Big ideas in little spaces: Water gardening in a small area

Big ideas in small spaces

Water gardening does not have to be “big”

Are you one of the people that would love to have a pond but alas you have no yard and not much room anywhere. Well that should not stop you from having a really nice water garden. There are so many options. Maybe a whiskey barrel fountain or a large urn garden is what you are looking for. All you need is a small area and some electricity. Even the electricity is an option if you would like some moving water or a little soothing sound. I find my greatest challenges—and my greatest delights—in designing water gardens for small containers. You can have a water garden in a tea cup or a bath tub.

Anything that holds water can contain a water garden.

Anything that holds water qualifies. Even if it doesn’t, there’s still hope—holes can usually be plugged with inexpensive corks to make a container watertight.

I find widely sold half barrels to be perfect. At 24 inches wide by 16 inches deep, they are ideally sized to accommodate a dramatic display. The problem, though, is that toxins oozing from the wood can foul both water and plants. My solution is to purchase a durable, plastic liner made to fit perfectly. These are available at many garden centers. We have barrel liners with both a spout and no spout.

After you set up your container with water remember to always add water container to remove chlorine and/or chloramine. This is the time to add a pump if desired to run a fountain.
Then comes the best part of all, adding the pond plants. Many people think that in a container the size of a whiskey barrel is limited in the aquatic plants you can add. But that is not true at all.

Many Aquatic plants will do very well in small containers.

You can choose from 50 or more bog plants as well. It is well worth the effort to add contrasting shapes to create appealing compositions. Maybe a few tall spiky plants like cattails or pickerel rush. Then add some short leafy plants like pennywort or water clover. Different shapes and sizes in your mini water garden will add nice dimension. Top off with a colorful water lily and a few fish and there you go. Now all you have to do is enjoy!!

Small container water garden, small ponds

Small container water garden, small ponds


Article: Big ideas in little spaces: Water gardening in a small area
Source: Sunland Water Gardens
Author: Jacklyn Rodman

Big ideas in little spaces:

Water gardening in a small area

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