Monday, 21 September, 2015
Some people may sound odd to talk about wetlands plants in the dry island of Fuerteventura...
But our island there are plenty of natural wetlands! We even have some ravines with permanent water, a few large ponds like Catalina Garcia and three reservoirs on the island: Los Molinos, La Peñita and Barranco River Cabras, besides many smaller ponds.
When these wet areas have a high level of water, also teem with life: abundant vegetation on the banks, waterfowl, green frogs and their young... But as we all know, this does not happen every year.
Precisely for this predominantly arid landscape of Fuerteventura, some would like to have a pond or a small pond in your garden. It will be attractive to us and to the birds that come to drink or eat. It also attracts dragonflies and other insects among which are also naturally mosquitoes, whose black larvae live in water. However, they are easy to control if live fish in the pond, preferably guppies or mosquito fish, larvae eat these without leaving a single. Also useful in this regard Terrapins.
There are many ways to make a pond: there are prefabricated or synthetic materials can be constructed of concrete, which can be waterproofed in several ways. Generally, you need not have more than 40 cm deep. If we can not leave you fuzzy boundaries, with areas of shallow water and mud in which riparian plants can be developed, but the edges of the pond must be precise, it is also possible to grow these plants in large pots that are immersed in the water. Garden centers often have special substrate for aquatic plants.
This week and next, we will present some plant species that can be planted around the pond. Later, we will continue submerged plants.
We started with one of the most decorative to grow in shallow water or in moist soil around a pond plants: papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). It has stems up to more than two meters high topped by dense tufts of thin sheets. Live naturally in tropical Africa and Madagascar.
Of its pulp was obtained in ancient Egypt the first paper that has been reported. Even today some craftsmen continue to do so, and can be purchased in specialized stores for those who want to pamper yourself by writing or drawing on it.
For the paper, the outer parts of the stem are removed. Then, the pulp is cut into strips or sheets as thin as possible, they put a few days in water to soften. Then spread on a smooth surface, slightly overlapping. After drying the first layer, another layer over it extends at right angles to the first. It becomes dry, which strips all stick together, and finally the product obtained is left as flat and smooth as possible by placing a weight first and then gently passing a smooth object.
If you like, you can not miss in the coming weeks all curiosities that you have these beautiful plants!