Decks, patios, and porches can make for small and creative water gardens. Remember the plants you add to these features may need soil and to be potted and be aware of what depth you can plant the plants. In containers, lilies can be planted from 4 inches to 3 feet deep. The deeper the lily is planted the fewer blooms it would have in a pot as the crown should have exposure to sunlight. If planting shallow or just at the waters surface there are many bog varieties to choose from. There are also some marginal bog plants that can go 4 to 8 inches deep and if you have lots of sun and fertilizer and space a lotus can be a great addition.
Sweet flag, saggitaria (Arrowhead), flag iris, water lilies like laydekeri lilacia or helvola make nice selections.
Pictured above is a woden frame with a rubber liner simply attached to the wood underneath. If making yourself it should be quite inexpensive and you can even incorporate seating.
Tetragona water lilies and sweetflag above in an18 gallon sealed pot. Many above ground ponds that will freeze solid should just be empties and new plants purchased each spring.
Another deck option made of wood and very easy to build. As pictured keep plants away from a splashing fountain or the plant and leaves will sit there and rot. Aquatic does not always mean aquatic on the top.
Above is a half whisky barrel. Every big chain store like lowes, home depot, Menard’s, even walmart carry whisky barrel lines in the out door section in spring and summer. Here we have some dwarf water lilies, duckweed, snowflakes, and arrowhead.
Finally we have another container, sealed and turned into a summer water garden, remember most of the plants like lilies and bogs need dirt so either have dirt in the containers or have smaller containers of dirt in the containers. Above has orange snowflakes (on surface) and some zebra rush and blue rush as the grass like plants.