Water Gardens

Elegant and Easy Outdoor Water Gardening

The element of water brings an unmatched beauty to any outdoor space - movement, color, and ambiance. Water gardens are highly prized for the relaxing sound of the flowing water, and the sense of being at one with nature. While many water gardening enthusiasts spend countless hours and thousands of dollars achieving this serene effect, you can have a water garden in your own outdoor space with minimal time and effort. Water spouts or simple re-circulating pumps paired with watertight containers bring all the benefits of a full-sized water garden into any size space, whether it's your backyard, a deck or even a balcony.

Where to Start With Your Water Garden

The first step is to find a suitable container to hold water. This will be the basis of your new mini water garden. Lotus pots (planters with no drainage holes), whiskey barrels, or any kind of container with a wide mouth will work. Recycled wine barrels are a great solution for those who like a rustic look. They're recommended over any other type of wood, because they're already watertight and as such, require no liner. They can be found at most garden centers. Japanese hand-carved granite basins can lend a striking Zen look (find them at KineticFountains.com).

Once you've chosen your container, make absolutely sure it's watertight. Carefully check it for holes or cracks. To be absolutely sure, try filling it with water, sitting it on your porch or deck and watching for any leakage. Any holes found can be patched up with plumber's putty or silicone. If you've found a great terracotta pot, spray it with some polyurethane before using as terracotta absorbs water.

Simple or Detailed Water Garden?

Your next step is deciding whether you'd like a simple water garden - just a container filled with water and some aquatic plants - or if you'd like to add a little interest with a water spout or pump. Bamboo water spouts are an excellent choice for use in water gardens - you simply place the pump in the water (make sure it's resting on the bottom or on a brick or pile of rocks and not dangling), and set the spout up on the side of the container. If you'd like a 'bubbler' effect, place the pump at the bottom of the container and make sure the tubing is long enough to reach the surface. Stack rocks around the pump and tubing, so that they're just above the surface of the water. Position the tubing so it's mostly hidden by the rocks, and you've got instant gurgling water sound.

Now you're ready to populate your container with some stunning aquatic plant life. Consult the experts at your local garden center for help in choosing plants - the climate where you live and the size container you've chosen will dictate which plants will work best. Although water lilies and lotus are beautiful, they're not recommended for container gardens - they grow much too large. Two or three small potted plants and a few oxygenating floaters will look beautiful and won't fight each other for space and sunlight.

Small container water gardens are extremely simple to care for. Place it where it will receive 6 hours of sunlight every day at minimum, and top it off with water every few days to make up for evaporation. Once the plants have begun establishing themselves in their new mini ecosystem, you can add a fertilizer tablet made especially for water gardens (ask about them at your local garden center). If you'd like to add fish, it's best to wait 4-5 weeks after you've created your water garden so that the conditions in the water have been allowed to stabilize. Stick with hardy varieties that don't grow quickly, such as guppies or gambezi, also known as 'mosquito fish'. Gambezi come with the added benefit of eating mosquito larvae, hence the nickname.

Your new water garden will bring a sense of tranquility and connection with nature to its home in your outdoor space. Place it in an area where you can enjoy its beauty and the soothing sounds of flowing water.

About The Author

Stephanie Gottschalk writes the blogs 'Picnic Fun - Tips and Recipes' http://www.picnictips.com and 'The Joy of Water Fountains' http://www.waterfountainguide.com for Specialty Living Inc., an Asheville, North Carolina-based company that aims to share their love of people, nature and life through high quality water fountains, picnic baskets and outdoor living products.

Article source : http://www.articlecity.com

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