Building a Water Garden

Since spring has officially sprung, have you gotten in the gardening mood? It is an easy bug to catch especially with the warmer temperatures and sunny skies!  Do you need a need gardening idea this season to liven up your landscape? A water garden is a top idea to add a little creativity to any landscape and add a personal touch to any garden!  While building a water garden may seem intimidating, it is actually very easy, especially if you opt to build a barrel water garden.  Follow these easy tips to build your water garden and follow these plant guidelines from your Rapid City Nursery, Jolly Lane Greenhouse, to create a peaceful nook in your garden. 

waterfall pond

Some may think it will take a great deal of time, energy, and money building a water garden.  While this may be true for large lifelike ponds, creating a smaller pond with an upcycled wooden whiskey barrel is a great option to add variety to your garden, use limited space, and save money.  Follow these quick and easy steps for building a water garden today. 

Steps to Building a Water Garden

What You’ll Need

  • Wooden whiskey barrel (at least 12 inches deep)
  • Heavy duty plastic liner (at least 6 mm thick)
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Bricks or pots
  • Scissors
  • Water plants
  • Fish or other aquatic life

What To Do

1.       Find a level spot to put your water garden.  Once you fill your container it will be hard to move, so doing this beforehand is essential. 

  1. Next line your plastic in your container and smooth it on the bottom of the barrel.  Have your liner fit your container and allow for 12 inches of access liner at the top of your barrel.
  2. Add water to your container half-way.  The plastic liner should smooth out because of the water and you will need to trim the liner so only two inches are above the top of the container. 
  3. Fold the extra liner inside your barrel, like a hem, and use your staple gun to staple it in place.  Staple every 2-3 inches to line the rim of the barrel. 
  4. Fill the rest of your container with water, until it is about 2 inches beneath the staples.  This allows for water to not overrun once you put plants and other features into the barrel. 
  5. Before adding plants, flowers, or wildlife you should wait 24 hours. 
  6. Put bricks into barrel, so you can place potted plants into the water garden at different levels. 
  7. Place fish and other aquatic life into water garden.

Tips to Remember while Building a Water Garden

  • Put your water garden in a spot where it will receive about 5 hours of sun.
  • Avoid placing your water garden under large shady trees.
  • Remember to not overcrowd your mini water garden because it will cause your plants and wildlife to die.

Plants for a Water Garden

Your Rapid City nursery, Jolly Lane Greenhouse, offers a wide selection of perfect plant and floral choices when building your water garden.  One excellent choice to add texture and color to your water garden is the perennial, Canna, a leafy green or bronze plant.  These palm-like leaves are excellent as accents and can even survive most spring frosts.  A classic pond or water garden is known for water lilies, so add this stunning bloom when building your water garden.  Add some regal features to your water garden with a stunning Dwarf Egyptian papyrus.  This plant is a rapid grower that loves a moist growing environment.  With these three plants from your Rapid City nursery, Jolly Lane Greenhouse, your water garden is sure to flourish and be the apple of everyone’s eye. 

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Fish for a Water Garden

There are many types of aquatic life you can have when building a water garden.  Building a small water garden, requires for smaller fish.  Some great choices include both guppies and goldfish.  You should also remember not to overcrowd your fish.  A great rule of thumb to keep in mind when building your water garden is one fish per every three square feet.  By adding goldfish, not only will you add a bit of zing to your water garden, but protect against mosquitoes. 

Building a water garden will create not only a unique feature to your landscape but create a stunning handmade touch.  For more questions on building a water garden or the proper plants to include in your water garden, contact your Rapid City nursery, Jolly Lane Greenhouse at 605-393-1700.  We look forward to helping you with this excellent detail to your garden or landscape.