The excursion in July 2017 took us to Ahlen and Hamm.
At 10 o'clock 12 aquatic plant friends gathered in Ahlem at the Teichpflanzengärtnerei Rehberg. There we were greeted by the owners Britta and Thomas Rehberg. At the introduction, we learned about the history of gardening, then we got a tour of the extensive grounds. At various ponds water and marsh plants were seen.
Already at the first pond there was a beautiful botanical feature to admire. An orchid was still in bloom on the shore.
Mr. Rehberg showed us what is important in the planning of such a system at an exemplary landscaped swimming pond. The shore area serves as a filter for the plant-free swimming area. The planting in this case was varied with reeds, meadowsweet, frog spoon, juggler flowers, loosestrife, fever clover and other marsh plants. Before the return of the water to the swimming area, the water part was a bit deeper and provided space for water lilies, millipedes, water hose, maritime pots and other aquatic plants. Due to the close-to-nature design also animals in such a plant find their habitat.
During the tour of the area there were many interesting plants to see. In addition to various water lilies, pike weed (Pontederia cordata), juggler flowers (Mimulus luteus), marsh forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris), Tongue buttercup (Ranunculus lingua) and the South African water fowl Aponogeton distachyos also flourished. In addition to the water and marsh plants, there are many unusual trees and shrubs on the site. The Ordinary Trumpet Tree (Catalpa bignonioides) was in full bloom. Another special feature was the real spice shrub (Calycanthus floridus). Its flowers - but also the leaves and the bark - smell of strawberries and cloves.
Between the many different plants also numerous animals were to be seen. Among them were butterflies like the country card (Araschnia levana), grasshoppers, frogs and various hoverflies. We were even able to observe the rare hornet hoverfly (Volucella zonaria). This hoverfly lays its eggs in hornets' nests, where the larvae then live off detritus. The adult animals are very large and imitate hornets in color. They are harmless and feed on nectar.
Finally, we rummaged through the sales area and some plants got a new home.
Because the excusion made us hungry, we drove from the nursery to Hamm to eat on the banks of the Lippe in the restaurant "King's Boathouse". A great Chinese - Mongolian buffet gave us the energy for a little excursion along the river Lippe.
Among other things, we saw pond roses (Mummeln), Dost, hornwort and algae there. On a shallow, rocky spot under a bridge were abundant shells of pea mussles. On the shore flew a few butterflies and various dragonflies. In the places with the algae mats, where the dragonflies lay their eggs, it swarmed with small white fish.
Finally, we came across a bridge on a larger stock of a narrow-leaved pondweed. Presumably it was the crested pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus. It was a very nice, fun and educational tour.