The sight and sound of water is so welcome in the heat of the summer. It refreshes in degrees not related to the size or complexity of the water garden. Container water gardens, alone or in groups, are a summertime pleasure for garden, patio or balcony living. Keeping it simple makes adding water to the landscape easy.
The simplest water feature is a container with plants, no pump needed. Select a water-tight container that pleases you with its color and shape. Use a bowl that you’ve always loved or purchase a wonderful new garden pot. Place the container in a sunny location with at least 6 hours of sun daily and fill it with water.
Add some decorative gravel and rocks, and select some plants for the garden. Water lilies grow well in still water; choose lilies that are already potted and place them in the container so that the leaves are floating on the water surface. Adjust the height of the water and the supports under the plant containers until you find the right height. Match the size of the container in selecting lilies – small-leaf varieties with miniature blooms will thrive in smaller containers. Larger containers can support the large-flowered cultivars. After a few weeks, fertilize the water lily pot with a plant spike made for water plants to encourage blooming through the rest of the summer. Watch the water level – evaporation will lower the water so you will need to top it up with fresh water now and then. You’ll have a little pond for reflection, a bit of nature in a bowl.
Water that bubbles and splashes adds another layer of enjoyment to a small water feature. Pumps are available with a variety of fountain nozzles and statuary for even the smallest water gardens. If you choose a solar- or battery-powered pump you won’t even need electricity. In the evening create a glow in the water garden with small LED lights or floating candles for twilight conversation with friends.
If you love the idea of a water garden – but not the water- create a “no-water” water garden. Select a container that make a great water feature but instead of filling it with water, fill it with soil and plant it with blue-green succulents and crested or curled foliage plants to mimic the ocean floor. ‘Under the Sea’ coleus are perfect for imaginative seaweed. Check the succulent department at City Floral for faux sea urchins, starfish and coral. Tuck in some fanciful china fish and go to sea on a tabletop.
Photo Right: HortCouture