Make a Splash with Water Gardens

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When summer heat reaches its peak, we keep our cool on the patio by planting a water garden in our new rattan bowl with a watertight liner. To plant a water garden, start by choosing your foliage; leave space in your planting, as many aquatic plants grow rapidly. Keep each plant in its individual pot and arrange them in the water-filled container. Add pea gravel on the surface of each pot to help the soil stay in place. To achieve the ideal depth for each plant, some pots may be elevated on a brick to better reach the surface of the water. If using city water, fill the container and allow it to sit for 24-48 hours while the chlorine evaporates. Do not use water from a water softener, and avoid adding any chemicals or fertilizers. 

When placing your garden, choose a space with full morning sun and some shade during the hottest afternoon hours. Keep your garden filled with fresh water, and drain it occasionally, scrubbing the liner to prevent algae growth. If you're concerned about mosquitoes, a "Mosquito Dunk" can be dropped into the water to prevent larvae from growing. Remarkably beautiful, a water garden can also be surprisingly low-maintenance. Learn more about the plants in our garden, below. 

Lotus: Most often found in shallow waters, lotuses flourish in warm temperatures, making them the perfect centerpiece bloom for a summer aquatic garden. These rooted perennials are native to southern Asia and Australia, and range in size from miniature varieties to specimens that grow 6 feet tall. Their broad leaves and fragrant blooms grow well above the water, providing shade that keeps algae at bay. 

Papyrus: Once used by ancient Egyptians to make papyrus paper, this reed-like annual grows to be tall and robust. Part of the sedge family, it is native to tropical climates and sensitive to frost; however, it is ideal for summer water gardens in warm climates. Its feathery flower heads and grass-like habit add height and visual interest to aquatic plantings. 

Water Hyacinth: Native to the Amazon basin, this free-floating perennial benefits your water garden by reducing algae growth. Its glossy leaves grow rapidly, and tall stalks support spikes of 8-15 blooms in shades from pink to lavender. While water hyacinth is ideal for container plantings, it should be kept away from natural waterways, where it can be an invasive species. 

Aquatic Mint: This edible herb flowers all summer long, attracting butterflies and bees to your water garden. Fast-growing, it offers a minty fragrance and lilac-hued blooms. Native to boggy regions of Europe, this perennial can also grow in shallow water. Like traditional mint, its foliage can be used to flavor herbal teas. 

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  • Jarna said...

    You have a description for water lily but you have a lotus pictured.

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