If Monet’s lilies have inspired you but your garden is too tiny for a large, naturalistic feature, make a small formal pool. Place a seating area close by from which to enjoy the flowers and the cloud patterns reflected in the water.
When to plant: Early spring.
At their best: Summer.
Time to complete: 3 days to dig out and plant.
You will need: Aquatic plant baskets, aquatic soil, gravel, well-rotted organic matter, oxygenating plants.
Plants you could use: Arum lily – Zantedeschia aethiopica, Bergenia, Nymphaea ‘Pygmaea Rubra’, Nymphaea alba, Iris laevigata ‘Variegata’, Iris laevigata var. alba, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’.
Dig the pond
Follow the steps for a wildlife pond but use strings and pegs to mark out straight edges, rather than curved sides. Like the wildlife pond, this one needs a shelf for the marginals and a deeper area for the lilies.
Call in the experts
The raised brick edging and patio around the pond are best built by a professional landscaper, unless your skills are up to the job. Make a bog garden around the pond, enrich the soil with organic matter, and plant up.
Plant the pool
Plant the lilies and set them on the bottom of the pool, and place the irises and arum lily on the shelf. Include a few oxygenating plants to keep the water clear.
Lilies for a small pond
You don’t need a large pond to enjoy the stately beauty of water lilies; many smaller species and cultivars are perfectly suited to small pools or well-sealed containers. Choose from shades of red, pink, white, and yellow, and look out for those with unusual foliage markings too. The flowers only open fully when in sun, so plant them in a brightly lit position. They also need still water, and will not thrive in a pond with a fountain or waterfall.