Avant Gardener – 040113

Water gardens are a popular addition to backyards, especially with the high cost of gasoline keeping many people at home. Small ones are easy to install as a do-it-yourself project using a pre-formed rigid liner available from many garden centers, but larger projects involving waterfalls, stepping stones and bridges generally require the expertise of a water garden contractor. Hosts Derek and Caroline discuss two water features at their farm in Pennsylvania – a small pool using a rigid liner to embellish a rock garden they installed, and a larger water feature involving a dipping pool and a stream with waterfalls where they hired a water garden specialist to tweak their design and finish the installation, requiring three days to complete. The guest expert this session is Cartriona Tudor Erler, author of a book titled Poolscaping (Storey), who discusses the work involved in landscaping around a swimming pool. Among the emails answered are questions about attracting ladybugs and earthworms as beneficial creatures, and whether lotus are sufficiently hardy to survive as far north as zone 6.