Choose an appropriate container and place it in a sunny spot; water gardens are hard to move once they are filled and planted. Place a few bricks in the bottom to raise the plants in individual pots to just below water level.
Arrange the potted plants on the bricks, thinking about how you will view the container. Waterlilies tend to spread out and are usually too large for a tub, but the little yellow 'Helvla' waterlily is perfect. Lotus also will thrive in a container water garden.
Add water, making sure to cover the tops of the plants.
Put a few rocks in the individual containers to keep them from floating up and to hide their rims.
Fill in bare spots with small floating plants, such as water lettuce or water hyacinth.
Refresh the water as it evaporates -- every few days during hot weather. Let the water overflow from the tub for a while to keep breeding mosquitoes in check. Mosquito dunks also help to control mosquitoes.
Water Garden Plants
-Water gardens add drama to any landscape. Whether you have a large water garden like this one or small compact feature, there are some things you need to keep in mind to have success. Aquatic plants come in 3 basic types; floaters, bog, and surface plants like water lilies and lotus. Floating plants have long root systems and literally float on the surface of the water. They help add oxygen to the water for your fish and their long root systems keep the water clear. Bog plants grow in the edges of your pond providing fish place to spawn and softening the edge of your garden. Plants in this category include arrowhead, iris, parrot feather, cattail, and papyrus. Finally, water lilies or lotus are the crowning touch to a water garden. Not only are they spectacular, but their large flat leaves cover the surface of the water shading it, which helps limit the growth of algae. A mix of these plants make the garden look more natural and will keep your water clear.