Gardening in Langley: Think water features

Anne Marrison is happy to answer gardening questions. Send them to

  • Aug. 12, 2015 12:00 p.m.


The sight and sound of water doesn’t have to be completely absent in a drought-stricken garden. Birdbaths use almost no water but are still a joyful place for birds that are thirsty and also birds that want to splash around and wash.

Two Burnaby gardeners added a long, flat rock in the middle of their birdbath not only as a spot for small birds to perch while drinking, but also for paper wasps and other insects to do the same thing.

No space? A Maple Ridge gardener placed a beautiful and sturdy pottery saucer close to ground level.

This created a water source that was not only available to birds, but the house cats also found it easy to get a drink. So could insects because she also placed a shallow rock in the centre.

Placing rocks in a water source doesn’t only make it accessible for small, thirsty creatures, it also prevents crows from polluting the water by washing food in there.

A leaky birdbath can be a useful pot for shallow-rooted plants, especially sedums or sempervivums which can stand water-short conditions.

Generally, teasels in a garden are a huge nuisance: they’re well-armed with thorn-like prickles and they seed with a vengeance.

A Surrey gardener was delighted to find that after rain or watering, her teasel’s big, cup-shaped leaves formed small pools where hummingbirds were bathing.

Many low-water features owe their appearance to the magic of recirculating pumps.

A North Vancouver gardener has a mystery water feature where a brass tap seems to be suspended in air running water into a tiny pool.

A transparent tube fits into the centre of the pool at one end and into the tap spout at the top end.

He has drilled holes around the upper end of the tube.

Deep down in the pool a recirculating pump impels water up the tube, where within the tap it exits through all the drilled holes.

The water running down the outside of the transparent tube makes the tube invisible.

Standing stones which are a source of bubbling water have freedom from mosquitoes as a side benefit.

A Maple Ridge gardener has a group of three standing stones on a drain rock floor midway down a steep, winding path.

Bubbling water runs in sheets down rock, through the layer of stones down to a basin.

From there a pump moves the water up inside the rock. It’s quite possible to have a hole drilled longways up a standing rock.

Seasonal ponds and creeks also have a place in gardens.

A Langley gardener created a pond with rocks and stumps. It’s dry in summer but looks pondlike year-round. A Burnaby gardener made a seasonal creek that’s a path for most of the year. It’s paved with small, water-worn stones.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley walk to fight Alzheimer’s took place outdoors and in

Second annual fundraiser at Chartwell Langley Gardens Retirement Community

VIDEO: Inaugural township-wide garage sale rated a success

‘It went extremely well,’ said veteran garage sale participant

Taekwondo Festival draws hundreds to Langley Events Centre

Annual event a showcase of Korean martial art skills, culture and music

VIDEO: Bowen Byram named top prospect

Giants defenceman recognized as premier NHL draft pick

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Most Read