Above ground is all the rage in water
gardening! And why not, since everyone can appreciate the soothing sound of water in the
garden, but may not be ready or able to dig a pond to get it. Balcony and patio gardeners,
people with small spaces, those with small children to keep safe, and others not
interested in the upkeep of inground ponds will find pond pots appealing. For owners of
traditional water gardens, whose passion often knows no bounds, above ground offers
another kind of water garden, designed especially to be appreciated up close.
Anything can form the basis of a pond pot, so long as it holds
water. If you like the look of shallow reflecting pools, try this: Fill a shallow dark
blue bowl with water and place it in a grouping of plants to make the simplest, soothing
pond to reflect the sun and plants above. Basins, urns, and barrels as well as solid
plastic pots make excellent ponds for moving water, too, and setting them up is an easy,
Choose the place you'd like to hear water gurgling and put your
container there: all you need is a nearby electric outlet to create a bubbling scene. To
include a fountain, pick a spot in front of a sturdy backdrop like a fence or wall to
mount it. Either way, you're going to recirculate the container's water, an ecofriendly
way to use water even in dry years.
A submersible pump, plastic tubing, something to trickle through,
and a few plants for camouflage will get you started. Pumps are rated for their capacity
and smaller ones tend to be quieter, so buy just what you need. Put it in the container
with enough tubing to reach over the top of the pond or to the fountain above. Run the
tube into a cluster of rocks, a spouted gargoyle, or even a whimsical watering can mounted
in the pond. Cover up the tube and electric wire with well-placed plants or rocks. Plug
the pump in and adjust its flow to suit you.
Get a goldfish or two, but remember they grow to the size of
their container, so don't overfeed. And never replace more than one fourth the pot's
capacity of water at one time.
Small hardy water lilies make a contained pond into a water
garden; their beauty is unsurpassed. Other plants to look for include dwarf lotus,
floating water lettuce, and the oxygenator elodea.