Your pond or water garden isn’t really a garden without plants. Not only do plants add an attractive, natural feel, but they also play a vital role in the filtration system when you’re looking for clear water.
Marginal plants are found around the perimeter of the pond and are used to soften the edges. Most marginal plants prefer to be planted in 1″-9″ of water, so the first shelf in the pond, as well as edges of streams and upper pools, are ideal planting areas. You need to choose the proper plants for the water depth, sun exposure, and location. Generally select plants of different heights, foliage types, and flower colors to create a pleasing mix.
In a rock and gravel pond, marginal plants are generally placed directly in the gravel. Remove the plant gently from it’s container. Using a soft flow of water, gently wash the dirt from the plants roots. In the area you are going to place the marginal plant, move the gravel aside and lay the plant roots on the liner and gently place the gravel over the roots to hold the plant in place. Planting the marginal plants this way allows them to thrive naturally, and filter the water more effectively. Some marginal plants such as cattails and bulrush are aggressive growers and can be problematic or even damage the liner. For these plants you need to plant them in planting pots to keep them under control. You can surround the pots with rocks and gravel to maintain the natural look of your pond.