by Callie Cavett         


      What makes water gardens so beautiful and Attractive to the eye
?  The blooming flowers in the garden such as Water Lilies and Lotuses are the main reason.  The flowers add many different colors to the garden.  Water gardens probably would not be very popular if it wasn't for these flowers and their splendid array of color.

       There hardy and tropical Water Lilies. Hardy lilies are perenials that come back each year to reward the water gardner. They come in shades of red, pink, yellow and white.  They are frost tolerant in zones 3-11. Most of them require 5 to 6 hours of sunlight per day. They can be planted in pots or directly in the pond bottom.  They open in the morning and close in the afternoon, blooming for three to four days.  Having hardy water lilies in your water garden isn't a choice that you will regret.

        Tropical Water are annuals. These lilies are different because you can chose either day or night bloomers. When choosing tropical water lilies you may want to consider what time you would be able to enjoy their blooming presence.  The night bloomer will be open until late morning.  The day bloomer will just be opening when the night bloomer close. So, might need one of each so you will have gorgeous blooms 24 hours a day.  Night bloomers come in shades of pink.  Day bloomers come blue and purple shades.  White is available in both.   They have fragrant blooms that last three to four days. Tropical lily plants have twice as many blooms as hardy lilies.  They grow in zones 3-11, but are frost tender and can only winter in zones 9-11. Two weeks of air temperatures over 80 degrees Farenheit, eight inches of water spread and at least four hours of sun are required for tropical water lilies.

       Not only are water lilies beautiful, they are also beneficial to a water garden. The water lily pad resting on the water's surface insulates the pool.  During the day it reflects heat and holds heat at night, therefore, stablizing water temperature and assisting in algae control. They also take out nutrients of the water which helps to starve algae. To environmental balance a pool 40-60 percent of the water should be covered by floating foilage. A water lily is just the plant to use.

       Now that you have learned more about water lilies you will appreciate their presence a little bit more.