15 Minute DIY Water Garden

This project is so simple you can set it up in 15 minutes or less. All you need to do is place the metal tub where you want it, fill it with water and add plants. Easy-peasy!


  • Galvanized tub at least 12 inches deep (available at hardware stores, flea markets and farm supple co-ops)
  • Water plants
  • Water
  • Submersible pump (optional)

Water Garden Plants

Adding plants to your water feature not only increases the beauty, there are practical purposes too. The plants absorb carbon dioxide and minerals, which helps keep algae in check. They also deter mosquitos by covering the water surface.

Galvanzied tub water garden

Many water plants are considered invasive, so always do some research making a selection. This garden is contained so there isn’t the same risk as with a large in-ground pond, but it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution.

Louisiana Iris (Iris fulva, Iris hexagona, Iris brevicaulis, Iris giganticaerulea, and Iris nelsonii): These iris will add a nice vertical element to your water garden plus colorful blooms. Plant the rhizomes in a pot and sink the pot about 2 inches under the water.

Yellow Floating Heart (Nymphoides peltata): With heart-shaped leaves no larger than four inches, this aquatic perennial produces a brilliant yellow bloom. Blooms usually last no more than one day, but it’s worth the tranquil beauty and effect it brings to the water garden. Also known as water fringe.

Graceful Grasses® Baby Tut® Umbrella Grass (Cyperus involucratus): This elegant, rich green water garden grass can reach up to 24 inches. Use it to soften edges and contrast fleshy-leaf floating plants.

Adding Movement

It’s easy to create ripples in your water garden with an electric or solar water pump. A small $10 to $20 pump is all you need. In addition to the soothing sound, moving water will prevent mosquitos from laying eggs in your water garden.