Water Garden Basics

Don’t have a water garden? It’s easy to set one up even with a limited planting area. All you need is full sun, a water-tight container, and, of course, water. Just take a tub or half-barrel fitted with a liner. The container should be at least 2 feet deep and 3 feet in diameter. You can bury the tub or liner in the ground or let it sit on your patio. Now fill with water and be sure to check and patch any leaks.

Once your water garden is ready, add the plants. You’ll want a backbone of perennial plants such as hardy water lily, lotus, cattails, or pickerel rush. Place these hardy plants in first and let them settle in a few days. Then layer in a few of the annuals listed in our next blog post.

If you want to add a few goldfish, add a few drops of chlorine-remover to treat the water or let the water sit for a few days to allow the chlorine gas to escape. To prevent the build-up of algae and any chance of mosquito larvae, throw in a barley ball as well as a few pieces of mosquito dunks.

Finally, add your decorative elements such as a pond pump and fountain, statuary, and lights. With one weekend’s work, you’ll have an easy-maintenance water garden to enjoy for years to come.

We'll be talking more about water gardening on the Metro Connection show, WAMU 88.5 on Friday, July 3 at 1pm.

For even more about water gardening in the DC-area, see the July/August 2005 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine. Included in that issue is a list of what NOT to plant near your water garden, edible plants that grow in water, and a focus on hardy water lilies. It is available for $5 by sending a check or money order to: Washington Gardener Magazine, 826 Philadelphia Ave., Silver Spring MD 20910. Be sure to include a note specifying you want the July/August 2005 issue and where you would like it mailed.


Anonymous said…
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Thanks for sharing..@@

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