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Water Gardens - General Tips For Your Tranquil Paradise
By Amanda Whatley Owen
web posted May 3, 2018
GARDENING -  Water gardens are definitely my favorite style of gardening.  Probably, because you don't have to water plants as much and I enjoy the peace and tranquility a water garden provides.
Water gardens can be created in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
Large or odd-shaped water gardens can be achieved by digging out your shape and using a plastic liner.  Myself, I prefer the method of finding whatever I can find as my liner or base.  Some cool items would be old bathtubs, pots, barrels, or anything that can hold water.  You can bury them in the ground, or leave them on top of the ground and place pavers and plants around it to create your oasis.  Some folks even add waterfalls, and fish.  I would suggest adding a small pump, especially to larger ponds.  Bob's Tropical fish is a great place for water garden needs.  They have pond supplies, as well as fish and plants.
A few plants you can plant in the water are Amazon lilies, cattails, lotus, marsh marigolds, and water lilies.  Most of the plants you simply plant in a pot like normal using pebbles as your soil and then place the planter in the base of the water garden and watch it take off.  Keep in mind the lilies can be especially overbearing and take over a garden.  They may even crowd any fish you have in the pond.
Adding color and appeal to your design, or to an existing design will help transform this project into a garden centerpiece.  I love using elephant ears, especially the black ones around a water garden.  Canna lilies are another of my favorites. Using these will not only provide a nice height to your design, but a certain uniqueness, as well.  Plus they will come back year after year which is an added benefit.  Hostas, Holly Ferns, and stripped sweet flag are a few other greenery favorites to help add a tropical swamp look to your creation.
For splashes of color, consider Iris bulbs, snapdragons, petunias, sedums, astilbe, and even some shrubs such as roses, or Aucuba.
If you have a plastic liner, be sure before planting, that you secure the edges with decorative rocks.  Leave small spaces for soil and flowering plants by staggering the rocks.  It will help add character and uniqueness.
As far as maintaining the plants, make sure the plants that line the garden get water.  The plants that are actually in the water enjoy being left alone.  No harsh chemicals are needed.
You can add store-bought organic fertilizers to the plants around the water garden.  These fertilizers will clearly state that they are organic.  Or, you can compost from your own bin to ensure that you're not adding chemicals to the water.
Other water garden enhancements are solar lighting for night time fun, garden knick-knacks, decorative stones, stepping stones, small planters, or even benches so you can sit and enjoy your own little paradise. 
What's your mom's favorite flower? Next week in Mandy's Friendly Garden, we'll talk about a few flowering favs for Mother's Day.

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