This is my water garden area. 

I name the areas on my patio. There is the bird bath garden, the raised bed garden. And in the veggie department, I have one lone tomato plant so far. 

I actually think that is fruit, isn’t it? A tomato?

And to balance the galvanized tubs of water, we arranged some pots of herbs and flowers around it to give it balance.

I’ll take more pictures later. But the water gardens are just to the right of the gazebo. My various gardens kind of zigzag across the patio.

Do you know what this is? The galvanized container of marbles with water?
 
That is a bee and butterfly bath. They can hover on the marbles and take a bath without drowning in the water.

There is nothing like the calming sound of water to relax you. To sit under the gazebo and close your eyes and just listen. The male cardinal calling to his mate. Branches whispering in the breeze. 

It is simply magical.

I dug up mint and a canna lily, washed off most of the dirt, and planted them in pots that Israel drilled holes all around so that it would sit down flat in the water. 

I used pea gravel as the top layer in the pots. There is bigger gravel on the bottom of the pots. Some plants have about an inch or so of dirt. 

And this, my friends, is my version of a water garden. A gathering of different type containers. Water plants and herbs and flowers in them. 

I’m sure I’ll be adding and changing things as I go. But this, for now, is what I envisioned.

Updated to add: Don’t have standing water over your marbles in your bee/butterfly bath, due to mosquitoes you don’t want laying larvae. 


Pour in water about halfway up the marbles and they will be able to get to water, but it isn’t standing where mosquitoes will lay larvae… See this:

I found this information here. I am going out and pouring off any water “standing” above the marbles. Live and learn!

Update:

Someone asked how to keep mosquitoes from laying larvae in water gardens. Below is the answer.

Mosquitoes seek standing water, preferring stagnant conditions. Water that stays fresh and in motion with a pump system doesn’t attract them as a breeding ground. To save energy, consider using a solar pump. In addition to goldfish, mosquito fish, minnows, koi and guppies eat mosquito larvae.
 

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55 Comments

  1. I put the anti mosquito pellets in a little cloth gift bag and leave them in my fountains for months. Otherwise they would gum up the pimp. They never seem to completely disolve, but no mosquito larvae. I don’t keep the pump on all the time.

  2. Love your water gardens. We have a bird bath that we didn't use very much so I cleaned it up and put some rocks in the top bowl. I put a little water in there too. The bottom I filled with water . Since I have no "movement" I'm afraid of the mosquito larvae. I'm thinking of getting soil and and putting flowers in the bottom part. Do you think this would work?

  3. Brenda I love the bath for our precious pollinators! I am a bit late to the TOHOT party this week due to my college semester finals but I'm so glad that I didn't miss this. Have a wonderful week.

  4. I so love water in the gardens, it adds such a charm, and I love both watching at it flowing and hearing its relaxing sound … we've put fountains wherever we could, hubby enjoy to work at them, especially to built them, and every year he'd love to add a fountain, for he loves them even more than I do !

    Thank you dearest Brenda for sharing this so fascinating corner of your patio, I'd love to sip a cup of tea with you in such a cozy atmosphere !

    Hope you're having a wonderful Spring, Sweetest One, I'm sending blessings of joy on your weekend ahead,
    with my dearest love and gentle hugs

    Dany

  5. Brenda, this is so pretty! I'm so happy that you got the fountains! They look amazing out there. I am absolutely going to make a bee and butterfly bath. Might make more than one. I know you are smiling from ear to ear. 🙂

    Thank you for joining Thoughts of Home today.

  6. Brenda- I have always enjoyed seeing how you create gardening vignettes.
    You are as creative outside as you are inside.
    Thank you for joining TOHOT!
    I think I need an outdoor umbrella near my fountain!

  7. Brenda, I love your water gardens! Can I bring up something? My worry is mosquitoes. With all the yucky sicknesses that those little bug(ers) carry around, please be careful. Treating the plants or water isn't a great idea cause the pups might drink it. The best plan would be to protect you but wash it off thoroughtly so the pups won't be tempted to lick it off your skin. You sure don't need another medical issue and we need you to keep your post shining on our screens.
    We live in Florida and have a bug guy come regularly. I think he's a close cousin to the cable guy. We get an automatic phone call the day before with a time frame so we can make sure the 12 paws are safely inside and we keep them in for an hour to give the treatment a chance to dry. What they use is safe for pets (so they say) but it kills bugs. Don't ask….I just pay and thank them. No cockroaches, ants or termites. And we have drop cloth drapes for the screenless lanai so my allergies and I can enjoy the outdoors and na-na-na-na-na the pollen but the mosquitoes are a whole other story. The bug lights zap continuously and the citronella candles are nearby even in the daytime. Take care!

