Sunday, December 7, 2008

a native plant garden - part 2

One of my favorite parts of my garden is the pond. Here I’ve tried using plants other than the typical exotic lotuses and lilies that you see in water gardens, partly because of the lack of sun, and partly because I wanted to try out some of the native plants I'd read about.

This corner of the house seemed like a great spot for the pond. There is a big picture window that looks out on it, it’s close to the front porch, and I thought a square pond would create a nice blending of the architecture of the house with the more natural forms of the rest of the yard.

Of course, the first challenge was building the thing. It turned out to be a pretty big project but with a little help from my friends, I managed to get it built fairly quickly. The pond is about 14-18” deep. And here you can see where I’ve started to dig the footings for the walls that form the pool.

Here I’ve roped a friend into doing some of the work for me, and you can see the walls starting to take shape.

Here, I’ve finished the brickwork and started to add the coping. At work I’m always drawing designs and then passing them off to the construction crew, but this was a chance for me to build something myself. If you come over please don’t look too closely at the brick joints - I had a lot of trouble with the mortar.

For the coping I decided to create my own faux stone with colored concrete. I think here you can just make out the impressions of Christmas fern that I used when casting the pieces.

Here I used leaves from the Hickory tree growing nearby to decorate the adjacent steps. It's kind of hard to see them in this shot.

So here’s the pond with a year or two of growth.

In the back you can see the Royal ferns which you find growing in some of the streams nearby. It loves wet feet so during most of the year I have the them in terra cotta pots right in the water, but I have to take the pots out it winter to prevent cracking.

Royal ferns develop nice golden fertile fronds in the summer.

I also have Carolina spider lily, which grows more to the south.

and Crinum lily. It’s also more southern plant.

Here is some Lizard’s tail in bloom – it’s very common in the local wetlands.

Part of the reason I wanted a pond is to have some wildlife in the garden, not all of it native though. I love to watch and feed the goldfish. It’s fun to feed them out of your hand – I thought it would take weeks of training but they’re so ravenous it only took about an hour for them to get the idea.

My pond also has several huge bullfrogs which are native, but kind of monstrous. I’ve seen a bullfrog eat another that was almost the same size, and even came across one with two feet and tail feathers sticking out of its mouth.

To read more see:
The Front Yard
The Side Yard


Cosmo said...

Your pond is beautiful, and the flowers are so cool. I love the stones you made for the coping. Does your friend contract out?

Phillip Merritt said...

I think he'd do just about anything for a piece of mince pie.

Les, Zone 8a said...

I like the pond. When I put mine in it took me weeks to decide between a rectalinear design or natural. I went with natural since all the other hardscape was so rigid.

I appreciate the link you put on my post about Big Mama. Cypress Bridge looks like an amazing place. If you hear of any other trips there, I would appreciate a heads up.

I see on your home page that you worked with Ann Stokes. My company works with her occasionally and my son plays in the same Little League as her daughter. Small world heh?

Phillip Merritt said...

Les, thats funny. Sometimes it seems like everyone knows everyone in this part of the world.

tina said...

Very nice. I love it completed and with all the wildlife. Bullfrogs and all-ewww to eat another!