WATER, when used in a decorative form such as a pond or water feature, can play a dominant role in today’s modern oasis, evoking the sense of a more natural setting even in the urban jungle. Generally we associate ponds, formal or informal, as one of the components of the so-called bells and whistles of the well-appointed landscape. The prospect of installing a pond, however, does not make a big splash with homeowners who would prefer an alternative to both the price tag and ongoing maintenance of a large pond project. While the love affair with the elegance and visual interest of a water feature is as strong as ever, the trend today is toward a new expression. Now, whether you garden on a condominium terrace or in a small urban backyard, the glistening reflective surface and trickling sound of a water feature can be yours with relative ease and affordability. Container water gardens or patio ponds are the new aquascapes where simplicity rules. How simple? The basic ingredients for a patio water garden consist of a container, water and plants. While it is possible for do-it-yourselfers to use any type of container, ensuring first any drainage holes are sealed with a bit of caulking, many garden centres this spring will offer a range of specialized water bowls in lightweight fibreglass or plastic.
Please see A yellow lotus flower. At top, tropical plants, though not winterhardy, thrive under the prairie sun. Colocasia, also known as elephant ears, creates dramatic vertical interest in any container
design with its massive leaves. Shown: Blue Hawaii.