Building a Container Water Garden
The important thing to remember about a container water garden is that it is really a tiny pond in a pot. Container gardens will do very well in our climate from early spring to late fall, but should always be taken apart or moved indoors for the winter.
In general, there are 4 elements to keep in mind: 1) the pot 2) the plants 3) the water quality 4) the animal life.
1) Choose a pot that is a large as your space will accommodate. Larger gardens are easier to build and easier to maintain. Make sure that the pot is glazed on the inside so it will not leak. Beyond these requirements, the selection of the container is a matter of personal taste. If you choose a metal container, be sure to seal the inside so the metals will not affect the water quality.
2) Choose plants appropriate to your lighting conditions. A good sunny spot on the deck, balcony or patio is an excellent spot for the water garden. Combine tall plants with floating ones to create a miniature pondscape using both vertical and horizontal movement. The addition of a stone, a piece of statuary, and/or a bamboo "dripper" adds interest to the container garden.
3) Adjust your water quality, particularly your pH. Like fish, many plants are sensitive to pH and thrive at specific levels of acidity or alkalinity. Use Dechlorinator Plus for good measure. A small fountain pump to circulate the water and add interest through a "dripper" or tiny fountain piece completes the miniature pond nicely.
4) Add a few snails and a couple of fish. The snails will help to clean the algae from the garden and the goldfish will eat any of those pesky mosquito larvae which are so common here in the south.
A container garden can be a delightful addition to your balcony, deck or patio enjoyed from early spring into late fall. and anyone can create one.