Carnivorous Pitcher Plant

Carnivorous Pitcher Plant
one of the first plants in our swim pond

Friday, 7 September 2012

Submerged swimming-pool garden.

As the weather warms up I am looking forward to getting wet again. Some of the pool plants are responding by putting up their first leaves. Little blue dragon flies are zipping about. Charles, our big male water dragon, has come out of hibernation and is looking more handsome than ever!

I have resumed my underwater aquascaping project. The first stage was begun last year, late in the season, by planting a number of aquarium plants in various depths to see what works. I can see that some of them have thrived, but I won't know the full story until I can snorkel again. The water is 19 degreesC at present, so it won't be long until I brave it - perhaps with my wet suit on..…

However I can see that I need larger plants than the usual aquarium species, to be in scale with the size of the pond/"aquarium". I am trialling some garden plants to see what might survive and thrive underwater. However if any of my readers can make some suggestions I would be grateful. The plants need to be able to do well in water that is crystal clear but up to 1 meter deep. I need grass-like and foliage plants.

I have gotten some logs in the shapes I like and am now trying to get them water logged enough to sink. A couple of them have sunk nicely but most are still floating (less than 24 hours later though).

I have taken my inspiration for the underwater garden from the aquarium hobby of planted aquariums which is very popular world wide. The best known "father " of the hobby is Takashi Amano. Amano has published some beautiful books on the subject. If you google Amano or "planted aquarium" you will find some of the most beautiful aquariums you have ever seen.
Here is a web page showing some examples of the art.

As far as I know I am the first to try this in a swimming pool! I am calling it my "submerged swimming-pool garden" to distinguish it from the landscaping above water.

There are some challenges though, and differences from doing this in an aquarium. The aquarium hobbyists use artificial light (of course), fertilizer, heaters, and CO2 injections. I will have an advantage with sunlight, but will be trying to grow plants in a low nutrient environment, and through the seasons. I may or may-not succeed, but I will have fun trying. Do follow this blog if you are interested in the idea. And do give me some advice if you can help.