LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Chris Olsen from Botanica Gardens always has great advice on home and gardening projects.
Whether you have a fish pond, birdbath, or even a pool for that matter, add life and color with your very own floating island. Easy, unique, and totally different, you can now own your very own island for little cash. The size and variety of plants is up to you. Just remember to use low maintenance plants that require minimum care. If you have a skimmer as part of your water feature, then you may want to anchor your living island to something heavy to prevent it from blocking the skimmer's opening.
Sheets of Styroam (1/2" thick sheets about 10" x 12")
Assorted moss and moss clumps
1. We are going for a rounded rectangular shape for our island. You can make yours any size and shape you want...what is important is the layering. On the underside you want to start with a large piece of foam and 2 smaller pieces. Center the smaller pieces in the center and pin with greening pins. This will allow the larger base piece to float above the water.
2. Now flip your foam over and break off the corners. Pin the corners to the top. This will create levels for us to build on.
3. Add a few more small pieces to create additional levels, pinning as you go.
4. Once you have everything pinned in place, tie some twine around the center. This will insure that everything stays in place. Leave an extra long tail that can be used to weight your island down.
5. Now lay your island, face down in the middle of a piece burlap. The burlap will hold everything in place and keep the dirt from getting into your pond filter. You are going to wrap the burlap around to the back leaving the top layers uncovered , and pinning in place. We curled up our twine and pinned it down so we don't accidentally cut it off. Cut off the excess burlap as you go.
6. Choose your plants carefully. Make sure they can handle the shade or sun and alot of water. We used mini mondo grass, ferns, begonias, and mazus.
7. Begin planting your plants, adding dirt as needed. Use pins to pin plants roots to styrofoam so they stay in place. Continue adding plants, adding dirt. Once you have all your plants in place,
cover the entire island with moss and pin in place.
8. Add a few assorted mosses, rocks, and other natural items and you are done! Now remember that string you tied up underneath your island? You can unpin it and tie a chard of pottery or a small rock to the end. When placing your island in your pond this weight will help keep where you want it.
Check out the video for step-by-step instructions! And you can always visit Chris at Botanica Gardens, located at 1601 Rebsamen Park Road, for help on any gardening projects.