Moss & Green were delighted to be featured in the April edition of Garden Heaven magazine. A big thank you to all of the team at Image.x
In my youth, Ireland's landscape was peppered with ponds and swampy fields. As small boys, we'd roam the countryside in gangs, catching tadpoles, fishing for tiddlers or trying to leap impossible ditches. In recent times, ponds have been replaced by patios or decking - but that's all about to change because the humble garden pond is making a comeback.
Ponds are not just pretty - they're important. Besides having enduring charm, they've become lifelines for water-dependent wildlife. A well-designed pond makes a fantastic addition to any garden landscape and given the Irish climate, there will be no shortage of water to fill it.
Ask anybody who has a garden pond and they will probably tell you how much it has transformed their garden. They're soothing and provide visual stimulation that transforms outdoor living areas.If you've always dreamed of having a water feature in your garden, now is the time for action. Spring is the ideal season to build a pond, so let's get stuck in...
Sketch it out
It is important to really plan your pond, so don’t just rush out and start buying material and pond equipment without considering the best way. Start off by drawing up a plan of your pond and how you would like it to look.A wildlife pond should be an informal, natural design. Draw the shape with flowing curves that link it to a flower border. Pond edges should be shallow, a hole more like a saucer than a breakfast bowl, with soft foliage and rocks can be used to help soften the edge
Begin by choosing a site in the garden. Ideally, it should be open, away from large trees and with the ground as level as possible. The most natural-looking spot for a pond would be at the garden's lowest point, though you might like to site it close to the house so you could enjoy the water and wildlife from your windows. Consider the amount of sunlight the pond will get during the year - if the pond is subjected to strong sunlight, algae may be encouraged to grow. Avoid anywhere close to or, worse still, beneath deciduous trees, as their leaves will clog up a pond.
There's a myriad of materials you can choose to create your pond from, ranging from UPVC to concrete. Make sure that you consider what you want from your pond and where it will be placed and discuss this with an experienced landscape design company. They will be able to best advise which materials to use and where best to put it.
Digging out the pond
The simplest pond to install is the one that you dig yourself.Check that there are no pipes or wires where you have decided to put your pond and then begin digging a hole in accordance with your plan. Remove any rocks or pieces of old debris which you might find. Think about creating shallower areas for wildlife and specific plants.
Fill the pond
Once you've dug your ground, allow the pond to fill with rainwater naturally rather than filling it with tap water. This is because tap water contains a combination minerals which may encourage algae to grow. If you have to fill it with tap water then give me a call here at Moss & Green, I'll be able to give you advice on specific products to prevent this problem.
Those lacking a green thumb - or a garden - share one critical thing in common with those more gifted in these regards: the possibility of coaxing something beautiful out of a pretty pot. Container gardening can be done by almost anyone because it doesn't require the physical effort required to grow plants in beds. And you can usually find enough sun or shade somewhere to grow the plants you cherish.
Don't be fooled, this is no longer a matter of throwing a geranium into an old boot. Today, it's about being original and creative, so don't be afraid to look beyond basic terracotta and plastic pots to more unusual, quirky items. Many people are afraid to deal with container gardening. They think it will be too difficult or too expensive. On the contrary, it is actually very easy and the results can be breathtaking.
What constitutes the ideal container? Firstly, it must be attractive, even if it is not an object of art and it should be strong and durable and able to resist extreme temperatures. This is especially true of the large sizes, which usually remain outdoors all year around.The ideal container must be sturdy enough to hold a large amount of soil. It should have adequate drainage facilities through holes at the bottom.
It must not rust, at least in a single season, and it should have a wide enough base to rest firmly wherever placed. Besides, it ought to be heavy enough to withstand average winds. In stormy weather, movable containers can be shifted to temporary safety. All of these things should be factored in when you are coming up with your container gardening ideas.
Ideas for large planters
In addition to traditional circular pots and tubs, there are modern and ultra-modern forms—square, rectangular, triangular and octagonal. Also eligible are old wheelbarrows, old sinks, bathtubs or large wooden barrels.
For drainage, spread a thick layer of large pebbles or broken pieces of pots or bricks at the bottom and then water plants with care. In large containers of this kind, drainage material should be several inches thick.
Where rainfall is heavy, be sure to keep garden containers without drainage outlets on porches, under awnings or the broad eaves of houses. With pails and old galvanized wash tubs, holes can be easily punctured at the bottom.
Planters from the kitchen
Other container garden ideas are to consider old biscuit and bean jars, vases and other types of crockery, wash tubs, kettles and ceramic bowls. There is a variety of creative ways to preserve and experiment with container gardening. Although you might not use recycled porcelain bowls, yet the simple concept of growing plants in pots or urns in addition to other objects, offers you a new perspective in container gardening.
The only thing stopping you here is your imagination because almost anything can be turned into a plant holder. Consider objects such as driftwood ,bird cages, decorative well heads, animal figures, and pieces of furniture. A single container in the perfect spot often looks good. Three pots with the same design or pots that are not at all of the same design have a mystical beauty with them. There's a mystery with the pleasant-looking odd numbers with arrangement. It's such a wondrous fact
Petite containers are ideal for growing herb gardens. If you plan to plant an herb container garden be imaginative Here are some container garden ideas for herbs that go well together.
* For an Italian flavour try Sweet basil, Italian parsley, Oregano, Marjoram and Thyme.
* For a lovely scented container use Lavender, Rose scented geranium, Lemon balm, Lemon thyme, and Pineapple sage.
* For really great salads try Garlic chives, Rocket, Salad burnet, Parsley, Celery.
* And for a selection that will work well in French cooking, use Tarragon, Chervil, Parsley, Chives and Sage.
Any of these will liven up your dishes and add a delightful scent and colour to your kitchen .
So these are just a few ideas to get you started.Happy Container Gardening!