Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Western Mountains and High Plains
March, 2006
Regional Report

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A soothing waterfall or water garden feature can be a great addition to your landscape.

Wet n' Wild

One of the most soothing and relaxing features in nature is a waterfall or babbling brook. It helps relax the mind and refresh the soul. If you share the same view, but don't get to the mountains enough to enjoy Nature's work, now is a good time to plan a water feature for your landscape.

Properly designed and constructed water gardens will add the relaxing movement of water, plus attract birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other wildlife. You can even add fish to the water garden if you like, just be aware that raccoons and herons may find them a treat. You can use nylon netting to discourage critters.

Warm days and cool nights during the primary growing season make a water garden an ideal environment for growing water and bog plants. It just takes planning so that you locate the water feature in an appropriate spot. When the right cultural conditions are met, water lilies, water hyacinths, lotus, water poppies, rushes, sedges, cattails, and many more aquatic plants can thrive and provide a peaceful garden retreat.

Think of water gardening as a natural extension of terrestrial gardening, and sharpen your gardening skills as you try to grow a whole new range of plants. Once you get hooked on water gardening, you may find yourself indulging in trying more and more new and unusual plants.

Plan Carefully
Before you decide to dig and plant a water garden, you should make a plan. Consider the time you have to tend to this specialized garden, and the amount of space you have to accommodate a water feature. Even with limited space, you can grow water plants in a plastic tub or half whiskey barrel on your patio or deck.

A water garden in a container can be moved to a new location if necessary, but a larger water garden or pond cannot be changed so easily. You may want to contact a landscape contractor who specializes in water gardens that include waterfalls and bog areas.

Choose a site that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily, preferably near your home so you can enjoy the garden more often. Safety will be an issue, particularly if small children will be around. You and I know how water can attract kids of all ages.

It is amazing what you will see and hear once you add a water garden to your landscape.

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