Water features that aren't the pond

I have two non-pond water features in my garden. The most prominent is the water barrel in the front garden, found at the intersection between the two front walkways.

I'm trying something a little different in it this year, as the deer visit it every night (and sometimes during the day) so it's difficult to find plants that they won't snack on.


I've not put a clay pot here before, but I wanted something heavy. A juncus and some red-veined sorrel were my plant choices -- the sorrel was an experiment.

I was concerned about the pot taking up too much of the swimming space for the fish, but they seem to like it -- maybe because it gives them more surface to nibble?

Or maybe it just makes them feel more protected, secure?

I like the way it looks, and the plants give some shade to the water, which gets only 2-3 hours of direct sunlight but it's noonday sun so plenty warm.

These photos were all taken during the last week of June, and I have to admit that the sorrel experiment looks to be failing. I knew that sorrel needs plenty of water to thrive, but apparently it does not like growing in water -- the leaves are a weird color and they look "soft". I'll try to find something else that might work here...

The second non-pond water feature is the "stream", and it's a key element of the back garden:

I've said this for the past three years: I need to rebuild this!

To ensure that I don't put it off another year, I've not turned the pump on this year. Not having the sound of running water is disconcerting, and a great motivator to get started on this project ASAP!

There is rock damage:

And exposed liner...

...in more than one place:

You may remember that my main complaint with the stream is that it loses water too quickly -- I need to add water once a day or so. I've never found a wet area so I'm not sure where it's going, but it's not down to evaporation, bathing birds, or even thirsty deer.

So for now it sits silent and dry. So sad.

The nice thing about putting this off for a few years is I've come up with a new design, something that won't have the drawbacks of this original one and won't require a month of work.

Stay tuned for that project!  (The two wide shots give you a small hint as to what I have planned)


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Lisa  – (July 10, 2018 at 6:45 AM)  

It was your stream that brought me to your blog in the first place, so I look forward to seeing what you have planned!

I grow red sorrel (bloody dock) around my pond, but it's in the damp areas, not in the actual pond. It's a vigorous self-seeder, too so now I have it popping up here and there. Maybe you could try one of the small sedges? They love growing in water - but they might also be deer delicious... not sure about that one!

Jaime Haney  – (July 10, 2018 at 1:53 PM)  

I'm looking forward to seeing your new creation for the stream. I don't know how you've been so rigid with yourself, I would've caved and ran the water anyway. I adore the sound of running water.

A few things that grow really well in water for me are taro plants (colocasia) I have Blue Hawaiian growing in my pond right now. Also, purple fountain grass and cardinal flower. However, I'm not sure about deer munching on them and they may or may not be the size you're looking for.

outlawgardener  – (July 11, 2018 at 1:36 AM)  

It's really nice to have the sound of running water in the garden but it can be so troublesome. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the stream that won't take too much work!

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