Building a Small Water Garden

“Gardening with water feature is now widely adapted not just in commercial organizations but also in homes. From using waterfalls and streams, ponds, fountains, and containers of various kinds some of which are as simple as a small indoor fountain with a recycling pump is now incorporated in most gardens. However, it might not be easy to develop if you don’t have any background at all. So here is a guide to give you some tips on water gardening.”

 

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Image via http://deepgreenpermaculture.com

 

A serene, reflective pool has its allure, it’s something that has always drawn mankind. There is something about water that relaxes us, that makes us feel peaceful and calm. It resonates with a deep inner part of us, a part perhaps long forgotten, but the connection is still there. After all, water is the very stuff of life itself.

Water features are becoming common additions to gardens these days, almost to the point of becoming clichéd! Unfortunately, they are more often than not just lifeless statues with flowing water. A pond has a far greater attraction than a plain old water feature, as it’s literally brimming with life. Anyone who has ever seen children around a pond, especially if it has fish in it, will know what a captivating effect it can have.

Most people in an urban setting have neither the space nor the expertise to construct a full-sized pond, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the benefits of a small water garden. Water gardens in containers are easy to build, and “half-barrel” water gardens are becoming quite popular for that very reason. Using a real wine barrel cut in half, or a similar sized plastic container, a water garden can be completed in an afternoon.

Beyond mere aesthetics, a water garden has its place in a permaculture garden. It can be used to grow edible aquatic plants and fish, provide a breeding site for rare and endangered fish or frogs, and produce many other valuable outputs.

A water garden is an aquaculture system – a diverse aquatic ecosystem, one of the most productive and efficient systems around. They are far more productive than any land based systems. This is because in an aquaculture system, aquatic plants have a constant supply of water that has nutrients dissolved in it, which they can easily take up. The waste from fish and other animals in the system provide additional nutrient to the plants, making for a very efficient and productive system.

 

Part I – Basic Water Garden Design Theory

In any water garden or pond, one of the most basic requirements to create a stable aquatic ecosystem are the various types of plants in it, each of which plays a specific role to support and sustain aquatic life.

There are four categories of water plants that can be included in a pond to achieve perfect balance.

  1. Rooted floating plants, such as water lilies
  2. Marginal plants
  3. Submerged (oxygenating) plants
  4. Floating plants

 

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Image source: Virginia Cooperative Extension article, Urban Water-Quality Management: Purchasing Aquatic Plants. ID 426-044

 

Lets have a look at the four categories of aquatic plants in detail:

1. Rooted Floating Plants

Rooted Floating Plants, also referred to as Deep Water Plants, have their roots sitting in the bottom of the pond (or in a container on the bottom of the pond) and their leaves reach up to the water’s surface. They are sun-loving plants and can …

 

Read more: http://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-instructions/building-a-small-water-garden/

 

 

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