Guest Author - Sheri Ann Richerson
For many water garden aficionados winter is a dull time of the year when they feel that their water features must sit under a pile of snow and ice waiting on the warmth of spring to thaw it out and make it come alive again. However, this is not the case. While it may be true that the addition of a full size pond to the inside of your home or office building may not be practical, the addition of a smaller indoor water garden is.
Choose an appropriate container.
From a small ceramic bowl, complete with fish, plants and moving water to a larger container such as a wooden tub with a small round pond liner inside it is possible to have water garden plants, fish and moving water on a limited budget and in a limited space. A smaller water garden feature will produce some humidity naturally but not near as much as a full size pond would.
It is best to avoid containers made out of metals such as copper or brass unless you intend to use a liner with them. These metals will corrode easily in a fertilizer-rich environment such as that of a water garden unless a buffer is put between the water and the metal container.
If you choose a ceramic pot, be sure it has been sealed. If it has not been pre-sealed you should do that several days before adding water.
Try your hand at a variety of plants.
Some pond plants simply float on the water, while others require soil or gravel to root into. You will need to do a bit of research to find out first what plants you want to grow as well as what their growing requirements are. Shade plants may be a better choice for indoor water features unless you intend to supplement your traditional indoor lighting environment with grow lights.
Many traditional plants, such as iris and canna, can be grown in a pond. If you prefer plants that are more traditional, try your hand at cattails or waterlilies, many of which can be found as miniatures making them the perfect addition to a small indoor water garden.
Floaters are plants that prefer to simply float on top of the water and include plants such as water lettuce and water hyacinth. Water hyacinth is considered a weed and banned in some areas due to it causing major problems to waterways in places such as Florida.
One of the most popular choices, emergent plants, includes plants such as arrowhead, canna or iris which grow above the water. If you are using a dark container that is not see through for your indoor water garden, an emergent plant, is a good choice.
If you choose a see through container such as clear glass you could choose a submerged plant such as Cabomba caroliniana which grows under water but produces its white flowers at the waters surface.
Depending on the size and style of your container there is no reason why you could not grow a variety of plants that include floaters, emergent and submerged plants in the same container.
These are just a few of the many options available to a water garden enthusiast. With a little imagination, you will be sure to come up with some really unique and interesting ideas on how you can enjoy a water garden in the convenience of your home or office all year long.