How to create a miniature watergarden

How to create a miniature watergarden

Growing aquatic plants in containers

You can easily creative your own miniature water-garden by planting floating dwarf waterlilies and other beautiful aquatic plants for a pretty and colorful summer display .

This example will show you how to plant up your water garden combining upright and floating aquatic plants and waterlilies. The plants used here are: water rush, water milfoil, waterlily ‘D.G. Moore’, waterlily ‘Evelyn Randig’, blue sedge, dwarf papyrus, water poppy and rainbow nardoo.

‘D.G. Moor’ is a beautiful open waterlily with pink-mauve flowers with deep cerise on the petals and the yellow center. ‘Evelyn Randig’ is an outstanding waterlily with maroon and green leaves and the flowers are magenta with golden centers.

The dwarf papyrus is a small, stately form of papyrus, with upright, deep green stems topped by bright green, fluffy foliage. The blue sedge is a bushy rush, also with upright growth that forms a charming clump of attractive, blue-green foliage.

Rainbow nardoo is a handsome floating foliage plant with four-leaf clover shaped leaves, edged with reddish brown. The water poppy, also a floating aquatic plant has deep green, rounded leaves and bright yellow poppy-like flowers.


Step 1

Line the container with black plastic

Firstly, line your container with black plastic. This will make the water garden look more life like and also prevent any leakage. Make sure the edges are as smooth as possible.

Step 2

Put in the soil mix

Line the base of the container with a 6-8 inch (15-20cm) layer of soil mix that contains equal quantities of potting mix, compost and well-rotted cow manure.

Step 3

Plant the waterlilies

Plant the two varieties of waterlily off-center and across from each other about 2 ft (60cm) apart. Make sure their roots are pressed firmly and are well anchored into the soil mix.

Step 4

Plant the upright aquatic plants

Plant the upright dwarf papyrus, triangular water rush and the blue sedge towards the back of the water garden container. This will create some height variation.

Step 5

Plant the Milfoil, Poppy and Nardoo

Plant the floating water poppy and nardoo towards the centre in front of the water lily ‘Evelyn Randig’ and place the water milfoil towards the back between the water rush and the water lily ‘D.G. Moore’.

Step 6

Cover the surface with gravel

Cover the entire soil surface with a 3/4 inch (2cm) layer of gravel. This will hold the soil and the plants securely in place after the water has been added.

Step 7

Fill the container with water

Slowly and gently fill the container with water. Try not to disturb the plantings. Edge the container with decorative stone or pavers. This will conceal the container and make it a visual, glistening water feature.

Step 8

Fertilize the lilies

Most aquatic plants are heavy feeders, especially waterlilies which need fertilizer to produce flowers. Twice a year, in spring and summer, insert a fertilizer spike into the soil near each waterlily.

Things Needed
• 39 x 59 inch (1 x 1.5m) container
• 6 1/2 sq ft (2 sqm) black plastic
• Potting mix
• Compost
• Cow manure
• Gravel
• Water
• Edging stones or pavers
• The plants:
• Waterlily ‘D. G. Moore’
• Waterlily ‘Evelyn Randig’
• Water Poppy
• Rainbow Nardoo
• Water Milfoil
• Triangular Rush
• Dwarf Papyrus
• Blue Sedge

Tips & Warnings
• The water in the water garden will become dark and stagnant if leaves and other organic materials are allowed to decay and become slimy. To prevent the water from becoming stagnant, regularly remove dead leaves or dying foliage and flowers.
• As the water evaporates, top it up with fresh water. Make sure the container does not overflow.


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