Wander to the back of my vegetable garden and you'll find a 4X2' stock tank water garden tucked in behind the potting shed wall.
We added it a few years ago to fill in an empty spot that was an awkward shape. It had become a weeding nightmare and covering that extra area meant less weeding. It did not mean less work! Beautiful as a pond may be it does involve some maintenance but the rewards are high. This week I had 5 of the 'Colorado' water lilies open at the same time. Later the dwarf yellow Nymphaea Pygmaea Helvola ' opened its first bud. This water lily is more hardy and can be wintered over quite easily in freeze areas as long as the water doesn't freeze to the bottom the pond. I remember reading a long time ago that exotic water lilies will be up on stalks and hardy native ones will be floating on the water. I wonder if this is true?
Both these water lilies were divisions from my friend Pam Penick who gardens at Digging and who has an 8' stock tank garden. In the summer the Colorado water lily can quickly cover the surface of the pond. You need that to keep down the algae bloom.
To add a little height I added a couple of native limestone rocks, on which sit a ceramic frog. Today I noticed that a seed from the dwarf papyrus had settled in one of the depressions in the rock.
I have a couple of plants growing in floating islands, A variegated Japanese sedge and a dwarf papyrus. Directions on how I made these floating islands can be found here. Regrettably my lovely fish fountain succumbed to the two nights of 18° temperatures this winter. The water continued to flow which at least kept the ice from completely freezing over but caused the concrete to spall and eventually break apart. So sad to see it go. It has been replaced by a small bubbling fountain.
Those water lilies were down at the bottom of the pond during this freeze period so they survived to bring me joy again this summer. The papyrus and sedge in large buckets in the greenhouse.