JANUARY 2008 NEWSLETTER
Volume 1, Issue 1
Happy New Year to all of Hughes Water Gardens’ wonderful customers!
Welcome to our first newsletter!
In This Issue
Pond plant pick of the month - Ogon Sweet Flag
Perennial plant pick of the month – Pulmonaria
Pond product pick of the month – Barley Bales
Tinkerbell’s pond tips – Dealing with ice on the pond.
A coupon, hours and directions
Hughes Announces Our Store Expansion
We are completing our store expansion, doubling the size of our indoor retail area! We hope to have the addition open by February 1st. The store will feature an additional sales area, an information desk, an aquarium and a larger selection of pond equipment and gifts along with the great service always provided at Hughes Water Gardens. We are very excited and can’t wait to see you here!
Come See Us at The Yard, Garden and Patio Show
Feb 15 - 17th
The Yard, Garden and Patio Show announces the start of the 2008 garden season for Hughes! It has been an annual event for us since the early 1990s. The show is held at the Oregon Convention Center and we will be at booth #1371. Stop by – we will have money saving coupons available for the nursery – good through April 15, 2008.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the show!
Water Plant Pick of the Month
Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' Ogon Sweet Flag
Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ is the star of the grass-like family Acorus and a must have for any water feature. Remarkably, this bulletproof, evergreen plant looks great all year and makes a wonderful showpiece or accent plant.
Ogon Sweet Flag has light green foliage with yellow stripes. This yellow stripe gives the plant a glow which is especially beautiful in the winter. Ogon grows not only as a marginal plant in your pond (ideally not more than 3 inches of water over the crown of the plant) but also grows beautifully in your garden in moist soil. It grows 8 - 12 inches tall and spreads 12 inches making it ideal for those areas that need a low growing plant ,like the edges of a creek. Acorus gramineus ‘Pusillus Minimus Aurea’ is a miniature version of Ogon only reaching 2 inches in height with the same spread. Both versions like to grow in sun to part-shade in zones 6 and above. The flowers are inconspicuous. We at Hughes highly recommend either of these plants for any pond or garden.
For more water plant ideas see our water plant webpage. Or the Plant Gallery
Perennial Plant Pick of the Month
Pulmonaria sp. Lungwort
Pulmonaria are great shade-tolerant perennials. Even when they are not blooming these pretty little plants are sure to become a favorite in the garden due to their colorful foliage. They have a variety of blue-grey to green leaves with light spotting/variagation giving them a resemblance to lungs, hence the common name of “Lungwort”. How did such a beautiful plant get the unbecoming name lungwort? A German herbalist in the 14th-century believed that a plants’ appearance related to its healing qualities. Because the shape and spotting on the leaves were thought to resemble a diseased lung, they were used to treat lung problems. Wort was a name often given to plants that were used medicinally.
Pulmonaria come with a wide variety of leaf shapes and variegation patterns. All have sprays of small flowers in lovely pinks, blues and violets held in small clusters above the leaves. These plants flower very early and can bloom for a month or more. An excellent ground cover, they thrive planted under deciduous trees around a pond. They sometimes reseed themselves and you may spot small babies around the parent plant in spring.
Pulmonaria prefer moist well-drained soil, part-shade to part-sun. They are excellent companion plants with Hostas and Toadlilies. Pulmonarias are usually available for purchase in March.
Pulmonaria sp. Lungwort
Barley Straw Algae Treatments
Barley bales are one of the oldest and most natural approaches to combating string algae. So what is string algae? String algae is a filamentous algae that attaches to your rocks, plants and waterfalls and usually becomes an unsightly annoyance. This algae starts very early in the spring and may continue growing rampantly well into the summer. How do barley bales help combat algae growth in your pond?
Barley slowly releases hydrogen peroxide and humates which help change the chemistry of your pond inhibiting string algae growth.
This approach is initially slow to start but very effective over time.
Barley bales come in many sizes to accommodate all sizes of ponds.
It is completely safe for fish, plants and tadpoles.
For best results, replace the bale every six months. After five months insert a new bale and then a month later remove the old bale.
Put the barley where the water can flow though it, like in streams or waterfalls. Ideally the bales should be half exposed to water and half exposed to air. Do not allow the bales to sink to the bottom of pond. If they do sink remove them and allow them to dry for 24 hours before reinserting.
Barley in a pellet form is another option. The pellets are less visually obtrusive and they break down faster thus speeding up the algae fighting process.
For more information on algae control and pond care click here.
Tinkerbell’s Pond Tips
Pond water receives its oxygen from the air. During periods of prologed ice cover on the water, harmful gases released by decaying organic debris on the pond bottom can accumulate beneath the ice and prevent oxygen getting into the water. You need to keep a hole open so that these harmful gases can escape.
We are lucky in the Pacific Northwest in that we rarely get complete ice cover for more than a few days. If the ice remains for more than a week, you should take measures to increase the gas exchange. Do not use a hammer to break up the ice. The shock waves can harm your fish. Once every few days you can pour some boiling water in a couple of spots and melt holes in the ice. If you want to take care of it automatically, purchase a pond de-icer unit which will keep an open hole in the ice.
For more information on winterizing you pond click here.
For more information about Hughes Water Gardens’ products and services visit our website at www.hugheswatergardens.com
For information on the construction department of Hughes Water Gardens, click here “about construction department” and here, for images of water features created by Hughes Water Gardens. If you would like an estimate on having a pond or water feature built by us, call (503) 638-1709 or e-mail email@example.com ask for Randy, our construction manager.
Directions to Hughes Water Gardens
25289 SW Stafford Rd – Tualatin, Oregon 97062 Phone (503) 638-1709
Hours changing at Hughes
Hughes Water Gardens opens for weekends again February 1st and our full “in season” hours begin in March.
Mon. - Fri. 9 to 6
Sat. & Sun. 10 to 3
March – October:
Mon. – Sat. 9 to 6
Sunday 10 to 5
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Hughes Water Gardens
Good through February 1st, 2008
One coupon per customer and visit
Not to be combined with any other discount
Coupon only good at retail location.
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