Wonders Of A Water Garden

water garden AP

A serene water garden enhances any landscape and is one of the most popular trends in gardening today. The soothing sound of moving water, the dramatic water plants and the graceful movement of koi and goldfish make water gardens a welcome setting for relaxation, a place of tranquility and beauty, a respite. And, according to Saturday Early Show Gardening Contributor Georgia Raimondi, creating a water garden need not be difficult or require lots of space.

CHOOSING A SITE:
Although attractive water ponds can be created in a shady location, certain water plants need sun, so a spot that receives full sun for several hours a day is ideal. Place the container near a sitting area where you can enjoy the visual beauty of the water garden, but preferably not under a tree as you'll spend your time fishing out leaves that drop off.

Consider proximity to electrical outlet if you intend to have a pump, filter or lights, as well as availability of a water source, since you'll have to periodically refill the pond as water evaporates.

CHOOSING CONTAINERS:
Pre-formed ponds are available at garden centers, stores selling aquariums, and home supply stores. Even the tiniest of yards can accommodate a water garden as these pre-formed ponds come in a variety sizes, shapes and prices: kidney shaped, tear drop, octagonal, and priced from approximately $40 to several hundred dollars.

INSTALLING:
  1. Place pond in desired location and mark perimeter with a shovel.

  2. Dig hole deeper and larger than actual perimeter and depth of pond. Remove and stones, roots or other obstructions that might puncture or warp pond.

  3. Cover bottom of hole with a shallow layer of sand and set pond in sand. Using a level, shift the pond so that it is level in every direction. The rim should be slightly above ground level before backfilling.

  4. Backfill the hole around the pond with soil or sand while filling the pond with water at the same rate. It is important to backfill and fill at the same time as the weight of the water will ensure that the backfill soil does not bend the pond wall. Fill soil or sand tightly around pond.

  5. After pond is completely filled, place rocks around perimeter and landscape as desired. Placing the rocks so that they slightly overhang the lip of the pond will create a natural setting.
Pre-formed ponds are made with shelving inside to accommodate two depths for a variety of water plants, because some water plants prefer shallow water. These are called marginal water plants and include iris, dwarf bamboo, cattail, aquatic mint, horsetail, umbrella palm dwarf papyrus, and rainbow plant.

Other types of water plants are oxygenators and floating plants. Oxygenators (including cabomba, anacharis, and parrot's feather are totally submerged, use carbon dioxide, and release oxygen for fish. Floating plants, such as water lettuce and water hyacinth, provide shade and thereby reduce algae.

Plnts should cover at least 60 percent of the water surface.

FISH:
After construction of the pond, use a chlorine remover before adding fish. Koi, goldfish and catfish are not only entertaining to watch, but they control mosquitoes and other insects and also eat algae. The fish consume oxygen and disperse organic wastes; the plants generate oxygen and consume the fish waste.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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