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If someone says “water gardens” to you, what do you immediately think of? If you’re like me the phrase water garden conjures up warm summer nights and the sound of water trickling over rocks and running down waterfalls. Water gardens are also a inviting habitat for all sorts of wildlife including, butterflies, birds, insects and sometimes even our furry friends if you’ve planted the right kind of tasty looking vegetation. There are many different interpretations of the water garden, some very elaborate, some just simple pond and pump system. The important thing to remember is that you can make it your own. There are no two water gardens that are exactly alike. It can be very minimalist or look like it just dropped out of the pages of nature.

So how do you make your water garden? The first task is to find a piece of level ground that will be large enough to accommodate your pond, plants and waterfall if you choose to put one in. Next, check for any overhanging trees or plants. You want to make sure there will be a minimal amount of leaves falling in your pond or you will be spending an awful lot of time cleaning your water garden of dirt, debris and leaves! Now you have picked out where you will place your pond it’s time to choose the kind of liner you want. There are two kinds you can pick from. The first is the flexible plastic liner and the second is the rigid plastic liner. There are pros and cons to both of these, so make sure to ask your local garden center or landscaper for their advice on choosing the right one for your water garden.

Ponds have varying depths to them to accommodate the plants and fish (if you so choose to have them). Again, you’ll want to consult with your landscaper on this. Next comes choosing the right kind of filters to keep everything running smoothly and keeping your water garden pond clean. For a pond with no fish, you’ll need a filter that circulates the total volume of water every 2 hours. So, for example, a 1,000 gallon pond would need a pump that can do filtration of 500 GPH (gallons per hour). For a pond with fish you’ll need a filter that circulates the total volume of water in one hour. A 2,000 gallon pond would need a pump that does at least 2,000 GPH. Now we’ve tackled the pond and filter pumps, you can add in your water feature if you wish.

In the water garden we see plentiful amounts of plants. Typically, we have lots of surface plants that help both the aesthetic value and help keep our water nice and clean. Many people choose the classic water lily and underwater grasses. Most of the surface should be covered in vegetation except for the area around your waterfall and the area where you will feed your fish. Other than that you can place any type of plant you want around your pond. A lot of avid water gardeners like to choose fragrant and colorful flowers that attract birds, butterflies and insects.

A water garden is a tribute to nature and can by enjoyed by both young and old. Also it is much simper to maintain than a dirt garden. Water gardening is the next big thing in gardening and now we hope you’ll see why!

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