I finally got around to changing my macro lens for my wide-angle. No big deal really, but I so love my macro. Anyway, it has been such a lovely spring day today with wall to wall sunshine, and for the first time this year it has been warm enough to chill (sounds like a contradiction) by the pond and enjoy the world as it passes slowly and serenely. Sometimes it is the simple things in life, which are totally free, which give one the most pleasure.
The Marsh Marigold is just pure joy with the light filtering through its golden-yellow petals. When I planted it in the shallows last year I did not know whether it would survive let alone flower. Growing water plants is new to me, and there is always some trepidation when attempting something new, but I guess they do all the hard work, the plants, as I all I do is just remove the dead and tidy up a little around them. So with multiple blooms on the Marsh Marigold I have been quite happy with the results so far.
Not long after making my garden pond earlier this year I planted Water Mint on the margin. It is a strong-smelling mint with large flowerheads comprising of two-lipped lilac-pink petals and crimson sepals. The stems are reddish and hairy with leaves which are oval and coarsely toothed, and often have a reddish tinge. The flowers can grow up to 6mm long, and the plant up to 1m tall.
It flowers July to September. In the wild it is found at the edge of ponds, pools, ditches and lakes, often growing in the water. It is also marshes, swamps, and similar freshwater habitats. A native species, widespread and common throughout.
The flowers are a good source of nectar for insects, and the leaves a good food source for caterpillars. The plant also has various medicinal properties and culinary uses.
Photograph of Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) taken August 2016, rear garden pond , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
Photographs of water lilies taken August 2016, Fishermans Walk, Southbourne, Dorset. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.