Ponds have a tendency to ‘green up’ with algae, especially if sited in full sun. Including plants can give clearer water and, if you’ve got fish, help supply more oxygen for them.
Pond plants are categorised into five main groups: moisture loving, marginal, oxygenators, deep-water and floating. It’s possible to have plants from all these groups growing in the same pond.
Unlike garden forget-me-nots, which tend to be biennial, water forget-me-nots are perennial, gradually expanding into large clumps. Great for hiding the edge of pond liners, they flower from March to May with dainty looking, blue flowers. Alternatively, they can be planted directly into soil in shallow water, no deeper than 20cm, near the pond edge.
Then, Ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort) is one of the best oxygenating plants to have in a pond. Throw the bunched stems in the water and don’t be tempted to plant in a soil basket as this will only rot the stems. For a pond classic, add a water lily like Nymphaea alba (white waterlily) which has showy, white, cup shaped flowers. The rounded leaves span 30cm and the flowers are 20cm wide. Deadhead and remove any yellowing leaves regularly.