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Surprises in the pond

At the end of February I wrote about my plans for giving my pond a bit of a make-over. I got as far as adding a few new plants to the pond and then … well Autumn came, it got cold, with that my enthusiasm waned somewhat and I decided to wait for Spring before I continue. But the plants have started to grow …

Pond Update

[one_half]Some of the new pond plantsPond plants[/one_half]

[one_half_last]My favourite, the Cyperus PapyrusMy favourite[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Cyperus Papyrus reflected on AlocasiaCyperus Papyrus reflected on Alocasia[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The Cannas are growing fast …The Cannas are growing fast ...[/one_half_last]

[one_half]This has trebled in size alreadyThis has trebled in size already[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The bubbling water featuresThe bubbling water features[/one_half_last]

So waiting for Spring was not on Mother Nature’s agenda as far as my pond goes. For the first time in nearly five years, my three little goldfish have multiplied … they must be enjoying all the extra greenery in the pond. And it looks like all the babies are going to make it. They’re growing larger by the day, becoming very confident and darting around and putting on a show for me instead of hiding under rocks when I approach. Such fun to watch! I’ve counted about 9 new ones so far. I will try to get some photographs of them soon.

I added a few Waterblommetjies (Aponogeton distachyos) bulbs to the pond in May. Also known as ‘Cape Pond Weed’, for those of you that are unfamiliar with this South African native, I’ve added some notes and a link below. These bulbs were the easiest thing to plant ever … just throw the bulbs in the pond and wait about two weeks and …

Ta Da! The first Waterblommetjie gets a flower


[one_half]The little plant after 2 weeksThe little plant after 2 weeks[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A closer view of the bulbA closer view of the bulb[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The first Waterblommetjie flowerThe first Waterblommetjie flower[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The flower opens more on day twoThe flower opens more on day two[/one_half_last]

So I realise they are not as showy or magnificent as Lotus Blossoms or Water Lilies, but here in my pond, they GROW!

Waterblommetjies (Aponogeton distachyos) – The long, oval shaped leaves float on the water, but it is usually the flowers standing up out of the water above the leaves, that attract attention. Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and spring. Large areas of water in the western, southern and eastern Cape are covered with their sweetly scented, white flowers. The flower is interesting in that it is really a forked inflorescence bearing tiny, white, one-petalled flowers with brown anthers. The flowers are also the edible part. Bees are very attracted to the flowers and may be one of the main pollinators.  Aponogeton distachyos occurs naturally in the winter rainfall areas of the Cape. It is adapted to growing in ponds and vleis which dry up in summer. The dormant tubers sprout again as soon as the pools fill in autumn. (Information courtesy of PlatzAfrika).

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

New Winter Bulbs

Hadeco BulbsHi Barbie – Thanks for taking me to Cape Garden Centre Nursery today – I won’t say too much about our visit because I know you want to do a review, but I thought I’d show my “stash” of newly purchased winter bulbs.

I am thrilled with my purchases although I was a bit dissapointed with the lack of accessoiries available at the nursery. I was expecting to be able to get some bulb trays (for planting – to protect the bulbs from moles which I had plenty of last winter) and there was no special Hadeco bulb fertiliser or the usual accessoiries that Hadeco sell (bulb planter, dibber etc). Also dissapointing that there were no Tulips of Hyacinths available – I’ll have to try Ferndale Nurseries for those.

I was very happy to find a pack of Waterblommetjies – aponogeton distachyos (Water Hawthorn – a perennial water plant with edible white flowers which need to be planted at a depth of 10 to 60cm under water). I also bought lots of my all time favourites, Dutch Irises as well as a few Alliums and lots of Freesias and Anemones. Its still a bit too warm to plant them now but that gives me time to carefully plan where I want to plant them and to prepare the soil before I do.

Happy gardening and have a lovely long weekend