Plan a Water Garden

Lynn Coulter
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water garden, pond

We often talk about working in our gardens, but gardens don’t always have to be about doing. A garden can also be a place to simply relax and enjoy your flowers and foliage. When you want to feel refreshed and restored, consider adding a pond or other water feature to your landscape. The beauty and music of moving water can lift your spirits and invite butterflies, birds, and other desirable wildlife to visit.

Water Gardens for Small Spaces

If space is limited, make a water bowl to decorate a tabletop or apartment balcony.

Or choose a container in a size and shape that suits your needs, such as this durable resin planter. Seal any drainage holes with a leak-proof sealant, or add a plastic liner if it’s not watertight. One aquatic plant is enough for a small pot. Add more water as it evaporates, and drain and refill the container as needed to keep the water fresh.

Water Gardens in the Landscape

water hyacinthAn easy-to-install rain chain is another great choice for adding a little water music to your garden. Rain chains are both ornamental and functional. Attach them to your gutters with clips or gutter straps to replace downspouts that get clogged with leaves and straw.

For patios, porches, and decks, use a half whiskey barrel lined with a durable plastic liner. (A gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds, so be sure to put your barrel where you want it before filling it, in a location that can support its finished weight.) A Beckett Container Water Garden Kit with a submersible pump is easy to install in your barrel, and includes two nozzles that spray water in an attractive bell pattern.

Fountains also bring movement and sound to your landscape. Make your own with a fiberglass pot, river rocks, and a pump kit, or choose from ready-made fountains in a variety of styles.

Garden Ponds

fish in pondThe ultimate in backyard water gardening is a pond.

If you dig your own pond, begin by choosing a spot that won’t get a lot of water runoff from your yard, which can cause flooding. Runoff water can also carry unwanted chemicals or pollutants into your pond.

Make sure your location is near a safe electrical outlet if you plan to use a pump, light kit, or other water feature accessories that require power. 

Line your pond with a thick, flexible liner, like this 10′ x 15′ liner by Beckett. It’s UV-resistant and safe for fish, if you want to add them later.

A bio filter and pump kit will aerate the water and encourage beneficial bacteria that help remove organic waste compounds and control algae.

Want flowing water in your pond? Opt for a Resin Waterfall Kit that comes with a combination waterfall filter; a 400 gallon-per-hour pump; tubing; and a liner for the waterfall.

Accent your pond or waterfall with Beckett’s LED light kit and transformer. The three LED lights can be positioned in or out of the water to add sparkle and shimmer.  

Keep your water clear, clean, and supplied with natural bacteria that help consume fallen leaves and sludge, with one or more Water Treatment Starter Kits. (One kit treats up to 100 gallons of water.)

Choosing plants for a water garden is fun. If you’re using potted aquatics in a barrel or pond, put them on top of overturned pots to raise them to the height you need.

Some aquatics reproduce quickly, but don’t toss your extras in natural water features, where they may crowd out native plants. It’s better to compost them instead.

Pond image: Shutterstock/Paul Vasarhelyi

Water hyacinth image: Shutterstock/Michael Shake

Goldfish image: Shutterstock/Lattee Srisuro

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!


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