Planning a Container Water Gardens for Any Yard
I have an admission to make. Im a natural born swamp-child. To
me, there are few things in this world more beautiful than the marshy
edges where pond meets woods and creates the perfect growing
environment for cattails, water-lilies, lotus, cabomba and lush green
Alas, it has been my misfortune to live in the middle of the city, in
rented apartments with postage stamps for yards. For years, I lusted
after large, spacious backyards with room to dig your own pond. I
read articles on building water gardens, koi ponds, and backyard
fountains and sighed with envy. Then I discovered a simple fact
all it takes to create a water garden is a sunny spot thats
big enough for a pot of water.
Its no more difficult to grow a water garden in a container
than it is to grow any other container gardens. If you have a sunny
spot at the very least 6 hours of full sun daily throughout
the summer you can create a water garden. Your water garden
can be as simple as a large tub with a few submerged plants, or as
elaborate as several arranged container gardens with rocks and a
fountain powered by a circulating pump. If youd like to try
your hand at creating a simple container water garden, youll
find everything you need at a local home supply store like Home Depot.
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Planning a Container Water Garden
Location is the single most important factor in planning your water
garden. Your space can be as small as a single square yard, but it
MUST receive plenty of sun throughout the day. Think twice about
locating a water garden of any sort beneath an overhanging tree. The
leaves that fall will decay in the water and can foul it. If
youre building an actual pond, or using a large container like
a swimming pool, check local ordinances regarding safety.
The plants that you choose should be suited to the container that
youre using. Choose plants that are hardy for your planting
zone. There are four basic kinds of water plants:
Floating water plants like water hyacinth and cabomba
require no planting at all. They float on the surface of the
water with their roots trailing to absorb nutrients.
Surface Plants like water lilies, lotus and floating
yellow heart rooted in the ponds bottom (or in this case, in a
submerged pot), and put out leaves on long stems to float on the
surface of the water.
Submerged plants grow completely underwater, and seldom
show their leaves above the surface. They help maintain the balance
of nitrogen and other nutrients, and will require thinning to keep
them in check.
Marginal or Bog plants grow at the edges of ponds in
the wild. They like to keep their feet wet, so to speak with
their roots and lower parts of their stems underwater. Dwarf
cattails, black taro and sweet flag are examples of marginal plants.
When choosing plants for your container water garden, keep in mind
the size of your container. Dont overcrowd your garden
the rule of thumb is that your plants should cover no more than 2/3
of the surface of the water.
2 Building a Container Water Garden