Water Garden Design: Create an Aquatic Paradise

The perfect water garden design for your container or landscape starts with a good plan.
All water gardens, regardless of size, provide feelings of peace and tranquility.
From container water gardens to elaborate tropical waterscapes, successful designs require careful planning and attention to detail.

The design you choose will depend on the style of your garden and landscape.

Add the sight and sound of water to your landscape with the perfect water garden design.

Container Water Garden: Portable and Low-Maintenance

Container water gardens are an excellent alternative, whether you live in a small home, or just want to try out water gardening before taking the plunge and installing a permanent waterscape.

Advantages of Container Water Gardens

Portability – If planted in a small container, this type of water gardenContainer Water Garden can be moved from one location to another with minimal effort.
Perfect for Small Spaces – You can still enjoy the peace and tranquility of a waterscape if you live in a small home.

A Trial Run Before a Larger Commitment – If you’re new to water gardening, or not sure if you want to add a permanent water garden to your landscape, try a container garden.

Minimal Cost and Labor – If designed properly, a container water garden will be inexpensive to create, will not need special aerators or filtration systems, and will require minimal care.

Container Water Garden – Design Basics

Select a Location – decide where you will place your container garden. A focal point for your patio or deck is an ideal choice for enjoyment purposes, as well as being in a convenient proximity for care and maintenance. Many water plants prefer direct sunlight, four to five hours minimum for flowering plants. More direct sunlight means more water plant choices.

Select a Container – just about any water-tight container will do for a water garden design. Containers can be purchased or built, depending on your preferences. The larger the container, the more choices you will have for plant-life and additional features. Be sure wooden containers are properly treated and lined to prevent rotting and leakage.

Plant Selection – Aquatic plants help filter impurities, keep containers and ponds cooler for fish (by filtering sunlight), and reduce excess algae build-up. Types of aquatic plants include: Floating Plant (cover the water surface) and Submerged Plants (grow entirely underwater).

Extra Features – If your container is large enough; consider including extra features in your water garden design. Small fish and snails help promote a healthy ecosystem as well as enhance the overall visual appeal. A water pump attached to a fountain head circulates the water and creates the soothing sound of water.

Water Garden Landscape Feature

A water garden adds interest to your landscape, as well as promotesWater Garden Design a sense of peace and tranquility that will be enjoyed for years to come. Water garden designs can be small or large, simple or elaborate. 

In addition to being a home to aquatic plants and water creatures, water gardens can include features such as waterfalls, fountains, waterwheels, and rockwork. 

Water Garden Landscaping – Design Essentials

Building Codes and Safety Regulations – Plans must comply with building codes and safety regulations. Check with local authorities regarding rules governing size, placement, and depth before beginning the planning process.

Select a Location – The best location for your water garden: 1) Is convenient for electrical wiring, 2) Is on well-drained, level ground, 3) Is in an area free of existing underground pipes, sewer lines, or cables, 4) Is located near a convenient water source so that water can be added easily.

Choose a Style – A pond can be formal or informal, depending on your personal taste as well as the style of your garden, landscape, and house. Formal ponds are geometric in shape and look man-made. Informal ponds have an abstract shape that resembles the look of a natural pond or lake.

Electricity and Lighting – Electricity will be required for your water garden to operate pumps, filters, underwater lighting, and perimeter lighting. A licensed electrician should install the electrical system to ensure your pond is safe and complies with safety and building codes.

Pond Capacity – When planning your water garden capacity, consider the types of aquatic plants you intend to include, and the size and type of aquatic life that will live in the pond. Pond capacity is important when determining the size of the pump and filter, and administering the accurate doses of fertilizers and chemical treatments.

Water Garden Plants – When choosing plants for your water garden, keep in mind that plants should cover approximately 50-70 percent of the surface. Floating plants help to filter the water, reduce water temperature by filtering sunlight, and reduce algae build-up. Submerged plants grow entirely underwater. They oxygenate and filter the water, and provide food for fish.

Related Water Garden Design Information

Water Garden Pond Plants – Selection and Placement

Water Garden Features – Add Visual Appeal to Water Garden Designs


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