Holiday-Inspired Outdoor Decorating that Lasts

Dress up your front porch and yard with these holiday outdoor decorating ideas that last from the first days of fall through the New Year. They look great on a porch or just outside your door.

View Slideshow

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

Make the outside of your home as ready for the holiday season as the inside with these outdoor Christmas decorating ideas. Our holiday decorating ideas, including beautiful Christmas greenery, festive light displays, and more, are sure to get your yard Christmas-ready.

View Slideshow

Grow Beautiful Amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers are easy to grow from bulbs and great for adding color to your holiday decor.

See More

Deer-Resistant Shade Plants

Gardening in the shade where deer are plentiful can be a challenging situation. But there are plants that thrive in the shade that aren't tempting to hungry deer. Although no plant can be considered completely deer-resistant, here's a list of shade dwellers that most deer avoid. Plus, we've added some fun facts about deer that might help you understand them better.

View Slideshow

Shrubs with Winter Interest

A winter landscape has a beauty all its own. An unexpected plant feature -- winter blooms that perfume the air, bright berries, colorful or textured foliage or unusual bark -- add a welcome element to gardens. These winter shrubs will not disappoint.

View Slideshow

Tips for Moving Plants Indoors

Here's a handy guide for moving your favorite plants inside once the weather turns cold.

See More
Popular in Gardening

Water Container Garden

Dive into water gardening with an easy-care container that you can finish in an afternoon.

Water World

Give water gardening a try even if you're short on time and space. Set up a mini aquascape in a container in only an hour or two, with no digging and little expense. Perfect for a patio, deck, or balcony, a potted water garden adds instant appeal: the natural beauty of water-loving plants and the refreshing sparkle of water on a small scale.

Enjoy the assets year-round in a mild climate. Where winters are frosty, savor your little garden throughout the growing season, then bring the plants indoors. Or consign them to compost before cold weather arrives; empty, clean, and store the container for next year's garden.

How to Create an Easy-Care Water Container Garden

What you'll need:

  • Galvanized tub or other watertight container
  • Several bricks
  • Aquatic plants
  • Water
  • Rocks

Plant list:

  • Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata)
  • Canna (Canna spp.)
  • Variegated society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)
  • Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia spp.)
  • Parrot's feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
  • Red-veined sorrel (Rumex spp.)
  • Sweet flag (Acorus calamus)
  • Dwarf cattail (Typha spp.)
  • Umbrellagrass (Cyperus spp.)

Step 1

Start with a galvanized tub or other watertight container such as a metal bucket, resin tub, or ceramic pot. If it holds water—or is made to hold water by adding a plastic liner or marine sealant—it can become a water garden. Choose a vessel at least 6 inches deep for best results. Add no more than three plants if the container's diameter is 18 inches or less.

Step 2

Pick a sunny location for your potted water garden. Small tabletop container water gardens prove as portable as deck furniture, but larger gardens such as this one are harder to move after they're planted and filled. When you find an ideal place for your garden, place bricks in the bottom of the container to act as risers for the potted plants.

Step 3

Design your garden. First select from different kinds of water-loving plants widely available at garden centers and nurseries. Some plants prefer to have wet feet; others like to float. Use an odd number of plants (three, five, or seven) for the most pleasing effect. Our scheme includes nine plants in our 24-inch-diameter container. Group fewer plants, if you prefer, leaving more growing room. Arrange the potted plants on the bricks for height.

Step 4

Fill the container with water, covering the rims of the pots. Municipal water is just fine for water gardens that contain only plants, but water drawn from a water softener contains salts that can damage plants. Collected rainwater is a good option. Refill the container periodically as the water evaporates. Prevent mosquitoes by using a tablet for biological control.

Step 5

Top the soil of your potted plants with river rock to help hold the plantings in place. The rock will also give your water garden a more naturalistic appearance. What's more, small stones provide landing pads for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife when they drop by for a drink.

Step 6

Include a floating plant such as water lettuce, which will grow on the water's surface. Water lettuce grows and colonizes quickly, filling in between other plants. If water lettuce becomes too pushy, lift out excess plants and compost them.

Also Try:

1. Small Wonder

When a hardy miniature waterlily such as Nymphaea pygmaea 'Helvola' takes up residence in a glazed ceramic bowl, it can live for years given plenty of sun and winter protection. Check the bowl's water level weekly and top it off as needed.

2. Pint-size Pond

The shiny leaves and delicate blossoms of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) star in an enamelware container. The plant multiplies quickly, so compost unwanted plants or give them to friends instead of introducing the nonnatives to waterways.

3. Simple Centerpiece

Fitting as a tabletop display, a resin bowl holds leafy rosettes of water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) and white water snowflake (Nymphoides indica). The floating plants dangle their roots in the water without any need for soil.


Loading... Please wait...