Create a pond area that incorporates plants of all types and sizes for a three-dimensional landscape. Add the element of height with a tall, water-loving tree, texture with reeds and grasses, and color with flowers. Put in a garden bench and the finished landscape is a place to relax and enjoy nature.
River birch (Betula nigra) grows from 50 to 70 feet tall with either a single or divided trunk and thin, reddish-brown branches. Glossy-green, diamond-shaped leaves grow up to 3 inches long, turning yellow in the fall. Male flowers in long, hanging clusters and female flowers in short, erect clusters appear in the spring. Plant river birch in full sun or partial shade and a moist soil. The tree is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9.
Pinxter azalea (Rhododendron canescens) is also known as Piedmont azalea, wild azalea and bush honeysuckle and is hardy in USDA zones 6 to 9. The plant is a deciduous shrub growing from 6 to 15 feet tall and about the same in width. Fragrant, pink or white tube-shaped flowers grow from 2 to 3 inches long and bloom in the spring at the tips of the branches. Leaves appear at the same time as the flowers, growing from 1 to 3 inches long. Plant pinxter azalea in full sun, partial shade or full shade and a moist soil.
Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) is also known as scouring rush. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 11 and needs full or filtered sun and a soil that is moist to wet. The plant resembles a reed and grows up to 3 feet tall producing evergreen stems 1/3 inch in diameter. Tiny leaves grow around the stems at the joints and appear as a band of black and green.
Gamma grass (Tripsacum dactyloides) is also known as fakahatchee grass. The plant grows up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide with leaves up to 6 feet long and 1 inch wide that turn red and bronze only if there is a frost. Reddish-brown flowers bloom from late spring to mid summer growing in long spikes on stems taller than the leaves . Plant gamma grass in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is fertile and moist to wet. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 10.
Golden club (Orontium aquaticum) is also known as neverwet. Blue-green leaves grow from 6 to 10 inches long and 2 to 4 inches wide on stems up to 18 inches long. Tiny yellow flowers bloom in 4 inch long clusters at the ends of stalks taller than the leaves and are followed by small, blue-green berries in the summer. Plant golden club in direct sun or partial shade and a soaking wet soil.
The plant is hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 11.