Sunday, September 12, 2010

Water Gardening in New York City

You Can Water Garden
◄ This simple pond in New York City contains white hardy water lily and papyrus plant. Pond plants are not just for a tropical environment. You will be amazed with the wide variety of plants that you can grow even if you live in a cold winter climate. If you live in New York City, you can grow a delightful water garden.

Just add sunshine and water...
Create a home oasis with the soothing sounds of bubbling water and the peaceful sight of colorful fish and blooming lilies right in the middle of New York City. Just add sunshine and water and you will have the elements needed to create your own personal pond. You can build an above ground pond either on a roof top or on a balcony. All that is needed to grow the plants are water and 6 hours of sunshine per day.

What kind of pond plants can I grow?
Pond plants are not just for a tropical environment. You will be amazed with the wide variety of plants that you can grow even if you live in a cold winter climate. New York City is located in growing zone 7. This is the same winter climate as South Lake Tahoe, California - located in Northern California at 6,000 feet. The 3 hardy plants that will grow in this climate zone are:
Hardy Water Lily, Anacharis, and Cattail. There are over 65 varieties of plants you can grow in New York City that will last through the wintertime.

All plants can be purchased from my online store or email me:

Where do I find fish if I live in the city?
Fish are absolutely necessary for mosquito control and to balance the ecosystem inside the pond. Some city and urban areas do not have pet stores. However, fish can be purchased by mail order or online. Gold fish will grow up to 6 inches. I recommend common goldfish, fancy goldfish, or the calico shebunkin. I do not recommend koi, as they will eat your plants.

No Yard Required

Ponds can be above ground or in-ground. They can be very large (like a small lake) or very small (such as a wine barrel). In New York City it can be a challenge to find gardening supplies. When pond containers, liners, and wine barrels are hard to find - a large 15 gallon plastic utility tub and even a child's hard plastic wading pool will work nicely to create a sweet water garden.

My kiddy pool pond. This hard plastic child's wading pool is overgrown with water lettuce, water hyacinth, parrot feather, and dwarf papyrus. Just add water, plants, fish, and sunshine.

How do I Care For My Pond in the Wintertime?
Plants such as water lily will go dormant during down to their tubers and roots, but they do come back in the springtime. When the weather warms back up, contact me and I will send you the best acting fertilizer you can buy. Other plants (such as water iris, primrose creeper, cattails, rush) will also go dormant and come back as the weather warms. A simple dome greenhouse or hoop house can be made to help your plants and fish through the cold season.

Hoop House
A hoop house is very easy to build with PVC pipe and 4 mil. thick plastic sheeting. An easy way to insulate a hoop house is with a layer of 1" bubble size bubble wrap in between 2 sheets of 4-6 mil. thick plastic. All supplies can be purchased at any major hardware store. If you do not have the convenience of a hardware store, the supplies can be purchased online through This type of greenhouse is good for mild climates where plants simply need to be protected from frost. A large aquarium water heater will help keep the water above freezing. Circulating the water with a pump will keep it from icing over. And stringing large C-7 or C-9 Christmas tree lights inside the hoop house will raise the air temperature by 20°.

See: How to Build a Cold Frame
A cold frame is actually a mini greenhouse built low to the ground. This cold frame is for a vegetable garden, but you can make one that will also work nicely for a container pond. Cold frames should be south facing with the top at a 40° angle. Materials used are old windows or clear Plexiglas. The advantage of the cold frame over a hoop house is that it can be heated with a conventional heater. Large Christmas tree lights also work well to raise the air temperature by 20°. This type of cold frame will work for climates with an average winter temperature of 30° Fahrenheit.

Cold Climate Pond Plants
What kind of plant grow in cold climates? What kind of greenhouse should I build? How do I heat a greenhouse? There are over 60 plants that you can grow even if you live in Nebraska or New York. Read about the pond plants that you can grow in a cold climate including pond plant pictures. Learn what kind of greenhouse to build and how to winter over your plants!
Find out more!


Esupply said...


Nice blog! Water gardens have become very popular over the past few years and these gardens typically consist of a man-made pool or pond with aquatic plants and often ornamental fish. You can beautify the appearance of your garden or yard by adding a few components that give your entire yard a professional look. Water gardens can completely transform your outdoor living space into an attractive paradise where you can relax and unwind. Thanks a lot...

Little Giant Waterers

emlamb said...

I am interested in putting in an in ground pond in the back of a brownstone in NYC. Are there contractors or irrigation specialists you would recommend?