You want an easy water garden, but digging a hole in the ground and wrestling with pond liners doesn’t seem particularly easy, nor is it your idea of a fun weekend.
So here’s a neat water garden that’s versatile, doesn’t take up much space and requires little maintenance.
I’ve had a pond-in-a-pot for a few years now. It just takes 20 minutes to set up on the patio at the beginning of the season. Nothing could be simpler!
How to create an easy water garden
Essentially a pond-in-a-pot is a large watertight pot with submerged or floating water plants arranged to create a pleasing composition.
For a container water garden, it’s best to start out with a water-tight pot, intended for water gardening. I chose a glazed pot traditionally used to grow lotus plants (shown here).
However, any large watertight container at least 18 inches high with a diameter of at least 24 inches will do.
Half barrels are a great size, and many garden centers now sell them with plastic liners as easy-to-set up kits.
If you’re going to set it up on a deck, balcony or roof-top, remember that a container water garden is heavy, so check that the structure is strong enough to support the weight.
If you’re concerned about weight, but still want the sound of water in your garden, consider the versatility of garden fountains for your deck or patio.
Aquatic plants for your easy water garden
Aquatic plants for your water garden will need a platform on which to sit. I used a large upside-down plastic nursery container and weighed it down with bricks.
Another method is to stack bricks up from the bottom of the container, but this will make your pot heavier.
Once you have your shelf ready, you just fill the container with water and arrange a collection of water plants into a pleasing composition.
Add a pump for the soothing sound of water
If you crave the sound of water in the garden, you can install a small re-circulating fountain pump at the bottom of the container with a short length of plastic hose attached to act as a small fountain.
A pump isn’t absolutely necessary in a container water garden, but it does prevent the water from going stagnant and breeding mosquitoes.
I put my pump inside the upside-down plastic pot, and thread the plastic hosing (which takes the water up to the surface) through the drainage hole in the pot.
With this style of water garden, the pump’s electrical cord will be visible at the back of the container, but it’s easy to camouflage with cleverly placed plants and foliage – just like I did with my container water garden in the picture shown above.
If you don’t have a pump, add a gold fish or two; they’re voracious consumers of mosquito larvae. If fish are not for you, mosquito larvae are effectively controlled organically with BTi mosquito dunks.