Scott and I visit botanical gardens whenever possible. If we are on vacation and there is one nearby, we add it to our itinerary. Our favorite part about visiting gardens in the summertime is seeing the water lilies. The water lily display at Longwood Gardens is breathtaking. The last time we visited, Scott told me that he would someday create a water lily display for me at home. He said I should be able to see and enjoy them more than just a couple times each year. For our anniversary this year, he built me my very own water lily container garden.
Here are the steps:
Buy a large bucket to house your waterlilies. We used a 17-gallon galvanized bucket from Home Depot. You can use other materials, though. A wood barrel looks beautiful, too, but requires an insert to allow it to hold the water.
Choose a good location for your garden. Once the container is full of water, it will be very, very difficult to move. Make sure the location gets enough direct sunlight – ideally 6+ hours per day. The more sun your garden gets, the more flowers you’ll be able to enjoy.
Mix some soil with sand.
Dump it into the bottom of the bucket.
Spread the soil/sand mixture to make it even.
We bought two waterlily plants and a water iris from a local garden center/nursery. Call around to see if a local garden center carries them. You can also order them online.
Dig a little hole in the soil/sand and place the lily plant in.
Space the plants out in the bucket.
Add 2 plant food tablets per plant. We purchased these from our local garden center, too. You can also buy them online. Stick them in the soil/sand next to each plant and cover.
Leave the water iris in its pot. Add some stones over the soil. This will keep the soil from escaping from the pot once you add water to the bucket. Place the iris pot in the sand/soil at the desired height.
Add water to completely fill the bucket. You’ll notice that the water is very murky. The soil/sand will settle over time and the water will be clear eventually. It took about five days for ours to clear up.
After 1 day:
After 5 days:
It can take a while before the flowers bloom. Scott placed some other plants around the bucket, including some geraniums, an epimedium, and some succulents, to add some extra color.
While waiting for the flowers to appear, we noticed some mosquito larvae in the container garden. Scott found a frog in the backyard and placed him on one of the lily pads. After a few days, the larvae was gone. We named the frog Frederick (“Freddie”) and he has lived in the water garden for weeks! Isn’t he a cutie?!
After about five weeks, two water lilies finally bloomed. All I can say is that they’re worth the wait! I absolutely love my water lily container garden!
Go ahead and build one on your own front porch! Or, contact us today and Scott can create one for you. You deserve water lilies, too!