Water Lily (White) from T&M

Water lilies are quintessential deep water pond plants
Image: Water Lily (White) from Thompson & Morgan

Whether you want to attract wildlife to your garden or create a unique focal point, a pond is a great way to introduce a whole new range of plants to your outdoor space. Here are some of the best independent videos, articles and posts to help you plan a new water feature or spruce up an existing one. Before you start digging, browse our excellent range of native and exotic pond plants for inspiration.

Linda Firth – Thompson & Morgan

Gunnera manicata from Thompson & Morgan

Gunnera manicata is best planted next to a larger pond
Image: Gunnera manicata from Thompson & Morgan

Getting the right balance of plants is essential for a healthy and thriving pond habitat,” says Linda Firth at Thompson & Morgan’s blog. She recommends eye-catching bog plants like purple-flowered Astilbe chinensis and Gunnera manicata for the damp ground surrounding a large pond. Just remember that “the soil needs to be wet for the plants to thrive, not submerged,” she says. If you want to know how to choose the right plants for your pond, this article is a great place to start.

Simon – Garden of Eaden

Lychnis flos-cuculi from T&M

Native pond plants like ragged robin attract wildlife to your pond
Copyright: Garden World Images

Marginal plants are the ‘engine room’ of the pond, says blogger Simon at Garden of Eaden. They cast shade over the pond’s surface and use up spare nutrients to reduce the risk of algal blooms in the water. Lychnis flos-cuculi and Iris pseudacorus are a couple of the native marginal pond plants he recommends. Find more marginal natives, along with suggestions for deep water and oxygenating species, in his excellent article: ‘Native British Pond Plants’.

Carol Bartlett – The Sunday Gardener

Pond building with black liner and planting pocket

A planting pocket separates vigorous pond plants from the main water
Image: The Sunday Gardener

If you want to keep vigorous pond plants in check, but don’t like the idea of growing them in plastic baskets, try constructing a planting pocket, suggests Carol Bartlett over at The Sunday Gardener. “To make a large planting pocket, form a large shallow shelf about 10 cms below the water and, along the edge lying inwards of the pool, build a shallow wall to act as a container,” she says. Find more top tips in Carol’s comprehensive article.

Jessie at Plot 37

Photo of Jessie from Jessie at Plot 37

Jessie at Plot 37 keeps a wildlife pond on her allotment
Image: Jessie at Plot 37

Jessie’s two tips for keeping your pond liner intact: First, lay old carpet below to protect the liner from sharp rocks in the soil. Second, keep silicon sealant handy to patch up any holes. Visit her YouTube channel, Jessie at Plot 37, to watch some fantastic footage of the wildlife that visits her allotment pond including newts, snails and a mysterious pond worm.

Mark Rowlands – Mark’s Garden UK

Wildlife pond closeup with water lilies and aquatic plants

Use plenty of natural features to make your pond perfect for wildlife
Image: Shutterstock

Make a bog garden right next to your pond, like YouTuber Mark over at Mark’s Garden UK. To see exactly how he did it, check out his step-by-step video guide to making a wildlife pond. Just one year later, check out the finished water feature to see which of his pond plants are thriving. His bog garden is particularly successful, and the hidden liner is cleverly marked by some wooden stakes to help with future planting.

Graham & Alex – @ourgarden64

Bridge over wildlife pond

A bridge over your pond allows you to see into its depths
Image: @ourgarden64

Ponds can be so much more than a simple circle! Over at @ourgarden64, Graham & Alex’s amazing pond curves through their garden like a moat. These creative gardeners installed a fun bridge across their garden pond which they describe as “a favourite part of the garden makeover.” See more of their inspiring images over at Insta.

Wild your garden with Joel Ashton

Man showing wildlife from pond in bucket

Adding a pond is the best thing you can do for wildlife in your garden, says Joel
Image: Wild your garden with Joel Ashton

Want a pond feature but don’t fancy the digging? Make a wildlife barrel pond, says Joel on his YouTube channel Wild your garden with Joel Ashton. Joel advises planting your pond plants into baskets, and demonstrates how to keep them tidy using gravel. Think a barrel is too small for a water lily? Think again!

Sophie – @planetfriendlymum

Aquatic plants in pond

Aquatic plants will establish themselves quickly in the right place
Image: @planetfriendlymum

Only a month after planting up her pond, Instagrammer Sophie at @planetfriendlymum found her plants were establishing fast. It didn’t take long for wildlife to find the water either – “I spotted a red damselfly and a water beetle for the first time today,” she said. Find out more at her wildlife-friendly feed.

John & Melanie – John Horsey Horticulture

Pruning patio plants

Pond plants need yearly maintenance to keep them tidy
Image: John Horsey Horticulture

In October, take all your pond plants back to ground level, say gardening experts John & Melanie at their YouTube channel John Horsey Horticulture. To keep your pond tidy, use a pair of secateurs to remove foliage before the first frosts – just watch out for new growth! See how John takes care of his established pond marginals in time for winter in this excellent video.

Alison Levey – The Blackberry Garden

Raking overgrown pond plant

When your pond becomes overwhelmed, grab a rake!
Image: The Blackberry Garden

Is your pond overgrown? The only way to get ‘a less shameful pond’ is to wade in with a rake and pull out the weeds, says garden blogger Alison at The Blackberry Garden. Her top tip? “Leave the removed weeds for a bit to let anything crawl out of it and back into the pond,” she says. Find more advice, along with some fantastic before and after photos, in this helpful post.

Carol Bartlett – Thompson & Morgan blog

Green water in pond

Green water is a sign of algae
Image: Carol Bartlett

Is your pond looking like a bowl of green soup? Troubleshoot it with Carol Bartlett over at Thompson & Morgan’s blog. “For algae to thrive in your pond it needs sun, minerals and nutrients to feed on. The key to maintaining clear water is to create an ecological balance which reduces these elements, in turn, inhibiting the algae,” she explains. Find out how to clear up your pond in her helpful article.

We hope this advice helps you to plan, landscape and care for your pond. Tag us in your pond images on Twitter or Instagram using #YourTMGarden. We always love to hear from you. 

Since the first seed catalogue was published in 1855, Thompson & Morgan has grown to become one of the UK’s largest Mail Order Seed and Plant companies. Through the publication of our catalogues and the operation of our award-winning website, Thompson & Morgan is able to provide home gardeners with the very best quality products money can buy.

Pond plants masterclass: best expert content

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