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Water in the Garden

Andi Clevely
Photos by Steven Wooster
Published by Frances Lincoln
Distributed by Bookwise
$NZ29.99 ea

These two informative books from British garden writer Andi Clevely are a useful starting point if you’re considering embarking on either or both these major hard-landscaping tasks.

As the writer points out in Water in the Garden, one of the main differences in planning the two is that a patio can be largely conceived on paper, whereas a pond really needs to be worked out on the site itself.Water in the Garden

But, as with ponds, getting a patio wrong can be disastrous. A patio is a significant addition to the garden that can radically alter the appearance, balance, ambience and sometimes, microclimate.

Among things to consider in planning a patio include how many people are likely to use it and when it is likely to be used. Is it to be an outdoor room or will it be mainly a space to raise plants? The amount of light, warmth and shelter the patio receives, will determine what type of plants you will grow there.

In planning a pond, balance, says the author, is paramount. Timidity and over-ambition are dangers equally to be avoided. Unlike some books on water features, this one doesn’t overlook essential detail – if you want formulae to work out the size of pond liner or what your pump’s capacity should be, they’re here.

But when it comes to aquatic plant choice be wary. Many mentioned – water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), water soldier (Stratiotes aloides), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) among them – are high on our list of no-grows. The other warning, oft repeated in these columns, is that materials listed and specifications may differ from our own.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 220, 2007, Page 36

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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Last updated: March 1, 2021