Guest Author - Lisa Shea
In this above ground water garden by Beth and Reid, the lovely stonework blends in with the stone patio and provides a home for lilies and reeds. This water garden is located in Massachusetts.
Construction of this above ground water garden is very straight forward. Beth and Reid began with a simple, square plastic form. They then took regular stone wall making tools and built a stone wall around that form. If needed for maintenance reasons, the liner can be emptied and removed and replaced.
The above ground water garden forms a lovely focal point for their patio, and as it is raised up, it makes it easier for guests to look in and admire the fish and plantings found in it.
Lilies and reeds have been planted into the water garden, and flourish nicely. Beth and Reid to allow a few fish to live in this pond during the summer months, but they are returned to the larger pond in the winter so that they have the benefit of the deep water for hibernation. In general, this type of setup would not be ideal for year-round fish except in very warm climates.
The beauty of a raised water garden is that you really get to appreciate flowering plants. Here is a close-up of one of the lilies, with a closed flower.
If you decide to make a raised water garden, start by deciding how much room you want to set aside for this project. Make sure there's space to walk around the unit to maintain it. Choose a height that can be maintained well. Remember that water is heavy! It will be pushing out on the sides of the liner with great force. You need to construct a structure that can handle that weight.
Also, if you get below freezing where you live, keep in mind how you will handle the winter months. If your water garden is too small, it will freeze and crack the container. You will either have to drain it or find another way to keep it heated.