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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010