While summer may be coming to an end and autumn is just around the corner, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to abandon your thoughts of a colorful, vibrant garden for next year. Now is the time to start planning. However, sometimes planning a garden isn’t simple; sometimes a little more thought is required. This is especially true for homeowners with backyard spaces that include pools, fountains and ponds.
If your outdoor space includes water, there are some special things you should be aware of. Follow the nine tips below for growing a garden in or around water.
Pools are an excellent way to relax during warmer months, but growing a garden around them presents special challenges. Because of the chlorination – or salt content depending upon pool type – and the upkeep associated with a healthy pool, selecting your plants and gardening techniques carefully is essential.
- Select Heat-Resistant Plants. Pools reflect light and heat; that’s why you get such a great tan lying next to one or in one. This means that any nearby plants will also be subject to extra light and heat. Select weather-resistant plants that can hold their own under extreme conditions.
- Choose Plants That Are Tidy. Keeping a pool clean is a daily battle. From emptying and caring for the filter to physically cleaning the pool itself, upkeep requires work — this is why many opt for pool enclosures. Be sure to look for options that don’t drop leaves or flowers so you don’t spend an excessive amount of time cleaning out your pool.
- Use Containers. While your pool water may seem contained, if people swim in it, there will be splashing. Sure, that splashing might seem harmless, but if the ground around your garden becomes saturated with chemicals from the water, the plants are likely to suffer. Use containers to create a level of separation.
Much like pools, fountains are manmade structures that add beauty to your backyard. Unlike pools, they don’t contain chemicals. However, there are special considerations for gardens in and around fountains.
- Consider Water Plants. Plants like lily-pads create a sense of beauty and wonder that are only possible in chemical-free water. Use a little creativity to spice up your fountain.
- Add Fragrance. Love sitting near your fountain to relax? Does the sound of the water sooth you? Why not add an additional level of enjoyment with fragrant flowers and plants? Go for a mix of beauty and scent with fragrant plants like lavender that promote relaxation.
- Take Advantage of Your Lawn. Just because you have a fountain doesn’t mean you can’t plant up to its edge. While it’s pleasant to have a walking path to your backyard fountain, it also requires upkeep. Instead, by growing your lawn up to its edge, you can enhance its appearance without additional work.
Whether your pond is natural or man-made, it can be an aesthetically pleasing aspect of your backyard. Consider the following planting tips for its surrounding garden.
- Use Compost or Fertilizer. Unlike a backyard pool or fountain, ponds are meant to appear natural. This means that you’ll want to hide any liners or unsightly edges. Using compost or fertilizer up to the edge helps camouflage any eyesores and promotes the health of surrounding plants.
- Add Visually Appealing Grasses. Landscaping grasses add visual appeal without the work. Because of their height, they can disguise pond edges, leading to a natural flow. They can also provide needed food and refuge for wildlife around your pond and any fish or frogs living in your pond.
- Pay Attention to Your Pond’s Inhabitants. While a plant may have beautiful flowers or an appealing aroma, it might be deadly for fish and frogs that call your pond home. To maintain safety, do research upfront and avoid any plants that may be harmful to your pond’s inhabitants.
Water can be a visually appealing feature of your backyard, whether it’s in the form or a pool, a fountain, a pond or something else entirely. Follow the tips above and think about how you’d like to enhance your outdoor space during the next growing season.