here).
 
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Philphine I'm not sure what you're talking about but I've gotten some nice answers here I think!
 
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Philphine I'm not sure what you're talking about but I've gotten some nice answers here I think!

Garden Pond Forums

it's the related forum that i think this one branched off from. some of the same people, and even mods. i switch back and forth depending on how pondcentric (i just made up that word, i think) what i'm working on is.
 
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Thank you Becky and of course again Gata Montes. I'm looking into all of these suggestions and trying to figure out with him which would be best and everything.

Philphine I apologize but I'm not sure what you mean. I didn't know I branched this one off from another one? :confused:
 
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Thank you Becky and of course again Gata Montes. I'm looking into all of these suggestions and trying to figure out with him which would be best and everything.

Philphine I apologize but I'm not sure what you mean. I didn't know I branched this one off from another one? :confused:


As I've mentioned before you are more than welcome and should you need any further advice - even if its only simply to know how to care for a particular plant or what plants might compliment another or would like some further plant suggestions - please feel free to ask as I'm more than happy to help :)

The site that Philphine keeps mentioning is a sister site of Gardening Forums - which focuses more on the construction and maintenance of garden ponds rather than plants - but as that might also be useful to you I have included a link to it here

http://www.gardenpondforum.com/
 
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Just some quick advice I wanted to share as far as setting up an area for the pond. 1) Make sure you add some plants in side the pond- the best spot is the top at the top of the waterfall- this give the opportunity for good bacteria to grow in an area where you most likely will not have fish in it and helps to keep your water clean. The plants in the pond are the best way to do this. 2) Plan ahead for pond maintenance and lines. Make sure you have enough space and stepping stones around the pond in order to remove filters and pumps without stepping on flowers.You also do not want plants that will shed leaves constantly into the pond. 3) Look at the shade in the area you are working with. Be sure that you have the pond in the shady area preferably to decrease the growth of algae in the pond. I love some color around my pond so I choose plants with variegated leaves and color. Also day lilys are good to plant about 1.5-2ft behind the pond. The long bushy leaves provide a good hiding spot for pond frogs that will show up after the pond is put in. You may have already thought of these things but wanted to share my experience with you. Happy Gardening!!
 

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