Water gardening is gardening that is concerned with growing plants adapted to pools and ponds. Although water gardens can be almost any size or depth, they are typically small and relatively shallow, generally less than twenty inches in depth. This is because most aquatic plants are depth sensitive and require a specific water depth in order to thrive. The particular species inhabiting each water garden will ultimately determine the actual surface area and depth required.
Red Oranda (Wen) goldfish reared in a small outdoor pond with lilies.
When the aquatic flora and fauna are balanced, an aquatic ecosystem is created that will support sustainable water quality and clarity. Elements such as fountains, statues, waterfalls, boulders, underwater lighting, lining treatments, edging details, watercourses, and in-water and bankside planting can add visual interest and help to integrate the water garden with the local landscape and environment.
Water gardens, and water features in general, have been a part of public and private gardens since ancient Persian gardens and Chinese gardens. Water features have been present and well represented in every era and in every culture that has included gardens in their landscape and architectural environments. Up until the rise of the industrial age, when the modern water pump was introduced, water was not recirculated but was diverted from rivers and springs into the water garden, from which it exited into agricultural fields or natural watercourses. Historically, water features were used to enable plant and fish production both for food purposes and for ornamental aesthetics.
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