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by Carolyn Weise

To bridge the gap between the surrounding garden and the pond, use bog and water-loving plants. 

Water lilies do nicely to shade the pond and expand the garden area.  This also serves to make the pond “part of” the garden rather than something stuck in as an afterthought. 

In the warm seasons the floating plants can easily take-over.  It is best to have at least 1/3 of the pond surface uncluttered by plants.  If you have koi in your pond, plants probably won’t ever live long enough to take over. 

My experience with the ever-favorite Iris Pseudocorus is that it doesn’t belong in a pond.  It does very well in dirt and won’t grow to gargantuan proportions in a single season, which is generally the case inside the pond.  Outside the pond, the foliage doesn’t overwhelm the small yellow flowers. 

I personally prefer striking foliage to pleasing flowers, so the water lilies have mottled or bronze-colored leaves.  When seeking proportional-sized plants, steer clear of the larger water lilies and lotus (yes, there are dwarf varieties of both) unless you have lots of room.   

I also suggest bog gardens which are not located inside the pond.  They can be installed a few inches above the water surface where the water enters from the filter return and flows over the edge and back into the pond.  This keeps koi out of the plants and in the pond where they belong. 

Fish swimming in shallow areas such as a bog are much more vulnerable to predators and predatory insects.  Water celery works wonderfully in a raised bog and will overflow the edge to soften the look of the pond.  The fish will keep it trimmed for you.

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