Create a Beautiful Stream-Side

Take advantage of permanently moist soil, or areas near streams, to grow some of the many beautiful plants that associate well with water.
Aquatic Plants Near Stream

Aquatic Plants Near Stream

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - Lawns

When to Start: Spring
At Its Best: Spring to summer
Time to Complete: 3 hours

Materials Needed:

  • well-rotted organic matter, such as manure
  • spade and pond liner
  • Canna indica
  • Sedge, Carex comans
  • Primula pulverulenta Bartley hybrids
  • Horsetail, Equisetum hyemale
  • Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon'
  • Dryopteris filix-mas

Create a Stream

To make a stream, dig a shallow, sloping trench with a large hole at the lower end. Then add a pump to move the water.

Prepare to Plant

If the soil is dry, consider creating a bog garden. Even if your soil is damp, add some well-rotted organic matter to further increase its moisture-holding capacity.

Planting and Aftercare

Arrange the plants in naturalistic drifts along the banks in groups of threes and fives, where possible. Plant at the same depth as they were in their original pots. Water in the plants and mulch with chipped bark to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Water the plants frequently during their first year.

Making the Water Flow

Buy a pump powerful enough to push the water along the length of your trench. You will also need a power source. Place a bucket in the hole at the lower end (Image 1). Cover the trench and bucket with pond liner, and cut a hole where it covers the bucket. Place the pump in the bucket, and raise it up on bricks so the nozzle is above the liner (Image 2). Cover with galvanized wire mesh, and cut a hole for the water outlet (Image 3). Attach a long tube to the outlet and run it along the trench — water will then trickle from the top to the bottom of the trench when you turn on the pump.

Next Up

Create a Beautiful Bog Garden

Some fabulous plants will only grow in soil that is permanently moist, and even if you don't have a boggy area in your garden, it's quite easy to create one.

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A parterre is a pattern of boxwood or similar hedge plants, with the areas between filled with other plants. Traditionally, the hedging would be the permanent plants, and the infill made up of annuals and vegetables.

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