    1. Just read up on Mosquito Dunks. Apparently a dog could eat one and not be harmed.
      Take a look at their site. Certified for organic use by USEPA.
      If Zika is really a threat to us I may put it in my birdbath even though I change my water each day.

  8. I guess, if you wanted, you could treat the bee and butterfly bath the same way as a bird bath by flushing it and filling it with fresh water each day. The glass marbles are heavy enough not to wash away. Is there a drain on your patio? There is always a product called Mosquito Dunks. Heard of it but have not used it myself.
    I like the idea of those beautiful glass marbles. How about putting some red ones in a small bird bath to attract hummers and make a nice shallow bath for the little birds.

  9. I've never thought about having a designated bee and butterfly waterer, but I have seen bees and wasps stop along the rim of our birdbath to get a drink. I may try making an insect waterer in a glass dish mounted on a stake or vintage spindle; with pretty marbles in it, I think it'd be an attractive addition to the little garden outside our kitchen window. Thanks for the idea! I'm sure your water gardens are bringing you lots of enjoyment. Thanks for sharing them!

  10. How beautiful! We are plagued by mosquitoes here due to it being so humid in the summer and being surrounded by trees and a lake, creeks and canals. So I don't keep any standing water anywhere around here. I'd be afraid even to try that marble thing. I do have a bird bath in my back yard but I put fresh water in it every day.

    1. Copy away. Just leave no standing water over the marbles or whatever you use. Just found that out. Let them drink the water from in between the marbles.

    1. I've been thinking about that. You can get these little things to put in the water that keeps them out. But I want to do something more natural. Will let you guys know when I figure that out.

    2. I found this on a forum…
      When we had the bee business, we used a shallow pan, filled it with water, then put some of that "eggshell foam" – that really bumpy foam they use for soundproofing and stuff – in it.

      It wicked up the water into the foam for the bees, provided a metric ton of surface area to land on, and they couldn't drown in it. Also, since there wasn't any "surface area" of standing water, there were no mosquitoes.

      The only down side was you had to check it every day – the increased surface area of the water meant for increased evaporation.

  11. So very pretty! I love the butterfly and bumblebee water bath. We just bought a new house and the previous owners built an 'eye sore' of a little porch near the back door. We hope to re do it next year, but I'm thinking of jazzing up that little eye sore for this summer. I love your ideas!!

    1. To me a garden is not just veggies and flowers. It is an ambiance of all the things you love and ways to provide for nature's critters. (Unless they're snakes; don't want snakes!)

    1. I just added an update to the bottom of this post: don't have water standing above the marbles. Let them drink between the marbles. That way no mosquitoes laying larvae.

  12. Love your water garden. The bee and butterfly bath is so pretty, I may have to put one out here. I was wondering about the water fountain since you said you didn't have electricity out there. It looks great.

    1. Well, we temporarily had the bulbs out of my night light just outside the patio doors and plugged it in there. But this morning Israel drilled a hole underneath the kitchen sink and brought in the cords and did something. I never use the dishwasher or garbage disposal, so he used the electricity from there somehow. Said if I ever moved he could switch it back. Hope I never have to move! I don't have the light outside, but both pumps have LED lights, and I have solar lighting around the patio.

    1. Israel did much of that. He does the heavy stuff. I do the directing and decorating. It is just galvanized containers with pumps sitting on some bricks. Electrical cords go over the back and you kind of hide it. Plants help there.

  13. What fun!! And thank you for explaining about the marbles in the water….I had no idea! Super cool, I'm sure it brings you much peace to sit out there and have the water sounds usurp the street sounds – I used to do the same when I lived in the city – bubbling water, windchimes, birds, flowers, candles….it all took me away from the city around me and into my own little sanctuary. Enjoy your sweet sanctuary, my friend!

    1. I doubt I'd have to clean the bee/butterfly bath often. But that's simple. Pour the marbles into a colander and wash it out then pour them back in and put water just over the height of the marbles.

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