"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Signs of spring in the pond.

We had more sun here yesterday, although the weatherman continues with his threats of snow. I've been trying to take the time to enjoy the blue skies as much as I can in case he's right this time. Yesterday was busy with non garden related errands so I didn't get anything done outside. I did notice something that caught my attention though while I was letting the dog out. A new flower, right near the middle of the pond. Of course that drew me closer to the pond to see what else might be growing.
This is a water hawthorn flower. It's supposed to smell like vanilla, but I can never get close enough to smell it. If you click to enlarge this photo you can see all the seeds. It has reseeded some in my pond, but it's easy to remove if it ends up where it's not wanted. The hard part is reaching the seedlings. I've lost my balance more times than I can remember and almost fallen in trying to reach for things in the pond.
Water hawthorn leaves are oblong and float like water lily pads. The great thing about water hawthorn is that it thrives in the cooler weather. Late winter and early spring is when it blooms. Once it warms up the plant goes dormant. That's right about the time that the water lilies begin to bloom.
Marsh marigold leaves have also begun to find their way to the surface. This is another early bloomer. The flowers on this variety are white with a yellow center. I'm surprised this one is still alive since it's been knocked in so many times by the raccoons. It definitely needs repotting this spring and I need to figure out how to make it more secure.
Here is the first Sioux water lily pad to emerge. I love the mottled red coloring on the leaves. I'm always amazed at how fast the water lily grows. The flower buds start coming up as soon as the weather stays consistently warm, and that can be as early as April. The flowers are a light pink color that change to a darker shade as the bloom ages. Each flower lasts about 3 days, but there are always several more blooming around the same time. If you look closely you can just make out one of the Sarassa comets swimming by.
I still have a few more plants that haven't woken up yet, but I'm sure they won't be far behind these ones. I'll wait until after our April 9th frost day before I buy any floating plants such as water hyacinth, water lettuce or fairy fern. I've learned the hard way that they are very tender annuals here.
No snow as of this morning, and I hope it stays that way! Also, I need to remember to move the clocks ahead tonight. Another sign that spring is near!
Pin It


  1. Hi Catherine, Love your water plant choices and your well thought out succession of blooms and interest. Brilliant.

  2. I am coverting your water hawthorn - I havent seen them before but I know we get them in the UK so I will be definately looking for them

  3. Catherine, wonderful pictures! How many fishes do you have there?

  4. Wow, what a fun bunch of pond plants. Never knew there were water versions of hawthorn and marigold. I think there might have been WH leaves in a display garden at the NWFGS, did you see them? I'm wondering if they were featured at the Smith & Hawken place that had the green roof and walls. Lovely! - Karen

  5. This is a a really neat post! Spring in the pond-how cool. I love the flowers and that hawthorne is really something. I say you should jump in and pick it so we know if it really smells like vanilla:) Put some boots on first☺

  6. Hi Catherine

    I loved all this pond stuff.

    So the clocks go forward tonight where you are. Spring, spring , spring.


  7. Catherine,

    We are showing signs at our pond as well. The waterlilies are coming out, painted turtles are out and about and 3 kinds of frogs calling, Spring Peeper, Upland Chorus Frog and Pickerel Frog was heard for the first time today.

  8. Grace - Thanks, it's fun having a whole other type of plants to look at when I go to nurseries. There are a lot of really interesting plants.

    patientgardener - I hope you can find one. I came across it at a nursery and loved the flowers. Wish I could send you one of its babies!

    Tatyana - Thanks! I've lost count of the fish. We started with 4 and have added a few every so often. Several summers ago they had lots of babies. They all seem happy in there.

    Karen - I missed that display. I've had fun finding new water plants at a couple of nurseries around here. The fun part is you could even make a very small water garden in your yard, because a lot of these come in miniature varieties.

    Tina - I'm sure I will accidentally fall in sometime, then I'll smell the flowers. It's snowing now, so I'll definitely pass today :)

    Rob - Thanks! Yes we get to "spring forward" and lose an hour of sleep tonight :)

    Randy - Your pond sounds wonderful. So much wildlife. I sure hope you'll share pictures!

  9. Hey thanks for the info on the water plants. We have huge (each one more than a couple acres) conecting beaver ponds and cannot plant anything that might become invasive, but now we have a isolated pond out by our orchard that my son (in-law) and Dirt dug this last summer and I think it is begging for some plants.

  10. I enjoyed seeing your water plants. My husband has some in the summer in a tub. He'd love to have a pond, but we don't have room in our yard for one.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your other water plants when they "wake up".

  11. Lanny - Those beaver ponds must be pretty neat, they're huge! It would be fun to try plants in your contained pond. There are so many fun plants to try. some people even make floating planters and put things like impatiens in them, bare root.

    Sue - I think even being able to enjoy water plants in a tub is very fun. There are miniature water lilies that might even work. One day I want to try lotus.

  12. I just love your pond, Catherine. I'm thinking of making a waterfall with a watering can and galvanized bucket this year. I've been meaning to do this for years- I'm just not sure what kind of pump to use. And, if you ever do fall in the pond- make sure someone gets some shots!

  13. You're so lucky to have an entirely different dynamic of plants blooming in your garden. Those are awesome, especailly love the water hawthorn. Can you believe this weather!

  14. Love your water hawthorn flower. I'd love to be able to smell it.

    You always have such interesting flowers Catherine.

    It's always a treat to check your blog.


  15. Oh, I used to have a pond at my old house and I'd forgotten how excited I'd get finding the first shoots and blooms in the water. Thanks for posting these pics. It brought back some really nice memories. :-)

  16. I am SO looking forward to being able to put plants in my pond - I daren't put any in yet until we've built the tea house...just in case of accidents!
    Your plants look great though - they've really fired me up to get working agin - pity it's raining here!

  17. Tessa - You should try making a waterfall. Small recirculating pumps are pretty inexpensive. There is a lot of info and ideas online for making your own.

    Melanthia - There are a lot of plants that grow in gardens that can be planted as marginals in ponds. I've been surprised to find what can in water.
    Snow on the ground this morning, I can't believe it either!

    FlowerLady - Thanks. If I can ever find one blooming closer to the side of the pond I'll see if I can reach one and see if it does smell like vanilla.

    Kris - The pond looks so plain most of the winter I forget to check on the new growth often. I always wonder how things can be growing so early when the water is so cold still.

    Nutty Gnome - I'll bet you'll be glad to finally get plants in your pond. The teahouse will be a great place to enjoy your pond. Hope the weather clears up for you so you can get back outside!

  18. You have such a nice pond, it must be nice to see all the water plants coming up!

  19. That water hawthorn flower is gorgeous Catherine. I will have to tuck that name away for future reference, especially if it's cold hardy. I've started the digging on my pond but am still a ways from stocking it with plants, fish or even water! btw, very inventive square foot gardening in your recent post. I bet it helps a lot!


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. I try my very best to answer any questions you may have, but usually don't have time to respond to each comment. Please leave a link to your blog so I can visit you in return.