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.