If you have ever thought that a garden pond would be a feature that you would like to have in your garden, but were not sure where to start or that there would be too much effort involved, then this idea might be for you. Creating a water garden in a container is an ideal way of learning the essential elements of a pond and the types of plants that will grow in water. This article by Beth Jarvis which I found on the University of Minnesota Extension website gives a great introduction to the topic and instructions on how to create your own container water garden.
Water gardening adds a unique, new group of plants to home landscapes. Many, such as water lilies and water hyacinths, grow well in containers. Containers are an excellent way to sample the joys of water gardening before committing to a larger, permanent pond.
Locate your container garden so it can be seen easily from the house or serve as a focal point, drawing visitors into the garden. Consider the following when choosing a site for your water garden:
Most water plants require full sun for at least five hours. A spot that is shaded in mid- to late-afternoon is ideal. Three hours of direct light is minimum for water gardening, but it greatly limits both the number of plant choices and flower quantity and quality.
Falling tree leaves cause extra maintenance by clogging pumps and harming fish and plants. Keep your water garden away from overhanging tree branches.
Easy access to a water supply is important. Water that has evaporated from the container must be replaced to keep the water level constant.
Planting the garden
Any waterproof container that holds at least four gallons of water makes an excellent water garden. Some possible containers include a galvanized horse trough; a large, glazed pottery crock; an old claw-foot bathtub; or a whiskey barrel.