En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
10 ratings

Tuesday - July 21, 2009

From: Grand Haven, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for retention ponds in Grand Haven, MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am president of a condo association. We have three retention ponds on the property. From two of them we pump water for irrigation so the water level goes up and down. We are going to try to stabilize the shore to stop the erosion, but I am trying to find out about plants that can live with wet and dry feet. Non-invasive, and preferably something that will grow tall enough to break up the sightline from the water to the shore, to help keep the geese off the lawn. I know that is is a separate issue.

ANSWER:

Luckily for us, there has already been an excellent answer to virtually the same question, the previous one coming from White Lake, MI in the southwest part of Michigan, Oakland County. We feel that is close enough to Grand Haven, on the southeast side of Michigan, Ottawa County, that the same information should apply, including the plant selections. Previous answer to White Lake.

In terms of keeping the geese off of the lawn, we have had questions about geese destroying gardens before, as well. We are not sure if any of the plants suggested in the previous answer were grasses tall enough to serve as something of a barrier to the geese, so we are going to find some native grasses that can tolerate wet or dry soils and list them for you.

Grasses Native to Michigan

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint) - 3to 5 ft. tall, sun, part shade or shade

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge) - 2 to 3 ft. tall, wet soil to standing water, sun

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge) - wet or moist soil,sun

Juncus torreyi (Torrey's rush) - wet or moist soil, sun

Phragmites australis (common reed) - 3 to 6 ft., wet or moist soil, sun

Scirpus atrovirens (green bulrush) - 3 to 6 ft. tall, wet soil, sun

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush) - wet soil, sun

Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) - 3 to 6 ft., wet soil, sun


Calamagrostis canadensis

Carex stipata

Carex vulpinoidea

Juncus torreyi

Phragmites australis

Scirpus atrovirens

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani

Spartina pectinata

 

 

 

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Remake of church grotto in Highlands, TX
April 24, 2010 - I'm looking to reform our Church Grado. I would like some beautiful (fitting) flowers that are native to Texas. Low upkeep preferred. Possible some nice water flowers to put into waterways. Plan to a...
view the full question and answer

Tree with stilt roots for Louisiana bog garden
February 07, 2013 - Does Louisiana have any native trees with stilt roots? I would like one to go with my cypress and tupelo bog garden. I have several native plants such as spider lilies and blue flag irises, but I'm...
view the full question and answer

Planting instructions for horsetail
March 10, 2009 - Re: Equisetum hyemale L. Canuela, Horsetail, Scouring rush, Scouringrush horsetail I bought a 1-gal Equisetum hyemale for my seep/pond. In searching the web, I find conflicting planting instructions...
view the full question and answer

Native plant water gardens
March 20, 2004 - I’d like to have a native plant water garden. How do I begin?
view the full question and answer

Cover oak roots with a pond from Round Rock TX
December 22, 2012 - Hello! I have looked for this answer. We have 2 huge old beautiful live oaks. One is very close to the patio and house, and the other is about 20 feet of the house. Thus, part of their root systems ar...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center