About Real Cedar
Spring is an excellent time to consider simple, outdoor living enhancements like container water gardens. They add serenity and a unique, new look to home landscapes as reflections of water add another dimension of interest and movement to the surrounding space. Containers gardens are an excellent way to sample the joys of water gardening before committing to a larger, permanent pond. When planned and constructed properly, these elegant structures provide calming tranquility for many years and can be built in a single weekend.
Here are a few considerations to remember when enhancing your outdoor living space with a container water garden.
Locate your container garden so it can be easily seen from the house and serve as a focal point, drawing visitors into the garden area. Consider the following when choosing a proper location:
There are unlimited possibilities for the size and shape of your garden, but usually a container with a capacity of 15 to 25 gallons is practical. Once the dimensions are determined, choosing materials comes next. One popular container building material is all-natural western red cedar. Cedar is environmentally-friendly, durable and resilient without the dangers of chemical treatment.
Chemically-treated wood has come under much scrutiny in the past year. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) no longer allows a common treatment chemical, chromated copper arsenate (CCA), to be used to treat wood for most residential settings. Recent studies have linked the arsenic in treated wood to cancer.
Safety is important for people making building material choices. All-natural cedar looks beautiful and its natural compounds resist rot and mildew without the need for chemical treatment.
Some additional aspects to consider during the construction phase include:
Once construction is completed, you can begin inserting the actual container contents. The possibilities are endless here, with nurseries and home improvement centers having ample choices of decorative plants, flowers and rocks.
Consider using a variety of vegetation including floating plants like water lettuce, water lilies and water hyacinth, as well as bog plants like pickerel rush, lobelia, lotus and iris. Some additional tips to get your garden off to the right start:
Because a container water garden is a miniature ecosystem, the plants, water and sunlight must balance together to hold algae in check. As water evaporates during the first few weeks, replace it with chlorinated water from the tap; chlorinated water helps control algae until the ecosystem is balanced, usually 60 days.
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