Build a water garden in a container that can bring the relaxing sound of running water to your garden, patio or deck. You will need a large waterproof container, water plants and a small pump from the garden center.
Container; The waterproof container also needs to be watertight and rustproof, so don’t use an unglazed clay pot or cast iron planter. A half whiskey barrel can be used if you seal it first with a coating of roofing tar. Let it dry several days in the sun before planting.
Water plants: Choose annuals or perennials that are designed for the type of area you are planning on setting the water garden, shade or sun. Some choices include;
– Black Taro. This is also known as, elephant ear. It is an annual that can winter indoors and actually be kept for several years.
– Cannas. They can start out as bulbs, so begin by growing them in soil and then transfer to the water garden. A colorful addition, they come in rich red, orange, pink and yellow. Their bulbs can be wintered in a frost-free place.
– Horsetails. A primitive plant that grows straight up and down with horizontal white stripes on the the thin spikes. They grow in either sun or shade.
– Creeping Jenny. This plants works well in a water garden since it will tightly trail throughout and then drape over the edges of the planter. Will grow in either full sun or shade. If left in the sun the color of the foilage will be more intense.
– Water Hyacinth. It is often avoided as a plant, being called an invasive weed, but in a container garden the bright purple flowers make a nice addtion and can be kept under control. Sun, or shade.
– Chameleon Plant. A perennial that will grow in sun or shade. It has heart-shaped green and white leaves that will spread quickly and trail over the sides.
Pump. Look for a small fountain pump from the garden center. These can be solar powered or require a nearby electrical outlet. The pumps are built to be fully submersible.
Planting the Container Water Garden
1. Set the planter exactly where you will keep it. The plants, dirt, water and bricks will make it extremely heavy to move once complete.
2. Leave the plants in their pots. Elevate them with bricks to the right level and position in the pot until you like the arrangement. Place the largest plant in the back, or center, if you are going to see the water garden from all angles.
3. Set the pump in place according to manufacturer’s directions.
4. Fill with water and add plants like the water hyacinth directly into the water around the edges.
5. Turn it on and enjoy!
***When the season is over, take the plants out of the water and either plant with their pot in the soil (if they are perennials and can withstand the weather changes) or set in plastic bags and store in a cool and dark area.