I acquired a number of plants from a company called Naturescape, as well as pond baskets. I also acquired aquatic compost from another company, Puddle Plants.
The plants I picked were intended to give a range of native species, which are intended to fulfil different functions in the pond. These include:
Free-floating oxygenators (rigid hornwort)
Deep water plants with floating leaves (water violet, common water crowfoot)
Shallow water plants (arrowhead, flowering rush, water forget-me-not, water plantain, yellow flag iris)
Pond-edge plants (bugle, marsh marigold, purple loosestrife)
The idea is to have plants that keep the water oxygenated for animals, plants that provide cover and nesting sites in the water, and plants that provide cover at the water’s edge. Also, a range of heights from smaller plants that will spread but never be more than 15cm high, to much larger things such as the iris and rush that can be well over a metre.
For now, all the plants bar the hornwort are in special baskets, lined with hessian, weighted with stones, and all sat at the same height around the pond. This is to give them a better chance to establish, and to allow me to move them easily if I’m not happy.
As they get established, some will move to lower ledges, and some will be removed from the baskets and allowed to spread.
At the moment, it all looks quite minimal, but as the weeks, months, and years go on the edges of the pond will be subsumed by plant life that will make it better for wildlife.
That said, even just throwing handfuls of hornwort in made a difference, and we have had two different species of water beetle already. Hopefully they will lay eggs that will give larvae that start to form part of the food web in the pond.
If you missed the previous posts on digging the pond out, they are all here.