Would you like to not only beautify your garden pond and its surroundings but also transform it into an herb garden? Both can be combined. Various shoreline plants have long been known for their medicinal properties. They are suitable for making tea and sometimes even compresses. Some herbs that thrive excellently along the edge of your garden pond also taste delicious as culinary herbs, for example, in salads or herb quark.
Herbs that Heal and Look Good
The garden pond and its surroundings provide ideal conditions for cultivating medicinal and culinary herbs. These herbs often have high ornamental value and integrate perfectly into the shoreline design or the shallow water zone. Many of these herbs thrive in a moist environment. Even in water, various herbs like water mint can flourish. Additionally, many herbs attract bees and other beneficial insects with their flowers. Native herbs have the advantage of being frost-resistant and requiring no protection or indoor storage during the cold season.
Designing the Garden Pond with Herbs
Culinary herbs are often planted in a herb spiral, constructed with stones. These herbs often do not demand high maintenance and can be perennial, remaining faithful to their spot for many years. Similar to a herb spiral, you can also arrange the surroundings of your garden pond by placing stones. This is especially practical if you want to childproof your garden pond. However, it’s advisable to add additional protection with a fence or roses, as a moment of inattention can have serious consequences for children.
Your garden pond does not tolerate direct sunlight, as it promotes algae formation. Therefore, it should be in partial shade. This can be excellently combined with herbs that often require a semi-shady location. In the shoreline zone, where the soil is less moist, plant herbs that can grow taller, such as meadowsweet as a medicinal herb. For the marsh zone, there are also various plants known for their medicinal properties.
Creating Floating Islands with Herbs
If you have fish in your pond, various aquatic plants, including herbs like water mint, are often enjoyed by them. Especially carp such as silver carp or grass carp, as well as koi, have an appetite for plants. To prevent the fish from eating your herbs, you should create floating islands. They provide a beautiful appearance, especially if your pond is larger. Floating islands also offer some advantages for fish. On hot, sunny days, fish feel comfortable in the shade of these small islands. They place their spawn at the roots of these plants. The roots of the herbs extract nutrients from the pond water, which in turn counteracts algae and sludge formation. For the floating islands, you can get special grids in various shapes and sizes into which you can plant the herbs.
Water Plants as Herbs
Typical herbs that can be placed directly in the pond are water mint and watercress. These plants can be placed on floating islands, but you can also arrange them in the marsh zone so that they are not constantly submerged in water.
Water mint feels right at home on a floating island. It develops a better flavor than in the marsh or shoreline zone. Many mint varieties have emerged from water mint. As the original form of mint, it contains more menthol than other mint varieties and should therefore be used more sparingly for tea. Water mint is suitable for tea and can be used fresh or dried. It is effective for stomach problems, bloating, diarrhea, digestive problems, as well as common colds.
Watercress is rich in vitamin C and can be cooked like spinach or used for salads. Together with garlic and roasted pine nuts, watercress can be used for pesto. It has a sharp, slightly bitter taste and fleshy, round leaves. Watercress must always be in water or at least in a moist mud bed to survive. It can be harvested throughout the year. The garden pond in a semi-shady place is the perfect location for watercress. Watercress looks similar to bittercress, which, although not poisonous, has a bitter taste. Unlike watercress with a hollow stem, bittercress has a stem filled with pith. Watercress was used in the past to treat scurvy.
Brooklime, also called speedwell, can be planted in the deep or shallow water zone and grows quite tall. The leaves are suitable for salad and tea. Brooklime can help with spring fatigue and digestive problems. It tastes bitter, so you should use other herbs or lettuce leaves for a salad. Brooklime displays its beautiful blue flowers from May to August.
Herbs for the Pond Edge
At the pond edge, in the marsh zone, you can place various herbs that can not only be used for healing or in the kitchen but also often delight with beautiful flowers.
Water pepper originates from Japan, where it grows like a weed in rice fields. It is an annual plant and dies when there is no water. It is even spicier than classic pepper. Water pepper can stand in the marsh zone and be harvested in autumn. In the kitchen, the reddish leaves are used. Water pepper is also suitable as tea for hemorrhoids and menstrual complaints.
Bistort can be used against fever, headaches, and stomach problems. It likes low-calcium and moist conditions, making it perfect for the marsh zone. It remains relatively small and delights in May and June with delicate white flowers. Bistort can also stand in the water, but the water depth should not exceed 20 centimeters.
Lady’s mantle is said to have healing properties for menstrual complaints and other women’s ailments when prepared as tea. It has no specific requirements for location and soil but loves moisture. Lady’s mantle is suitable for the marsh and shoreline zone. It thrives in semi-shade and even in the shade.
Comfrey delights with beautiful blue flowers. As the name suggests, it can be used for sports injuries to the legs, such as bruises. You should not consume it raw or use it for tea. However, for pain in the legs, such as muscle strains or bruises, you can use comfrey infusion for compresses. The root can be boiled for ointment. Even for bone fractures, comfrey is believed to have a healing effect. Comfrey needs a moist, nutrient-rich, and nitrogen-containing soil and therefore thrives well in the shoreline zone. It loves the sun but can also tolerate partial shade.
Pennywort is a sprawling, creeping plant with penny-sized leaves and yellow flowers. The plant is suitable for the marsh or shoreline zone and loves moisture. Pennywort can be used as tea for colds and diarrhea, as well as for compresses for rheumatism. Pennywort loves a semi-shady location. As it spreads rapidly, you should keep it short or place other plants at an appropriate distance.
Calamus belongs to the ginger family and is already available in various varieties in Germany. As a medicinal plant, it is suitable for stomach and digestive problems. The plant has vigorous growth and cob-shaped flowers. It requires a moist, semi-shady location and is therefore perfect for the marsh zone.
Purple loosestrife is used as a medicinal plant against skin diseases and is also said to help with diabetes mellitus. It delights with beautiful red flower spikes and is suitable for the marsh zone. Since purple loosestrife has a water-purifying effect, it can also be used for the clarification zone in a swimming pond. The location should always be moist. Purple loosestrife combines well with yellow iris or Japanese knotweed. It is perennial and winter-hardy. It loves the sun but can also thrive in a semi-shady location. However, it does not like shade, as it will not bloom in that case.
Japanese knotweed can be prepared like spinach. Young leaves are also suitable for smoothies or herb quark. Japanese knotweed prefers a moist, semi-shady location and looks best when generously planted.
Meadowsweet can grow quite tall and is suitable for the marsh or shoreline zone. The beautiful, delicately appearing white flowers smell like almonds or honey. Meadowsweet loves a semi-shady place but also thrives in the sun. As a medicinal plant, meadowsweet is suitable for making tea. Meadowsweet is believed to have healing effects on colds, digestive problems, or gout.
Sage is said to have healing properties for menstrual complaints and other women’s ailments when prepared as tea. It does not have specific location requirements and soil but loves moisture. Sage is well-suited for the marsh and shoreline zone. It thrives in semi-shade and even in the shade.
Creating the Area Around the Garden Pond
You can also design the area around the garden pond with herbs. Here, herbs that prefer less moisture, such as rosemary, basil, parsley, chives, or sage, are suitable. Sage and basil have a high ornamental value, with leaves in various colors.
You can place herbs around and in the garden pond. These herbs have healing properties or can be used in the kitchen. Water mint and watercress can thrive directly in the water, on floating islands. Other herbs prefer a moist location and are suitable for the marsh or shoreline zone. Many herbs are perfect for the garden pond, as they can tolerate partial shade and moisture well. The herbs delight with beautiful flowers and can be well-combined.