A barrel makes a perfect pond for a patio display
Nymphaea odorata var. minor has fragrant star-shaped white flowers with golden stamens

IF YOU only have a little pond or you plan to construct a tiny pond out of a tub or barrel, it is wise to opt for one of the dwarf waterlily cultivars instead. For instance ‘Pygmaea Rubra’ (a cheery pink form) will only spread to 18in (45cm) and the amber ‘Aurora’ (bred by Latour- Marliac in 1895) reaches just 12in
(30cm) across. The great advantage of cultivating waterlilies in a little pond or tub is their closeness. While those with vast ponds must walk across planks propped up on the banks or sail out in boats to tend their plants, in a little pool they are easily accessible, making division and cleaning easy. Not to mention, they are also much easier to admire and to sniff!


■ Purchase a waterproofed wooden barrel or tub or line it with a PVC pond liner and place it in an open, level, sunny spot.
■ Fill with water – ideally rainwater. If you have to use tap water, leave it in an open container for a few days to allow the chlorine to dissipate.
■ Submerge bunches of oxygenating plants to ensure the water stays clear and pure and consider adding marginals, such as Iris versicolor or Caltha palustris, for extra interest.

                  4 Pygmies for pots

‘Pygmaea Helvola’

Bred by monet’s supplier Latour-marliac, has primrose yellow flowers. Depth 4-8in (10-20cm), spread 12in (30cm) AGm


true to its name, this form blushes through shades of pink and apricot as it ages. Depth 6-12in (15-30cm), spread 12in (30cm)


A carmine pink waterlily with starry blooms that flush red as they mature. Depth 6-12in (15-30cm), spread 24in (60cm)

‘PygmaEa RubRa’

Ideal for the uK, this small pink-red form loves cool conditions! Depth 6-12in (15-30cm), spread 18in (45cm)

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