My Water Gardens


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!


52 comments

  1. I love your water gardens! There are several ideas here I need to try I think. How often do you have to clean out your bee/butterfly bath? I really like the looks of it.
    And the plants in the water do well with minimal dirt? Mine are in tons of dirts but it makes the water so dirty, I'd love to try it your way.
    :)
    https://gwingal.blogspot.com/2016/04/phlox-phlower-bed.html

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    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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  2. Your water gardens are beautiful! What a great idea for a bee and butterfly bath. I must try it.

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    1. Well, it was simple enough for me to do. I let Israel figure out the technical stuff!

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  3. 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!

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    1. Well, I've been reading up on how to take care of wildlife in your city yard.

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  4. Hi Brenda! Your water garden is so pretty! You really know how to spruce up a place! I love it!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. I get there by and by. I start out not knowing what I'm doing and just manage to put the puzzle together.

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  5. It is totally perfect. I love it all. they look amazing with the plants. Great job.

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    1. Well, it isn't your waterfall. But it's running water!

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  6. Love your garden!! What a wonderful idea for the bees and butterflies. Enjoy your beautiful sanctuary!!How did you install the water fountain?

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    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.

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  7. 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.

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    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.

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  8. "That is a bee and butterfly bath. They can hover on the marbles and take a bath without drowning in the water."

    Well learn something new every day!!! :) Love that!

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    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.

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  9. I've never heard of a bee and butterfly bath, but that is so neat, and really cute! Your water gardens are so pretty! Love that they are in galvanized tubs! And your flowers are lovely! ~Rhonda

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    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!)

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  10. I love it Brenda...Looks like most of us want to have a bee and butterfly bath now too!

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  11. So lovely, Brenda...and I love the bee and butterfly bath, I've never seen that before! It really is a magical place!

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  12. Yes it is magical.Thank you for sharing your garden with all of us. It's calming just to look at the photos. I pretend I can hear the water.

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  13. 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!!

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  14. These gardens are both refreshing and magical! It has been hot and humid here and working in my veggie garden has been a sweaty experience!
    Looks beautiful, Brenda.
    Jemma

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  15. Count me in as one who didn't know about the bee and butterfly bath. I guess everything needs a 'Calgon moment' now and then.

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  16. Would love to do what you have done. Limited income prevents me from buying pumps and all the containers....as well as plants,gazebo, and electrical assist.

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  17. How do you keep mosquitoes from breeding in the marble water since it is not circulating? I really like the idea.

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    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.

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    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.

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    4. Ah, found this...http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Building_a_bee_waterer/
      They also did what I did, used marbles, but left no "standing" water. Which means the bees and butterflies suck the water out from between the marbles. I will go outside and pour off the standing water.

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  18. Brenda, love your water garden and the bee and butterfly bath is a great idea...I may need to copy! Happy Thursday! Pam @ Everyday Living

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    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.

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  19. Beautiful water gardens! Also love the idea of a bee & butterfly bath. Enjoy! Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

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  20. 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.

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  21. 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!

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  22. 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.

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  23. 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!

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    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.

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  24. I am completely inspired by your water gardens.They are FABULOUS.

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  25. Never heard of this! How neat!

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  26. 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!

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  27. 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.

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  28. 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

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  29. I love your water garden and the marble bee bath is so cute.

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  30. Thanks so much for teaching us how to do this and for sharing with the Thursday blog hop!

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  31. I love the marble garden. I will try it.

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  32. I had never heard or a bee and butterfly garden, but it makes perfect sense!

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  33. 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.

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  34. What a great feature to your house. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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