Suddenly, there was a pond: Part 3


I was running 10 days late on the b**k by the time Pete was ready to start planting the pond, so when he asked me if I wanted to go to the wholesale nursery with him to choose plants, I was in a bit of a dilemma.
On the one hand, I should have been working; and having been in and out of London every day for most of September, the last thing I wanted to do was to spend four hours on the motorway (two hours there, two hours back) AGAIN. On the other hand, several herds of wild horses would have been necessary to prevent me from going.


The nursery Pete uses is called North Hill Nurseries, in Chobham, Surrey. It's strictly trade only, but I was very impressed by the range and the quality of the plants. Considering this was the beginning of October, they had a fantastic selection - most of the retail nurseries have either sold out of everything by now, or the plants look pretty sorry for themselves. These Actaea matsumurae 'White Pearl' caught my eye immediately.


I knew I wanted lots of grasses, because they give a very natural, fluid effect, and pretty good year-round interest as well. In winter, the fluffy seed heads add texture to the garden, and look fabulous covered in frost.


These are schizostylis, or kaffir lily, part of the huge selection of perennials available. I didn't buy these, but I have admired them in Patient Gardener's front garden, so it may be just a matter of time before I acquire some.


Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'! I have been dying to get my sticky little paws on one of these for ages. A must-have - AND they are resistant to honey fungus.


More fabulous perennials. Pete was trying to persuade me to get some astilbes but I have an irrational prejudice against these plants. I don't know why - perhaps because I think the bright pink ones look so unnatural. I'd rather have something like Aruncus dioicus.


Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' - a really lovely white hydrangea which looks good anywhere.


And here's the finished pond! Well, not quite finished, because the electrician has to come and connect the pump cable to the electricity supply. Pete and his team filled it with just enough water to submerge the marginals and the water lily in the centre, but we've had so much rain recently, the level has already risen by at least an inch.


The cats don't seem to mind the loss of their lavatory - they seem delighted with their new drinking fountain.


I can't wait to see the waterfall running. In the meantime, I am going to start planting the surrounding area to match the pond planting. Just before the waterfall meets the pond, there is a stepping stone across, so I'm going to create some sort of path around the pond here. I'll probably use gravel.


There are so many plants here: miscanthus; phormiums - a variety I hadn't seen before called 'Surfer Bronze'; Physocarpus (a purple one and a gold-leaved one); hostas; ferns; Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate'; hardy geraniums; foxgloves; asters; Japanese anemones ('Honorine Jobert'). The list goes on and on. It's got a sort of prairie look to it, which I love (if you can have a prairie next to a pond). 


The best thing about the pond (apart from the fact that it's a gorgeus pond) is that it provides a focus for this bit of the garden, which has always looked a bit scruffy. I'm now much more inspired about what to do with the rest of it  - I'll plant the same sort of things up the slope here and continue the theme.
Did I do the planting round the pond myself? Are you kidding? Pete and his team did it. If it had been left to me, it would all still be sitting in pots on the drive.


Comments

  1. It looks fabulous Victoria, love it! It's almost a shame winter is on the horizon as one could easily spend lots of time there, with feet dangling on the water sat on the jetty. Will you be adding some fish later?

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  2. Yes, definitely! Golden rudd - because they are a pretty version of a native species, and they don't require much in the way of maintenance. I love having fish in the pond, but I was a bit torn, because they to tend to eat frogspawn and tadpoles. And there are herons around here. I haven't put the fish in yet, however, because the pond's still filling up and I want to give the water as long as possible to acclimatise - you get a certain amount of concrete and mortar residue with a build like this.

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  3. Looks wonderful and you are right it is just what that area needs and now you can get your head around how to tackle the rest of it. I bet your cats will spend ages trying to catch the fish!

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    1. I wish I could teach them to catch the leaves. Now that really would be useful. Seriously, though, it's odd how all the animals seem to make straight for the pond. It's like a primal waterhole memory or something. My sisters were here with their dogs at the weekend and it was the same for them (the dogs, I mean, not the sisters).

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  4. Looks great - I can't wait to see it for real and engage in some serious toe dangling in the water :)

    I'm glad it's not just me who has a thing about Astilbes *shudders*

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    1. You can toe-dangle all you like, Michelle. I'll be on hand with the hypothermia kit!

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  5. This is so wonderful to watch, dear Victoria! It is already the focal point one dreams of, not even running. The plans for the rest of the area sound delightful, too. Prairies often contain wetlands, so this is as nature designs. xoxoxo

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    1. Frances, I might have known I could count on you for some really interesting information. I never really thought about prairies having wetlands.
      So useful to know, because here in the UK, wetland plants always mean plants that love really waterlogged soil. I've just looked at a list of native prairie wetland plants and they are completely different from the species you would be offered here to plant by a pond.
      I'm going to go to the American list for inspiration, because the look I want in my garden is something that really blends with the fields and pasture around me.
      I don't want it to look completely grassy and monochromatic, just to recreate that sense of multiple textures. When you walk up the footpath through the fields, you can spot at least 15 different types of grasses, all with different flower heads and colours. I'd like my garden to be an exaggerated form of that.

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  6. Thank you for not making me wait too long to see the finale. It looks like it has been there forever-just what you want! I can almost hear the water trickling.

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    1. Layanee, I was going to space out the posts, but I took pity on you! I'm so glad you like the end result.

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  7. It looks amazing, love the planting, and your plans will knit it all together beautifully. I am deeply envious of your Forest Pansy, I have a stake marking the place where one is to go when I find one I don't need a mortgage for!! Are you lighting the pond and waterfall too?

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    1. No, I'm not going to light it. We have such wonderful night skies here. I thought I might put tea lights round the jetty t if we're having a barbecue or something.

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  8. So beautifully designed and planted. It looks as though it has been there forever.

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    1. I've seen it so many times in my imagination, I can't believe it actually exists. I find myself going outside just to gaze at it.

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  9. Well I think Pete and his team have done you proud! The pond looks so established already and has a real timeless quality about it as well as inviting you to come closer and sit a while...

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    1. They've done a fantastic job, haven't they?

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  10. Dear Victoria
    What a great blog ! Its nice to see it from 'the other side' Thank you for your kind words, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to have worked for you.
    See you when the electrician's been !!
    Pete and The Team

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  11. Jenny's so right - it does look like it's been there forever. Perfection!

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  12. I finally figured out what was keeping me from commenting on your blog. So now I get to tell you that I literally gasped out loud when I saw the first photo of your planted pond. It looks stunning! I can't wait to see it in person some day!

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  13. Such a lovely job they did! I bet the sun & wind playing with the water is just too much temptation to ignore for the kits. Oh, & ponds smell so inviting...will you wait until spring to make a decision on fish? Around here, some sort of netting is used to prevent the herons from poking too deeply in.

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