Specialist nursery for water, marginal and moisture loving plants

Emma's Blog

Rowden Iris collection growing in 2020

Rowden Iris collection growing in 2020 We are so excited to announce our water iris collection is growing at Tor Garden Plants in 2020 with more choice available for our customers. In particular our collection of Rowden Irises will be increasing. The Rowden Irises were bred at this nursery by the original owners John and Galen Carter, and after years of work and passion they now have a National Collection of Rowden Iris held at RHS Garden Rosemoor.
We will soon be able to offer many of these rare and beautiful plants for sale through our mail order website in 2020. We have been working with Mr and Mrs Carter to bring the collection of Rowden Irises and other Rowden plants, back to the nursery and make them available for people to enjoy. Some plants will have limited availability so watch this space for more news and updates to the website.

Marginal pond plants for colour and interest throughout the year.

Marginal pond plants for colour and interest throughout the year.With the right selection of marginal plants your pond can have interest and colour all year round. Marginal plants like to grow at the edge of the pond, roughly up to 10 cm deep in the water, or planted into soil along the pond margins, so that their roots are always wet.
Spring - One of the brightest and cheeriest marginal flowers in the spring is Caltha palustris, the marsh marigold. With its bright sunny flowers that let you know the growing season has started and summer is on its way. You can of course get different cultivars including double flowered, white and giant versions. The foliage is also quite often evergreen or semi evergreen.

Summer - The start of summer is very much Iris time. Iris versicolor and Iris laevigata cultivars can add lots of colour to your pond in purples, pinks, blues, whites and mixes in between. The foliage of Iris laevigata 'Variegata' adds particular interest all year round, with its green and cream striped leaves. Iris 'Gerald Derby' starts with beautiful purple fanned leaves, before providing a lovely light purple and yellow splashed flower.

Sagittaria's are great for adding height and interest mid to late summer. The arrow shaped leaves are attractive on their own, before the panicles of white flowers appear. These plants vanish completely beneath the water during the winter but always reappear in the spring as if by magic.

Late Summer/Autumn - Pontederia are fantastic for adding colour later in the year. Again the leaves are attractive even before the spikes of purple flowers appear. Pontederia cordata is much shorter then Pontederia lancifolia, which is perfect for larger ponds.

Winter- Evergreen grasses and sedges are perfect for adding structure and colour to the winter pond. Juncus spiralis is an interesting twisty foliage plant. Acorous gramineus can be grown in baskets in shallow water and has cultivars that offer variegated foliage and golden foliage like Acorus 'Ogon'.

Marginal plants do not just offer colour and interest to us as garden plants they are also great for wildlife. Allowing dragonfly larvae to cling on, when hatching out and tadpoles and newts to hide from predators. Many ponds are built with a shallow shelves for marginals, but if not you can use rocks around the edge to stand baskets on to create the right depth.
Marginal plants bring your pond to life all year round if you choose them wisely.

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Container ponds - Create your own pond in a pot

Container ponds - Create your own pond in a pot People often think they need a big space to have a pond in their garden. It is possible to make a mini pond in any garden by using a pot or container. Not only do they make a nice water feature they are extremely beneficial to wildlife. The RHS and the Wildlife Trust have recently combined to launch a campaign called 'Wild About Gardens'. They talk about the importance of garden ponds and how even small container ponds are great for wildlife.
The last century has seen a decline in ponds by 70% and yet ponds are the best way to attract wildlife into your garden. Even a small container pond is great for birds, mammals and insects.
Ponds can be created in old galvanised wash tubs, belfast sinks and even garden pots. I have my own mini pond on my decking area which is in an old metal firebucket.
Small ponds can accomaodate some marginal and floating plants that don't get too big. Waterlilies for small ponds can be used along with flowering plants like Iris versicolor, Sagittaria and Anemopsis. Foliage plants like Houttuynia and Juncus.
As with all gardening, once plants establish and out grow the space, it is just a matter of splitting them and putting a small clump back. Even the waterlily can be split and repotted easily.

Pond in a Pot plant packs
We are now offering 'Pond in a pot plant packs' where all you need is a suitable pot or container and you can create your own water feature and space for wildlife. We also provide our plants plastic free in biodegradable pots making them even more environmentally friendly.
Check them out on our website.