This mild, drawn out autumn has seen a glorious display of brilliant colour, highlighting how trees really are a beautiful feature beside water. Vertical and horizontal lines, changing colours, tree silhouettes reflected in the water’s surface… but what about those thousands of falling leaves?
Each leaf is packed with nutrition (as every gardener knows leaf mould is the best slow release fertilizer). They fall in hundred’s of thousands, are blown often considerable distances and if close to your natural pool, will enter the water, quickly sink to the pool floor and if left, decay over winter, releasing nutrients into the pool in time for spring – perfect timing for advantageous algae which will then bloom!
Small pools are easy to fit with a net during leaf fall, which stops leaves entering the water. This is easily planned for at construction stage.
However larger, irregular shaped pools require extra vigilance during autumn. The best thing is to gather up all leaves daily from around the pool- great exercise, and quite satisfying gathering up crunchy fresh leaves in the autumn sunshine- but we recognize it is not always convenient or even possible to be on top of the job daily.
Of course it would be easy to say ‘No trees beside a Natural Pool’- but quite honestly the Ensata team all love trees in gardens, next to water, and we do have a few tricks up our sleeve for leaf management.
Here at Ellicar Gardens, around our show pool, Will and Sarah have planted over 270 specimen trees, and a small wood- but with great caution- most of the leaf drop varieties are on the windward side of the pool; we choose varieties with leaves that ‘drop and stay’ rather than ‘drift and blow’ long distances; we plant buffer strips- stunning borders of grasses and perennials that trap the leaves in Autumn; we use specimen conifers close to the water (think Canadian lakes); we religiously rake up fallen leaves throughout Autumn; any leaves falling into the water are netted out immediately.
For clients considering new gardens and pools- Sarah, our planting specialist, offers advice on selecting and placing non- invasive tree species, to enhance your pool and garden without the headache of hours of leaf clearing every autumn.
Contact us for more information about tree guidance for natural pools.