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Southeast Gardening: Water Container Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Discover how to brighten a corner of your yard with a simple water container garden. Lowe’s Southeast region garden expert shows how.

finished water garden with mature plants

By Glenn Dinella

elephant ear ornaments next to water basin

I was searching for a landscape project to brighten up a dark little corner of our house beside our patio. A water feature sounded good because trickling water always adds a soothing sound to the garden. But I didn’t want to tackle all the work involved with digging even a small pond, so I used an old galvanized tub instead.

As a hobby I like to create functional garden art using concrete for leaf impressions, so I made an elephant ear fountain with copper tubing and concrete.

adding pump to basin

A small pump forces water up through the copper tubing and out a hole in the taller concrete elephant ear.

elephant ears ornaments in basin

Water trickles down to the smaller elephant ear and back into the galvanized tub, where it recirculates. For a simpler approach, you can purchase ready-made small fountains.

I disguised the ornaments’ concrete bases with plants. I knew cannas’ large, colorful leaves and bright flowers would do the job and add a tropical flair.

packaged canna rhizomes and pots

Here are the basic steps to making these creative containers with materials from your neighborhood Lowe’s.

1. Purchase some canna rhizomes (bulblike roots) in packages, and colorful containers with no holes in the bottoms.

adding soil

2. Fill the containers 3/4 full with potting soil. Place canna rhizomes in the containers, and cover them with several more inches of potting soil.

topping off with gravel

3. Top off the containers with 1 inch of pea gravel. This prevents the potting soil, which contains a lot of pine bark, from floating out of the pot and mucking up your water garden.

finished water garden

4. Water the cannas generously for several weeks, and they will sprout. When foliage is about a foot tall, add pots to a watertight galvanized tub or residential bucket (Item # 3712) and enjoy your backyard’s tropicalisimo dimension.

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