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.
When to Start: Spring
At Its Best: Spring to summer
Time to Complete: 3 hours
- 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.
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.
Create an Easy-Care Garden Border
This bold design brings together rich colors and contrasting flowers and foliage to create an easy-care summer border. Ideal for well-drained soil and a sunny site, these plants rarely need watering once established.
Grow a Sculptural Fern
Damp, dark gardens in mild areas are ideal for this dramatic plant.
How to Care for Ferns
Learn simple techniques for taking care of indoor ferns.
Create a Winter Flower and Foliage Basket
Use beautiful leafy plants to create a display that will last all winter.
Grow Luscious Leaves
With their bold foliage and wide color range, hostas are the darlings of the designer world. Grow a few in pots on a shady patio for a sophisticated display that will last from early summer until the autumn.
Create a New Garden Border
Plant a bed of mixed perennials for a colorful, easy-care garden.
Choosing a Planting Style
Whether you want your garden to be formal or wild and rambling, decide on the style, then follow it through with appropriate plants and materials.
Create a Simple Topiary
Topiary lends structure and formality to any planting design and makes a useful focal point. All you need to bring an overgrown specimen back into shape, or to make a cone from scratch, are some basic tools, patience and a good eye.
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