Sunday, April 24, 2011

What Are Marginal Water Plants?

Throughout the years there have been many types of different water gardening projects; pond gardening, bog gardening, and marginal water gardening. Just what is marginal water gardening and what does it mean for the landscape?

Marginal Water Plants
Basically all that is meant with the term “Marginal Water Plants” is that the plant is not in the actual water garden. It is in the border, or perimeter, of the water garden, where there is moist soil and perhaps a bit of standing water. These Marginal Water Plants are those that are shallow water plants. Out of all the water garden plants that can be categorized, most will fall under this umbrella term.

There are several different types of plants that are termed this way, some of them even grasses. When it comes time to pick your border plants remember that while water gardens typically will find species like water lilies and those floating plants, marginal water plants will be those that are stuck in soil and will prefer not to be dried out. For those rare few plants that can take a drying out, standing water will need to be available soon.

Marginal Water Plant Examples
A few examples of some of the plants that can work in the perimeter of the water or bog garden and be classified as a marginal water plant include the Green Acorus, the Yellow Marsh Marigold, and the Yellow Canna.

Green Acorus
Known by the scientific name of Acorus gramineus, this is a glossy grass that is semi evergreen and gets to a height of a foot. It is rather low to the surface, but will move with the wind and offer a billowy atmosphere to the water garden.

Yellow Marsh Marigold
Known by the scientific name of Caltha palustris, this is a yellow flower with a height of one to two feet. It is hardy to USDA zone 2 and likes part or full shade. It will bloom all through the spring and the summer.

Yellow Canna
Known by the scientific name of Canna sp., the yellow canna has long leaves that are very broad with yellow flowers. It gets four to six feet in height and really is one of the taller marginal water plants. It is hardy to a USDA zone of 8 and prefers full sun. It will bloom in the summer.

More Information
To learn more about marginal water plants:
  • Encyclopedia of Water Garden Plants by Greg Speichert
  • The Complete Book of the Water Garden by Philip Swindells and David Mason
  • Water Garden.org

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