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A Guide To Creating A Water Garden Sanctuary In Your Yard
Homeowners who enjoy growing plants in their yards might also choose to maintain a garden with a different focus. A water garden is a special type of landscaped area that incorporates water into the environment. Adding a pond has a number of important advantages that will benefit a yard as well as the wildlife that may visit. Creating a water garden can be a satisfying project that will pay you back with years of enjoyment.
Benefits of a Water Garden
As an alternative to a typical yard with grass, trees, shrubs, and flowers, a water garden can transform a yard into something extraordinary. This curb appeal can translate into added value for a property, which can pay rich dividends when it's time to sell the home. Adding a water feature to a yard is also an effective way to create an environmentally friendly landscape. Instead grass and plants that need to be watered continually, an aquascape actually sustains itself naturally. Wildlife such as birds, insects, amphibians, and fish also benefit when you create a natural habitat in which they can live and thrive. Creating this type of natural oasis in your yard can also provide emotional benefits for your family, thanks to the calm and serene environment that they can enjoy.
Flowers and Plants for a Water Garden
The plants and flowers you choose for a water garden will be an important aspect of the planning process. Plants can shade the water, which helps keep the water temperature down. The goal should be to cover between 50 and 70 percent of the water surface with plants. A lower water temperature helps prevent algae growth in the pond. Plants also create a safe environment for frogs and fish. Some plants, known as submerged plants, live completely under the water. These plants help maintain a healthy biological balance in a pond. Examples of submerged plants include anarcharis and cabomba. Marginal plants are the ones you place around the edge of a pond, and they add color and texture to the habitat. A few marginal plants to consider include hardy water canna, water willow, and lizard tail. Each of these plants will put forth appealing flowers during the growing season. Floating plants are also important in a pond. These plants provide shade, and they also serve to filter the water. Possible floating plants include hornwort and water lettuce. These plants tend to thrive in warmth.
Animals in a Water Garden
As you create a water garden in your backyard, give thought to planning bio-diversity with the creatures you seek to attract to your space. Many people choose to add koi or goldfish to their backyard ponds. Other fish to consider include mosquitofish and golden orfe, which have bright colors. Toads, frogs, and salamanders often naturally find their way to a water garden. Birds tend to be attracted to moving water, so adding a fountain or a waterfall can be effective for increasing the bird population. Butterflies and dragonflies need shallow areas for dipping. Predators can cause challenges for pond owners, especially with a full fish population in the water. Hawks, owls, raccoons, turtles, and snakes will prey on fish. Submerged and floating plants can help protect fish from predators. Adding other hiding places to a pond, such as man-made shelters under the water, may also be helpful.
- Water for Wildlife: Birdbaths and Backyard Ponds
- Water Gardens (PDF)
- Plants for Your Water Garden
- Ponds in the Garden: Easy and Relaxing
- Is Your Water Garden Having a Ripple Effect on Waterways?
- Mosquito Management for Ponds, Fountains, and Water Gardens
- Plant Lilies
- Water Gardens: A Low-Management Approach (PDF)
- Water Gardens Bring Interest to a Yard
- Give the Birds a Splash: Adding Water to Your Backyard
- Water Features for the Garden (PDF)
- Orchid Plants (PDF)
- Water Features (PDF)
- Water Gardens for the Deck, Patio, or Garden (PDF)
- What Can You Do in Your Backyard and Home? (PDF)
- Attract Birds With Birdbaths
- Creating an Urban Backyard Wildlife Habitat (PDF)
- Backyard Bogs and Wetland Gardens
- Water Garden Journal (PDF)
- Creating Attractive Wildlife Habitats
- Backyard Habitat Book (PDF)
- Putting a Little Wildlife in Your Backyard This Spring (PDF)
- Water Gardening: Plants for the Water Garden (PDF)
- How to Create Your Own Water Garden
- Pond and Lake Management: Using Barley Straw to Control Algae
- Water Gardens (PDF)
- Introduction to Water Gardening (PDF)
Written By Ava Rose.