Gardening Magazine

Water in the Garden

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Although there has been a ‘blip’ in the summer weather, Mrs McGregor and I have enjoyed sitting in our garden this month, whenever we have the time! When the sun is out we do not like to be inside – you never know what the next day will bring!

The pots that I planted up a few weeks ago with half hardy perennials are growing well, already providing plenty of flower colour, and have stood up to the wet, windy weather of late with little more than the removal of some dead heads.

I have been thinking about adding extra interest to the garden by introducing a water feature of some sort. We already have a boggy area with a spring, which is ideal for a large range of plants including golden Candelabra Primulas which are looking stunning at the moment. They are very happy here and seed through the area along with the later flowering Primula florindae, also known as the Himalayan Cowslip. The spring, which never seems to dry up, is an instant irrigation system to the roots of these plants and the tree canopy overhead shields them from scorching sun that would wilt their large leaves. A beautiful Hosta with blue green leaves that have a conspicuous white edge also does well in this area, along with Astilbes and Siberian Iris (Iris siberica) that love to have their ‘feet in water’. Even when plants are not in flower, the area has a lush decadence – an ideal shelter from very hot sun!

But there is no sound of running water in the garden except on the occasions that the birds make a splashing sound when they use the large, terracotta saucer provided as a bath and drinking station.

I have an area in a shady part of the garden that I think would benefit from a center piece so I have settled for a self contained water fountain from my local Notcutt’s garden center. There is a huge choice available on their website as well as at the garden centres, where you can also get advice on what will best suit your ideas.

We have opted for a simple taper column fountain which has a stone coloured base, topped with a round, stone coloured ball with water cascading from the top – a gentle sound to be enjoyed when we are sat in the garden or entertaining friends.

I will dig out a circular border and stand the fountain on a paving stone in the center. Some Ladies Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) will look lovely growing around the base. This herbaceous perennial is easy to grow in sun or shade and won’t mind if water splashes on it. As well as limy green leaves through the growing season, long flower stems hold clouds of tiny, acid green flowers through summer – just the thing to foam at the base of the fountain as well as another ingredient for Mrs McGregor’s flower arrangements.

I’m not sure what the local birds will make of the whole idea though!

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