A brief tutorial on water gardening for the novice:
Do: Add plants to your water garden.
Don’t: Forget to prune them occasionally.
Do: Use bricks to support planted baskets.
Don’t: Forget to prune, such that the roots envelop the bricks and make the plants very hard to remove from the pond.
Do: Plant a variety of species.
Don’t: (ahem.) Let them grow together. They’re really hard to separate. But if you forget,
Do: Keep a sturdy garden knife around. Or a chainsaw.
Do: Add fish to the garden to control mosquito larvae.
Don’t: Ask to see what happened to the fish in this garden. Basically, the plant roots grew together, creating an impenetrable mat. The water above the mat evaporated in three weeks of dry fall weather, and he couldn’t break through to the shallow water beneath the plants.
He was worth every penny of the dime I paid for him, though. He lived for two, or maybe three years. He now sleeps with the anemones. I feel terrible.
Do: Try again.