Water gardening in small spaces

When you think about water gardening, do you envision ponds and waterfalls? Not everyone has the space for a garden pond, and if you rent, you may not have permission to dig a big hole in the yard!

We have a garden pond right next to our patio in our back yard, but there were some water plants I wanted to grow and feature on our front porch. There were several reasons I wanted to do this. For one, these water plants are interesting and unusual. Second, the porch gets sun from about 2pm until dark, so I needed plants that can tolerate the extreme heat.

These fit the bill. It’s easier to keep water in what are basically buckets than it is to be sure potted plants have enough water (unless you have self-watering containers).

So, I put these bog plants in a set of three matching glazed ceramic pots from Big Lots. These pots don’t have drainage holes, so they were perfect for the job. The only thing I must do is make sure the pots have water in them.

The tall plant is a papyrus and the two others are juncus spiralis, also called corkscrew rush because of its spiraling reeds.

The second photo shows a container I made up of fuchsia seed geranium, white dusty miller, blue lobelia and burgundy lantana. It’s a fairly drought tolerant mix of plants, but I also used water-absorbing polymer crystals in the potting mix.

They’re sold under various brand names, including SoilMoist. They absorb hundreds of times their weight in of water, then release it into the surrounding soil when it dries out. Then, the next time the soil’s saturated, the crystals re-absorb water and hold it until it’s needed again. VERY cool stuff, that.



3 thoughts on “Water gardening in small spaces

  1. I enjoy seeing geraniums in yards around here. One lady has done the entire border of her yard with bushes and then red geraniums in front. She has had it this way for years and it’s always very pretty.
    Your plants look very happy and healthy 🙂

  2. Fortunately, water plants are pretty low maintenance. The floating types multiply like crazy. The geraniums display sounds like it’s really pretty. I love mass plantings like that, but never seem to have enough plants to do it. Will you take a photo when it’s at its peak?

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