27 June 2010

potted water lily galore, compared to before.

the garden center is mostly phasing out of selling pond plants and supplies since several years ago, as it's more of a specialty arena in the home and garden business kind of setting. but one item we can sell, when we have the time to prep the pots, is hardy white-blooming water lily pads.

our pond just steps away from the shop in the barn had just four pots of water lily pads placed about three to four feet below the water level probably close to a decade ago. despite being contained in pots, the knobby roots that are the main growing parts of the water lily have spread exponentially and are often floating under the pads at the surface of the pond. 

while searching through a list of plants requested by select customers a few weeks ago, i saw one request for water lilies. i knew i just had to find the time to get them potted, as we had none ready this season so far for selling.

so i had the weekend workers help me with finding appropriately sized black pots along with a load of 2b clean gravel for drainage, some screened and blended soil to cover the roots, and 3/4" river rock to decorate the top layer.

we ended up potting up probably ten to twelve lilies. these pads are about as big as paper plates and are aggressive spreaders. but the pads are quite ephemeral and soon brown out with squiggles of sunburn before sinking away, replaced by more ambitious pads.

water celery and wild mint are two very tenacious growers in pond settings, accompanying the big pond's lily pads.


wild mint of course thickens out fast in dryer plots of land too, like in my garden where it is taking over and has to be thinned out every few weeks. 

out of the nearly dozen lily pads we potted up, i think five sold pretty quickly. so if you know anyone who wants a lily pad, send them on over ! 

we've had some in from a pond supply company we used to buy from, and the lily pads were only about as big s your palm. 

customers told me the blooms were beautiful (white, possibly yellow, light pink, and a slightly light red) but that they pads never grew much. whereas on the other hand, the lily pads we pot up and sell-- i only recommend for those who have a big pond, nothing small. but i suppose you can always just rip off the pads and stems if they become too dense.

this is an example of the knobby root from which a lily pad grows. these have floated to the surface away from the originally placed pots at the bottom from years ago. they're a compromise between roots and wings, in a sense, perhaps. and the pale green dots  clustered all around it are duckweed, an invasive floater, which can be a good thing if you are looking for coverage to keep algae at bay.

anything miniature always pulls out the awh's in me ! this is a small lily we potted.

and that frog hanging on the left side of the pot may or may not be the weeks-ago smaller version of the one i posted about a few days ago.

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