Landscaping around a garden pond provides challenges. Landscaping should hide the man-made aspects of the pond while at the same time softening the borders. Plants used for landscaping around a garden pond should not drop dead vegetation into a pond that will darken the water, and should also not be harmful to any fish that might be in your pond.
In the wild, irises may be found in boggy wetland areas. This makes them a good choice for a water garden, because irises may be planted both in the pool and around the shoreline to blend the two areas together. Irises have long, thin, bladed leaves that remain upright and do not droop into the water, which prevents water from clouding due to vegetation rot. Bog irises will grow up to 2 or 3 feet high in water as shallow as 2 inches deep.
Plantain lily is a species of hosta that grows in boggy areas and prefers partial shade. It has large, stiff, blue-green leaves that can grow up to 15 inches long and nearly as wide. In spring and early summer, plantain lilies put out clusters of bell-shaped lavender leaves on stalks. For more dramatic foliage, keep the flower stalks cut back.
Calla lilies may be grown as a hearty perennial up to zone 7. For colder climates, lift the bulbs and store over the winter. Calla lilies produce a multitude of colored, trumpet-shaped flowers and large, spear-shaped glossy green leaves with variegated white spots. The leaves may grow up to 3 feet in height. Calla lilies prefer partial shade, and may develop sunburned spots on the leaves if left in direct sunlight.
Miniature cattail or bulrush may grow in water as shallow as 2 inches. They are characterized by flat, sword-shaped leaves and brown, sausage-like flowers that grow on thick shafts. The leaves and flowers may grow as tall as 18 inches. The plants are hearty and may overwinter in most climates. If you place this plant in your pond, keep it in a container to prevent it from becoming invasive.
Certain grasses grow well in boggy areas. When planted around your pond they can create vertical interest in addition to softening the edge of your pond. Most of these grasses require moisture and good drainage, such as the kind found in loamy soil. These grasses may include bamboo, giant reed, or maiden grass.