Friday, May 26, 2017


Wander to the back of my vegetable garden and you'll find a 4X2' stock tank water garden tucked in behind the potting shed wall.

 We added it a few years ago to fill in an empty spot that was an awkward shape. It had become a weeding nightmare and covering that extra area meant less weeding. It did not mean less work! Beautiful as a pond may be it does involve some maintenance but the rewards are high. This week I had 5 of the 'Colorado' water lilies open at the same time. Later the dwarf yellow Nymphaea Pygmaea Helvola ' opened its first bud. This water lily is more hardy and can be wintered over quite easily in freeze areas as long as the water doesn't freeze to the bottom the pond. I remember reading a long time ago that exotic water lilies will be up on stalks and hardy native ones will be floating on the water. I wonder if this is true?

Both these water lilies were divisions from my friend Pam Penick who gardens at Digging and who has an 8' stock tank garden. In the summer the Colorado water lily can quickly cover the surface of the pond. You need that to keep down the algae bloom.
To add a little height I added a couple of native limestone rocks, on which sit a ceramic frog. Today I noticed that a seed from the dwarf papyrus had settled in one of the depressions in the rock.

I have a couple of plants growing in floating islands, A variegated Japanese sedge and a dwarf papyrus. Directions on how I made these floating islands can be found here. Regrettably my lovely fish fountain succumbed to the two nights of 18° temperatures this winter. The water continued to flow which at least kept the ice from completely freezing over but caused the concrete to spall and eventually break apart. So sad to see it go. It has been replaced by a small bubbling fountain.

Those water lilies were down at the bottom of the pond during this freeze period so they survived to bring me joy again this summer. The papyrus and sedge in large buckets in the greenhouse.


  1. Your stock tank water garden is a pretty, pretty thing. I wonder how water lilies would do here? I wonder if the raccoons would appear and toss the plants out in search of whatever it is they think they're going to find there? (They regularly remove sea shells in the top tier of our fountain and even carried off the fountain's filter once, which took me days to find.) At least I wouldn't have freezes to worry about.

  2. That was quite a freeze wasn't it! I love the idea of the rock island, tucking that away to suggest to clients someday. It is a very pretty combination of plants and those islands are very cool!

  3. So pretty with those blooming water lilies! I love the rocks in it too. That is too bad your fountain didn't make it. That's definitely some cold temperatures for down there!

  4. Very nice Jennifer - those water lilies are just lovely!

  5. Our first water lilies opened yesterday. But they are obscured by floating debris from the trees. It has been raining pollen and seeds and who knows what. When Mark went out to try to scoop some of the goop from the surface he discovered tadpoles and so gave up on that job. We lost our Helvola during a very bad winter. Always one of my favorites.