Welcome to my last summer blog; things are starting inexorably to wind down now, red and yellow tints are developing on many leaves and we are getting the characteristic heavy dews of early autumn. Some plants are still performing fantastically well; the Cyperus, Pontederia, Thalia and other architectural plants really come into their own at this time of year. They need a long time to build up an impressive stand of foliage, so while they may not start to grow much until late May or early June, they carry the season of interest right through autumn and into early winter.
Here’s a picture of a large consignment going out today to Ellis Taylor of Dartmoor Pond Services. Many of my customers know Ellis, since he has built many ponds in the South West and is one of the very few people I can recommend without hesitation. His happy clients come to me and vice versa, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
The bargain hunters among you may be interested in some late season deals on BIG mature water lilies in 30 litre pots – these are very expensive on carriage; being 50-60kg apiece they must go on a pallet, and the cost of carriage significantly outweighs the cost of the first lily. Up to 6 can go on a pallet though, so if you buy 6 there will be a very significant discount, please ask. Better still, if you are close enough to collect they will be half the list website price until the end of September. As I write there are 12 left.
Bare root lily sales will cease after the 1st of September; after this they will not establish reliably before they go into dormancy and it’s best to wait until April to plant out.
I am also extending my fantastic deals on larger quantities of water Irises including Iris Louisiana Black Gamecock, Iris pseudacorus, Iris versicolor mixed, and Iris virginica. The more you buy, the cheaper they get! We have now cleared most of the rest of our excess stock and the range of other sale plants will now quickly reduce.
Soon will be the best time to carry out any cleaning, repairs or seasonal maintenance on your pond. Most of the critters have done their breeding and the very young larvae have grown sufficiently to put up with being disturbed. The water’s not so cold either!
One handy tip if you are planning a good clear out of your pond: before you get in and start stirring up a stink, bucket out as much as possible of the clean pond water into any container you can muster. This will give you clean water in which to put any critters you come across and they will survive happily. If you don’t, they will quickly succumb to all the fine silt you will stir up, their delicate gills will clog and they will perish. You can’t possibly save every tadpole and larva, but if you can save the majority then little harm will have been done. You can also replace this mature water when you have finished, saving on top-up costs.
Browning foliage can be cut back to 5-10cm from the soil and removed before it rots into the pond, elevating nutrient levels and leading to Spring algal blooms. Congested plants can be split now, or just tidied now and divided in Spring.
Happy water gardening!