Refreshing Water Gardens


In the heat of the summer, create a “cool,” refreshing water garden. Once the garden is created, it will relax and soothe your stress after a long day! Water-tolerant plants and a fountain element enhance a summer outdoor experience.

Creating a water garden can be done from a kit or DIY.  Regardless of the method you choose to build it, it will have either a rigid or a soft free form liner. The liner must be at least 18’’ deep. This depth allows water lilies to grow. If you choose to add fish to your water garden, this depth will allow fish a cool retreat in summer and warm retreat in winter. If you’re on the fence about adding fish to your water garden, consider they will reduce the mosquito population. With fish, there must be plants to provide them oxygen.

To help keep the water garden cool in summer, and look most attractive, cover ¾ of the surface with floating plants. Great choices are water lilies, water hyacinths, duck weed and salvinia. Routine removal of floating plant overload is a must to allow light to plants below the surface.

Here are our top water garden plant selections:


Louisiana Iris:
This easy-to-grow native favorite will bloom in late spring either purple, white or magenta. It thrives in full sun-partial shade.


Pink or Purple Pickerelweed:
This is one of the best waterplants! It boasts shiny, deep, green lance-shaped leaves and pink or purple flower clusters at the top of plant. The bloom time is summer through fall. It thrives in full sun to partial shade, and is shade tolerant.


Red-stemmed Thalia:
You are sure to enjoy the unusual ‘flower’ spikes that show strikingly on top of 12’’ red stems. The foliage is deep green, and very glossy. It blooms in summer and fall, and thrives in the full sun and moist soils.


Star Grass (Dichromena colorata):
This plant is an easy-to grow one that does best in shallow water with full sun. The tops of leaves are green with bright white star-shaped flowers lasting all summer. It thrives in full sun-partial shade.


Hardy Water Canna:
On top of this plant’s graceful stems, bloom purple flowers all summer. The foliage is large and a blue/green tone. It thrives in full sun – partial shade, and makes an excellent specimen for a back border in the water garden.


Dwarf Aqua Pink Hibiscus:
This water hibiscus is easy to grow in wet soil and full sun! It’s a compact, somewhat shrubby hibiscus that usually only grows to 2.5’ tall with featured 9’’ diameter pink flowers! You’ll enjoy the blooms in summer and fall.