Aquatic Plants For The ‘Naked Garden’ by David Domoney


As we’ve already mentioned in the blog we have several pioneering growers producing magnificent plants without the use of soil for the show, – varieties such as tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and even salad crops. We now need to add some ornamental plants to our collections so the garden is not only a ‘grow your own’ vegetable patch, but also a garden with plants that have beautiful flowers and foliage too.

To do this, I have teamed up with Frank and Esta at Aqua Flora;. They have worked with me before at the Chelsea Flower Show over the last few years and our last exhibit won a Chelsea Gold Medal. Frank specialises in underwater plants and his nursery is inspiring.

Thier nursery is one of the most prestigious and pioneering in the field of aquatic plants. For over 40 years they have been growing and trading globally aquarium plants, pond plants and ornamental cold water fish.

Since the start it’s developed into one of the leading companies in the world. With the aid of modern technology, aquarium and pond plants are grown in computer-controlled glasshouses as well as in several outdoor nurseries. They nurture over 75 varieties of water lilies, 500 varieties of pond plants and 250 varieties of aquarium plants at their nurseries. Using the most advanced growing methods and a permanent quality control system tey can guarantee the highest quality available. Research, development and improvement have always been of high importance, that’s why they always love my little challenges at these Flower Shows.

I have asked Frank to assist with the flowering plants and some striking foliage varieties as always to be grown without any soil, this time just in water.

One of the plants is Papyrus. It’s spectacular upright stems with a spider’s web splay of leaves at the top will give the garden height and structure especially when planted in containers and their roots exposed.


When I visited Italy to buy the Carpinus trees we spotted some big, mature Papyrus so we are having them shipped from there to Holland to grow on and send to us in the UK for Hampton Court.

Papyrus grows in boggy locations so should work well in our containers. However, we will need to be a bit clever in the container design in order to hold them in their pots. The flowering stems can reach up to 40 mm thick at the base and may grow up to 5 m tall in ideal conditions. The genus name comes from the Greek kupeiros, meaning sedge, while the species name is derived from the use of the plant for paper-making in Ancient Egypt.

We have also asked Aquaflora for varieties such as Canna Lilies, Pontederia’s, Zantedichia’s and Eichhornia’s for their beautiful flowers.

For interesting foliage varieties, we’re growing Colocasia’s for their arrow like leaves, Equisetum’s for their upright spikes, Juncus Spiralis for their interesting cork screw foliage and Houttuynia for the striking foliage colour. Not forgetting that the flowering Canna lilies will also show colourful foliage.

Anglian Home Improvements working with David Domoney at this years Hampton Court Flower Show. Visit the Anglian website to view some of our gorgeous conservatories.


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