How to Make a Water Garden

You can add ambiance to your yard if you learn how to make a water garden. They are great additions to a backyard for the barbecue season when you have friends and family over. Whether your water garden is small or large, has only plants or is home to some fish, a water garden can be a soothing visual experience.

Steps

  1. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 1
    1
    Do some research as to what kind of water garden you are interested in installing. They can be small to large and encompass not only plants but fish and fountains as well. Research the different types of plants you want to consider.
  2. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 2
    2
    Search for the right location where your water garden will thrive.
    • Locate an area that has full sunlight or at least 5 hours of direct sunlight. Your plants will grow better with a lot of sun and the sun will help keep the water clean.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 2Bullet1
    • Find a spot that is wide open and does not have trees. Trees will provide unwanted shade and you will have to continuously clean leaves and tree debris out of the garden.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 2Bullet2
    • Build or place your water garden on level ground. You can add hills and varying heights when you put the water garden together.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 2Bullet3
    • Use an area that has convenient access to electrical connections and fresh water.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 2Bullet4
  3. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 3
    3
    Determine the size of your water garden.
    • Choose a small water garden if you are not sure where to locate it. When it is small enough, it can be moved from site to site until you find the right place. Small water gardens are also good if you do not have a lot of space.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 3Bullet1
    • Use a large water garden if you want to have a lot of plants, fish or a fountain.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 3Bullet2
  4. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 4
    4
    Choose a container and liner for your water garden.
    • Pick a container for your small water garden, such as a wooden barrel or tub. Line the barrel with plastic or the rotting wood may damage your plants.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 4Bullet1
    • If you want a large water garden, choose the appropriate lining. Your water garden liner can be concrete, brick, clay, plastic, butyl rubber or fiberglass – it depends on the type of weather you get and which you prefer. Liners can be either rigid or flexible.
      Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 4Bullet2
  5. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 5
    5
    Decide if you want accessories for your garden, such as a pump, filter or lights. Fountains and waterfalls generally require a pump and filter.
  6. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 6
    6
    Dig a hole if you are going with the large water garden.
    • For a flexible liner and different types of plants, create your hole to be shallow at one end and then have it gradually deepen. The depth depends on whether you want fish, if you have freezing winters and what kinds of plants you wish to plant.
    • For a rigid liner, dig the hole large enough to insert the container.
  7. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 7
    7
    Clear the hole of any debris that can puncture the lining, such as rocks, roots and sticks.
  8. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 8
    8
    Pour builder's sand into the bottom of the hole, about 1 inch (2.5 cm).
  9. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 9
    9
    Place the liner in the hole.
    • If you are using a flexible liner, start at the center and lay it outwards.
    • If you are using a rigid liner, place the container in the hole and back fill dirt around it to keep it in place.
  10. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 10
    10
    Fill the hole with water. Smooth out the flexible liner as you pour the water in.
  11. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 11
    11
    Decorate the edge of the water garden with rocks, stones or slabs for a natural look.
  12. Image titled Make a Water Garden Step 12
    12
    Add plants. Choose between floating, submerged or edge plants. Each type of plant will give you a different look for your garden.

Tips

  • Adding fish can help keep the mosquito population down, as well as help clean the garden and feed the plants.
  • Flexible liners allow for more creativity.

Warnings

  • Do not build the water garden in a low lying area as it may be victim to runoff.
  • Small water gardens will freeze during winter months if you live in a climate that gets frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Lining
  • Water
  • Plants

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens