Planting a pond or water feature

Q.

I’m contacting you for advice  regarding planting some plants for around my ponds waterfall. I’m looking for ideas about any  type of plants, flowers, maybe even a  little shrub. This area gets about 4 hrs of sun each day.

A.

You are wise to look for plant materials to integrate your waterfall and make it look a bit more natural.

You’ve identified the area only has 4 hours sun so that would be considered “part shade”. Be sure to look for plants in the garden centre that tolerate those conditions.

You will want some “structure” so should have one or two little evergreens that will be there year round…consider a yew at the very back as it will give you a green backdrop and is the most tolerant of shade. Around the edges consider spreading juniper or a mugo pine (that you’ll keep trimmed each June to control size )

Also suggest one deciduous shrub on the right ..something that stays relatively small but gives some woody texture and winter interest. A red twig dogwood or the green twig variety, or a spiraea, or oak leaf hydrangea.

Also look for plants to spray over the edge of your trough and soften the look..consider Siberian iris or Japanese forest grass.

To vary the leaf texture, maybe a taller perennial in the sunniest part such as bee balm or Black-eyed Susan or purple coneflower which will give you some height and colour in mid to late summer as well as attracting butterflies and bees.

Add a few groundcovers to fill in the remaining space..look for contrasting leaf texture and colour..consider creeping jenny for damper areas, sedums for drier.

All the best with your waterfall!