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How to Build a Water Garden

Water gardens have become extremely popular in recent landscaping trends. They make an attractive addition to any size yard and because they can be custom designed, can fit anywhere. This article will outline the basics for how to build a water garden.



Before learning how to build a water garden, you should learn if a permit is required, but in most areas, a permit is not required to build a water garden. If you have reason to believe your municipality may require a permit, exercise common sense and proceed as necessary. Before you begin to build a water garden, decide where in your yard you would like to install it. Keep in mind the design of your water garden, what you will use as foliage both in and around the water garden and whether you want to add aquatic life. Areas of your yard that receive full sun will promote algae growth, but shaded areas may not be suitable for specific plant types.

There are two basic types of water gardens you can build. Above ground water gardens are merely vessels that hold water, such as a barrel or specially designed pool, that include a submersible pump for circulating the water. Above ground water gardens can be placed anywhere there is a nearby power source. You can float water cabbage or lilies and place potted flowers around it.

In-ground water gardens are more complex, but more versatile in design. You don’t have to do much to know how to build a water garden in the ground, just choose your location and take a can of upside-down marking paint and spray the shape of your garden on the ground. Dig out the ground to the shape and desired depth of your garden and smooth the edges as best as possible with a garden trowel. Place a base of sand on the bottom and line the hole with a form-fitting, plastic pond liner available at most home improvement and garden stores. If there is no power source nearby, you will need to run electricity to the water garden area. Pumps are necessary to prevent stagnant water from breeding mesquitoes and also to circulate and filter the water.

Once you have the liner in place, you can choose to secure it with decorative stone or brick around the edges or another fashion that suits your design plan. To finish building your water garden, simply fill with water, submerse your pump and plug it in. Run the pump for approximately 24 hours before adding plants. Many types of water plants are available for different planting zones. Some will spread rapidly and need thinned frequently and others may need to be brought in for the winter depending on your area. Ornamental plants surrounding the edges of your water garden can vary widely and you should consider the colors you want and the level of maintenance you desire before planting. Over time, your water garden will flourish and provide you with a peaceful, ornamental display to enjoy year after year – but be warned, once your neighbors learn that you know how to build a water garden, they may be asking you for help!



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