A lakegarden is a beautiful and practical way to enhance your home or property. It can provide shelter for birds, butterflies and other wildlife; help prevent erosion of the shoreline; and improve the quality of water in a lake by filtering runoff from your garden and yard before it flows into the waterbody.
The best lakefront gardens feature plants that can grow in the lake’s conditions, including sun, shade, soil, and drainage. Plant species that thrive in a lake’s environment can include native aquatic and emergent species, shrubs, groundcovers and trees.
For example, Buttonbush, a native shrub that has long, glossy green leaves and round flower clusters that attract butterflies, is a great choice for lakefront gardens. Alternatively, you can choose to use an ornamental tree, such as a Japanese maple or flowering cherry, that will flourish in the lake’s moisture-rich conditions.
You can also consider native wildflowers and other groundcovers that can help bind a lakebed together, such as hardstem bulrush. These plants can provide food and nesting sites for fish, turtles and other aquatic animals and can also serve as natural barriers to predators.
Another type of lakefront garden that can enhance the beauty of your home or property is a rain garden. A rain garden uses native plants to filter runoff water before it flows into a lake or stream, reducing the amount of nutrients in the water that would otherwise harm water quality.
One of the best places to plant a rain garden is in the middle of your yard, where you can create a more natural space. This can allow for a larger area of plants, but may require more work and expense because the site will need to be protected from wind, rain and other weather elements that could affect your garden.
Creating a lakefront garden can be an exciting project, but it is not without risk. It requires attention to detail, and if you’re not familiar with the lake’s environment, it can be difficult to know what kinds of plants are safe to use.
If you do plan to plant a lakefront garden, be sure to buy only native aquatic plants that can thrive in your particular lake’s water conditions. If you’re unsure, visit your local native plant nursery and ask for advice from an expert.
Some of the most popular and effective lakefront garden designs feature a waterfall, an island or other form of land formation that helps to break up a lake’s water surface. A small stream or creek that flows through the garden can also add a nice focal point and increase the aesthetic appeal of the garden.
The landscape can also be enhanced with a covered bridge, which can add a dramatic effect to the garden. A wisteria vine and hops can cling to the bridge, making for a spectacular view at sunset.
You can also incorporate logs into your garden design, which can make a great centerpiece and protect newly planted or colonizing aquatic plants from the harsh lake’s conditions. Many lakes in Michigan are littered with downed trees that have fallen into the water over the years. Placing a few of these downed tree logs next to your garden will provide a habitat for fish and turtles while helping to slow the erosion of your shoreline and improve the quality of water in the lake. lakegarden residences