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koi pond & water gardens 2001

Water garden in a whiskey barrel

 
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An extremely easy water garden project - a "pond" in a whiskey barrel.

Many garden centers sell this as a kit: a wooden half barrel, a rigid plastic insert, a fountain that looks like an old fashioned water pump.

We treated the wood with water sealer and bought a small pump to carry the water from the bottom of the barrel to the fountain. Bricks were used to create shelves for the potted water plants: one tall arrow head, one pennywort, a few water hyacinths and floating lettuce.

Two tiny gold fish were added, and voila! instant water garden.

The water barrel garden is right next to our front door, surrounded by potted geraniums in the spring and mums and ornamental kale in the fall. The sound of splashing water is a welcoming one for our guests.

The EASIEST water garden . . .

  click for larger picture

Water plants are like any other perennial, they're rather costly to purchase, but multiply so rapidly that within months you'll have an overabundance to spread around or try to give away.

Each year, by early August, potted water plants are outgrowing their pots. I separate them by cutting the roots with a sharp knife and repotting each new plant in their own pot. I've never liked the smell of wet dirt after it's been under water for months, so I pot only in pea gravel. The plants do great, repotting is easy and not smelly at all.

OK - here's the easiest water garden: Fill a large Styrofoam or plastic pot with water, add your potted water plant, a few floating hyacinths and lettuce or some duck weed. If you have baby fish and the pot is large enough, this is a perfect safe home for them.

Pictures to the left: Froggy was "adopted" in 2000 as a tadpole. We watched as he grew his legs, lost his tail, and learned that he could climb in and out of the water. We don't know where he went in the winter, but there he was, early in the spring, when we were cleaning away winter debris in the pond.

click for larger picture

Top picture: 24 inch fake terra cotta Styrofoam pot. The pot contains a large umbrella plant, a small water iris on top of several bricks to raise it out of the water, several water hyacinths, water lettuce, 2 tiny goldfish, and is one of froggy's hang outs.

Lower picture: 36 inch fake terra cotta molded plastic pot - another favorite froggy haunt.

These water "gardens" are amazingly easy to maintain. The floating plants shade the water & control algae growth. Fish create water movement to control stagnation. Fish and visiting frogs or toads control insect eggs and larvae. Add fresh water when needed.


1999 2000 2001
2002 2002-2
2003 2003- 2
2004 2004-2
 

 

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recommended:
the master book of the water garden
The Master Book of the Water Garden: The Ultimate Guide to the Design and Maintenance of the Water Garden

gardens around the world
Gardens Around the World: 365 Days

the best flowers for the midwest garden
The Best Flowers for Midwest Gardens: The Plants You Need to Create Spectacular Low-Maintenance Gardens That Bloom With the Seasons-Year After Year

koi appreciation
Koi Appreciation: The First Step

water gardening magazine
Water Gardening Magazine

ultimate gardening book
The Ultimate Gardening Book: Over 1,000 Inspirational Ideas and Practical Tips to Transform Your Garden

 

 

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