How do water gardens work?

Updated: Feb 22

Still unsure about owning a water garden in the Los Angeles area? Perhaps you've long been looking at a variety of water features to add to your yard.


With a water feature, you and your visitors can experience more blissful stays in your home.


A water garden helps you create a relaxing urban space, and you can always start small. Think of it as a project that you can scale according to your commitment level.





What are water gardens?


A water garden or aquatic garden is a water feature that includes different aquatic plants.


Water gardens are an architectural work that requires careful planning. They can also serve as fish ponds, but their main components are plants.


You can start your project in a container. You can also place it indoors or outdoors. You're free to choose a size and shape that you want, but be sure your water feature can be enjoyed at any time.


Don't place it in distant areas. Your loved ones should be able to interact with the different features of your garden as they wander through it.


Starting an aquatic garden: Factors you need to consider


Is there a right time of the year to start a water garden? Here are factors you need to consider to make your project work.


Location


Study your outdoor living space. Your water feature should blend into the existing landscape. Build it where you can enjoy it the most, so choose easily accessible areas.

Check what size you can accommodate and assess the sun exposure as you must note that when choosing plants. The location should also be near a water source and electrical outlet and away from trees or huge plants.


Check as well the location of your underground utilities for safety.


Design


Consult a professional pond builder in the LA area in developing a design to avoid costly mistakes. Know all the work involved in building your water garden.


A water garden has to have slopes to make it look natural. This will allow you to accommodate different types of plants. If you don’t want to start from scratch for your water garden, consider a water feature kit.


These kits are complete with all materials you need. They can be simple or extravagant, depending on your preferences.


Whatever the scale you like, it’s best to work with pond construction experts so you can ensure results you can enjoy for many years.


Plants


The type of plants dictates the amount of work your water garden will require. Choose plants that you can care for and will thrive in the existing site conditions.


You can include floating, submerged, marginal, and bog plants. Each type has its requirements. You can also use different planting methods.


Pocket planting involves creating pockets on the bottom of the pond where you can grow plants. Container or crate planting, on the other hand, uses pots with holes on the bottom.


Consider the size of your pond when choosing containers or holes. Plants grow according to the size of their containers.


Choosing plants for your aquatic garden


Aquatic plants are the highlight of your water garden. You may need to grow them in a container before putting them in the water.


Find out how much water each plant needs. Excessive water can cause them to die, so choose an appropriate container for submerging into the water.


Learn more about each plant’s characteristics as some can only be placed inside containers such as invasive plants. Here are the different types of aquatic plants you may consider:


1. Floating plants


Floating plants have their leaves and flowers on the water surface and their roots submerged. They block sunlight, provide shade to water, and prevent algae growth. They usually thrive where there’s little movement in the water.


Water lilies are a popular example of floating leaf plants. Their bright colors add vibrance to your beautiful and refreshing oasis. Check how much sunlight exposure the water lily needs.


Some can do well with only 3-4 hours of daily sunlight. You can also ask your pond supplier to help you source shade-tolerant lilies for your water garden.


2. Submerged plants


Submerged plants or oxygenating plants are the opposite of floating plants. They spend all their time beneath the water surface and don’t require soil to survive. They receive the nutrients they need from their stems and leaves.


They also help keep the ecosystem healthy by absorbing dissolved nutrients and competing with algae. If you’re planning to add fish to your water garden soon, submerged plants are also vital as they provide hiding places for other creatures.


Hornwort and arrowhead are two examples of submerged plants. Hornwort is popular as they're easy to grow. They also help get rid of excess nutrients in the water. Arrowhead is also easy to maintain. They can grow in shallow water, and they aren't sensitive to temperature changes.


3. Marginal plants


Marginal plants are also called edge plants as they’re grown on the margins or edges of the water garden. They can’t withstand deep water.


They grow best within 0-6 inches of water exposure from the plant’s crown or where the roots meet the stem. They should be planted on a shallow shelf or crate. Like other aquatic plants, marginal plants also vary in shape and size.


They serve as shelter for fish and other creatures and keep the edges from eroding. Marginal plants make for a seamless transition from the water to the existing landscape. Examples are cattails and water plantains.


4. Bog plants


Bog plants are often used interchangeably with marginal plants. They can also be planted on the edges of your water garden, but unlike marginal plants, they only want their feet wet.


They can’t survive saturated soil and do best in moist soil. One example is sarracenia or pitcher plants. Sarracenias come in different varieties. They can thrive on pond edges and grow as tall as 24 inches.


Also known as carnivorous plants, sarracenia sources nutrients from digesting small insects.


Making your water garden project in Los Angeles work


The components of your water garden are vital to its survival. The right plants, size, and location will help ensure the long-term success of your water feature project.


Have more questions about how water gardens work? Contact us today at (949) 244-8164.


Water gardens are an architectural and engineering marvel, and we’re happy to walk you through the process involved in customizing one.







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