lilturtle
Cool Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:16 am
Location: west coast

Tiny water garden

I am wanting to make a tiny water garden out of a large barrel I have..it is 2 feet wide and a foot deep..so pretty small. But t should be big enough to have a few pretty auatic plants in. I want to use this to start learning about water flowers so when I do a pond hopfully next spring I will have a little knowledge.

I know its not like having a pond and I will have to learn a lot about the pond makup and how it works and such but for now I want to keep it simple and just learn about a few mini water plants...I want to have fun with this.

So what kinds of plants would you all suggest for a beginner that would work well in a small water garden like this? Besides the barrel and water..what else do I need to keep the plants happy? Do they need to be potted or can I just put them in the water?

Any advice would be great.
Beware when playing with dragons for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

It depends on the depth of the water. My ponds are just decorative, with water around a foot deep. I can't grow water lilies, because they need water about 36" deep, or so I understand. I have water hyacinth and water lettuce, which just float freely in the water. There are several other free-floating plants for ponds.

I also have some potted plants. The pots are just sunk under the surface of the water and sit on the bottom of the pond. One is Variegated Water Clover (Marsilea mutica), another is a type of bullrush, I think, and I haven't identified the other two yet. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

lilturtle
Cool Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:16 am
Location: west coast

Ok thank you..My barrel is about a foot deep. I would like to have things that would look nice and some that flower of course.
Beware when playing with dragons for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

If you look through this section of the forum, you can see some of the pics I've posted of my water plants in bloom. The water hyacinths are very pretty, IMO. I'm told that raccoons love to munch on them, and unfortunately, I think one of the little rascals has been visiting my ponds at night. I think it's mostly after my fish, but it managed to upset some rocks onto the floats that control the water levels. When I went out to feed the fish Sunday morning, I found both ponds overflowed, flooding parts of my yard. I'm not looking forward to my next water bill! :roll:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27743
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

You could also grow rice and water chestnuts. They need to be 2~4" below the water surface. Roots of one clump of rice (from one seed) would fill a 3 gal container. Rice needs at least 6" depth of soil.

I wasn't able to find a viable water chestnut in early spring so I haven't tried that yet, but you have the frost free climate to work with so I imagine you could start it at any time of the year.

A cool plant to get would be a Bladderwort. They are carnivorous and eat mosquito larvae underwater. I managed to get some last year, but couldn't keep them alive over the winter after my experimental pond failed. I'll have to try again when I get a better pond set up.

lilturtle
Cool Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:16 am
Location: west coast

I am definitly not frost free here....LOL I am in a zone 5 we get freezing cold winters.
Beware when playing with dragons for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27743
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Oh, sorry. I mistook you for someone else who said they were in southern California. :oops: In that case, water chestnut needs a long growing season and I would've had to start them some time in late Feb~March indoors. If you have cool summers as well, then they may not be an option for you.

What I have right now is not a pond but bog gardens, but I have growing in them pitcher plants, sundews, cranberries, Iris versicolor, and Chelone glabra and Chelone obliqua (white and pink TURTLE HEADS) :wink:

lilturtle
Cool Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:16 am
Location: west coast

Sounds very interesting...we have blazing hot summers here in the 90s and up over 100 at times.
Beware when playing with dragons for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

Return to “Water Gardening”