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The Avant Gardener News Letter
Taking Containers One Step Farther
our last newsletter we talked about containers. Now let's take
containers one step farther. This is your chance to be creative and
to devise an instant attraction in your living space. Two very simple
ideas for containers introduce water, a fascinating element. With a
hint of the Orient, fountains and water gardens, or a combination of
both, in containers, can not only give great pleasure, but are also
mobile and easily maintained. By creating a mixture of sound and
movement with water you can bring small spaces to life. Any container
that holds water is a potential water feature.
Click On The Pic To Enlarge
construct a small fountain you need a small submersible
electric pump such as Little Giant's Pondworks PES-70 to circulate
the water, a length of 3/8" clear plastic tubing, a bag of polished
stones (to mask the container's interior), and something interesting
from which the water can flow, such as a ceramic or metal frog, a pot,
or a drilled stone. Then just add water and plug in the pump. You
can make fine adjustments on the pump to adjust the rate of water
flow and the accompanying sound level to your liking.
A fountain for the corner of your balcony or a table in your entrance
hallway, or for that touch of surprise in a shady nook in the garden.
Just remember to keep the water fresh and clean at all times and to
keep it topped up.
Now, to create a container water garden. The container should not
be over 3 feet deep. It is easiest to work with only a foot or two
of depth. Generally the container is best placed in full sun
for plant health and for visual impact. You will need stones, pea
gravel, organic aquatic potting soil, planting baskets to hold the
mix, and lastly, the fun part, the water plants.
for floaters, plants are planted in the potting mix in the baskets,
topdressed with pea gravel, watered and the baskets secured in
place. Again, just add water to submerge the baskets, and enjoy the
calm elegance you have created.
Click On The Pic To Enlarge
starting out with a small container it is recommended that
you choose 3 plants of different textures and height; for example,
Nymphaea (water lily), water iris such as Iris Laevigata, and
Typha minima (an ususual small cattail). Floating plants such as
Eichhornia (water hyacinth), Pistia (water lettuce) and Azolla
(fairy moss) prevent algae from greening the water.
are some interesting variations for container water gardens.
By incorporating a pump and nozzle to make a pleasing spray of water
you can add a new dimension to your water garden. But use only plants
that are happy in moving water. In larger containers, fish can add
considerable visual interest. Only small fancy goldfish such as
fantails may be used, however, and they must be given sanctuary
In climates such as British Columbia's, fountains and container
water gardens outdoors are a summer feature only, and plants must
be stored over winter. Indoors, of course, both kinds of water
features can be enjoyed year round.
Finally, a third type of water feature, the easiest to make of all
- a simple, unplanted container with water. Just watch the play of
light. Soothing, reflective, peaceful.
Both books shown here as well as the products mentioned are all
available at The Avant Gardener (with the exception of goldfish).
Until next time......