Even if you only have a small yard or patio, you can still enjoy a beautiful water garden as long as you plant it in the appropriate water garden container. Utilize any type of container you like as long as it will adequately hold water and it is strong enough to withstand the weight of the water once it is filled. Containers that are not watertight can be lined or sealed.
Your Water Garden Container
There are many different options when searching for the right water garden container. Browse through your local garden center and look at the different pots available. You will want something fairly large. A container with a capacity to hold 15 to 25 gallons is a good size to choose. An old whiskey barrel works well for a water garden. Or you may prefer a large ceramic pot. Even a large plastic tub or an old bath tub will work as a water garden container.
If your container choice isn't totally watertight, liners can be purchased that will fit inside your container for around $25. You may also choose to seal your container, such as a terra cotta pot, with an acrylic sealer spray. If your pot has a drainage hole in the bottom, this can be sealed by taping over the hole on the outside and then filling it on the inside with plumbers seal. Allow the sealant to dry for 24 hours or whatever time is specified on the product. Now you are ready to begin your water garden project.
Location of Your Water Garden
Water garden plants generally prefer to have around six hours of sunlight. Find a spot that will enhance your overall landscape design. An area that gets shade in the afternoon and where you can easily view your water garden is an ideal spot. Keep in mind you will need to add water periodically as it will evaporate. Choosing a spot with easy access to a garden hose will also be helpful.
Once you have picked a spot, you will want to use blocks or bricks in order to raise your water garden container off the ground. Elevating will protect the container from getting overheated, rotting (if it is wood), and from insects.
Setting Up Your Water Garden
Now that your water garden container is in place, it's time to start setting it up. First you'll need to place bricks in the bottom of your container. The plants you add later will be in pots that sit on top of these bricks. You may also choose to add an aquarium pump or aerator to your water garden container in order to replenish oxygen supplies in the water and to inhibit algae growth. Next, fill your container with water. If your water supply is chlorinated you will need to let the water stand for 24 to 48 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Some places have chlormine in their water supply. If this is your case, you will need to add a water conditioner or neutralizer to remove this from your water.
Once your water is ready, you can add your plants. Put some potting soil into the bottom of a pot. Place your plant at the correct level and then fill the rest of the way with your soil. Be sure the potting soil that you use does not contain perlite or vermiculite because this will float to the top of your water garden. Also avoid chemicals and fertilizers which may be hazardous to any fish or snails you may add to your water garden. Top off your pots with one quarter inch of sand or gravel.
Once the pots are filled, slowly immerse them in the water until the pots rest on the bricks. Wait four or five weeks before adding fish or snails. Koi are not recommended for your smaller water garden container because they do not deal well with temperature variations. Good choices for fish include mollies, guppies or gambezi. Visit the website, Live Aquaria, to find the ideal fish for your unique water arrangement. Now stand back and look at your lovely water garden!
There are many plants to choose from when planning your garden. Just as in a traditional landscape, you want to consider the size and color of your plants. You will only need a few to put in your water garden container. Pick a tall plant for the back. Add a couple of shorter ones in front of that. One or two floating plants will finish the look. Water lilies come in a tremendous variety and make lovely additions. In addition, water lettuce, water hyacinth, taro and many others will give your garden a spectacular appeal. Visit some of these merchants to see the different plants that are available to you:
- Aqua Mart has an outstanding selection of supplies for your water garden including aquatic plants, pumps and water conditioners.
- Lily Blooms Aquatic Gardens will amaze you with over 70 varieties of water lilies as well as water hyacinth and numerous other varieties.
With so many options in water garden containers and plants it will be easy to create a water garden that reflects your own personality. With just a little bit of work and imagination you will have a lovely water garden that will provide you with hours of relaxation.