Okay, so water in the garden is great. Or will be, I’m sure. But small – 2½ft x 1½ft – tubs of water in direct sunshine is a potential for disaster, or so the internet tells me, so in order for The Puddles not to turn into the prime algae breeding ground of the local neighbourhood I took a drastic step and ordered some plants… I know; that’s SO unlike me, right?
Initially I wanted some yellow floating-heart (nymphoides peltata), since the leaves of this aquatic is supposedly the source of the 9 hearts in the national Danish coat of arms. However, the nursery I really wanted to buy from – great reputation for quality AND service – was out of this plant so instead I went for this:
In many ways I think this is a better choice. It does have a rather vigorous growth habit, but in the small puddles it will be easy to manage. Like the yellow floating-heart it’s a floating plant, fully hardy and native to Denmark, but I think it’s perhaps safer to go for a white flower than a yellow, since white goes with anything. And of course the floating foliage is just as pretty – VERY important!
I also ordered a nymphaea ‘Walter Pagels’ (a dwarf variety), mainly because of it’s hardiness credentials but also because water lilies are just gorgeous. The ‘Walter Pagels’ is a lovely pale cream – bordering on white – but for this reason I guess I’m happy that the nursery e-mailed me yesterday to say that it had gone out of stock and they would not be able to deliver it for at least 3 weeks. However, when I wrote them to ask them to either come up with suggestions for substitutes of similar growth habits or to just add one more frogbit they came back with several options.
I went for the ‘Perrys baby red’ water lily. In the dug-down tubs of The Puddles it should be fully hardy unless we have a really severe winter, and if I make a lid for its puddle for the coldest months I can be completely sure it can overwinter outside.
So there will be one puddle with a red water lily and two puddles with white frogbits. I’m thinking the red water lily needs to be the furthest from the ‘rhapsody in blue’ roses that will stand between The Puddles and the rest of The Ambitious Border so it can shine on its own, surrounded only by green foliage and subtle white flower umbels.
I want the puddles to be wildlife friendly, of course, and the aquatics are clearly bound to help. However, I also want them to be vignettes of the rivers and lakes I’ve passed through many holidays in kayak; there’s something very elegant about slicing through a patch of blooming water lilies in a racing kayak.
(Mind you, I haven’t bought that one, since it needs far deeper waters than The Puddles can provide…)