This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Almost every garden of any pretensions has its watercourse or lake, either natural or artificial, or in lieu thereof some ornamental basins, tanks, or fountains. To fill these there is no lack of hardy subjects, suitable either for the small fountain-basin, or for the spacious lake or stream. For a small tank or basin we have such plants as Nymphsea pygmaea, Nuphar pumila, Calla palustris, Hydrocharis Morsus-ranae, Utricularia vulgaris, Hippuris vulgaris (Horsetail), Limnanthemum nymphseoides, Stratiotes aloides (Water-Soldier), Aponogeton distachyus, and Alisma natans; to which might be added Lemna minor and other species (Duckweed),and other indigenous water-weeds according to pleasure. For larger pieces of water, the White and Yellow Water Lilies (Nymphaea alba and Nuphar lutea) first claim our attention, followed by such plants as Sagittaria sagittifolia (Arrowhead), Alisma Plantago (Water Plantain), Butomus umbellatus (Flowering Rush), Pontederia cordata, Hottonia palustris (Water Violet), Limnanthemum nymphseoides, Ranunculus aquatilis varieties (floribundus, circinatus, etc.), Rumex hydrolapathum (Water Dock), Thalia dealbata, Typha lati-folia, T. angustifolia, etc. There are also many plants that will grow either in shallow water, on the borders of rivulets or ponds, or in marshy ground; for example, Lythrum Sali-caria (Purple Loosestrife), Galtha palustris (Marsh Marigold), Ranunculus Lingua (Spear-wort), Lysimachia vulgaris (Yellow Loosestrife), Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadow Sweet), Menyanthes trifoliata (Bog Bean), Equisetum Telmateia, syn. E. maximum (Large Horsetail), Carex riparia and other species, Scirpus lacustris (Bulrush), Cladium Mariscus (Common Sedge), Phrag-mites communis (Common Reed), Phalaris arundinacea, both green and variegated, Glyceria aquatica, G. fluitans, Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern), Acorns Calamus (Sweet Flag), Iris Pseudacorus (Yellow Flag), Sparganium spp. (Bur-Reed), Typha spp. (Reed-mace), Myosotis palustris (Forget-me-not), Polygonum amphibium, P. Bistorta (Snakeweed), and Potamo-geton spp. (Pondweed). Some few marsh plants are of creeping or trailing, or dwarf habit, as Hypericum elodes, Lysimachia nummularia, Polygonum amphibium, Myosotis palustris, and Campanula hederacea, which prefers boggy places, as also Narthecium ossifragum (Bog Asphodel). By introducing a selection of the foregoing aquatic and marsh plants in suitable places in gardens and parks, much may be done to enhance the beauties of the water scenery. It is not supposed, of course, that many of those species enumerated would be admitted where the tastes of the owner lean to the artificial and trim style of horticulture. But as a rule, even in the wild and natural scenery of the park, nature is left entirely to herself. A few Water Lilies may perchance be favoured with a little attention, but beyond this very little is added to the indigenous vegetation, and very little is done to keep the various occupants within proper limits.