Chinese Water Garden

In China, glazed pots are frequently used as small ponds in courtyards. This pot contains a water lily, a flowering rush and an arum lily.


  • Water lily basket
  • Piece of hessian
  • Aquatic compost
  • Large bucket
  • 70 cm (28 in) glazed pot
  • Putty (optional)
  • Bricks


  • Compact water lily 
(Nymphaea tetragona)
  • Flowering rush 
(Butomus umbellatus)
  • Arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)

1: Line the basket with hessian, insert the water lily and top up with aquatic compost. Lower the basket into a bucket of water to settle the compost.

Picture of Patio Planting

2: If the glazed pot has a drainage hole, plug it with putty and leave to harden overnight. Use bricks to create platforms for the two potted plants.

Garden Planning

3: Before filling the pot with water, position the rush so that its pot will be fully submerged and the arum lily so that the pot will be half-submerged.

Garden Planning

4: Fill the pot with water and gently lower the water lily into position – its leaves should float on the surface. This water garden will do best in a sunny position.

Gardener’s Tip: This arrangement is not recommended for anyone with small children; they can drown in a surprisingly small amount of water. Plant in late spring or early summer.