Potted ponds in Thailand


Water lilies.


 Water lilies and duckweed, with hibiscus hanging over the pot.


Lotus, with chillies growing to the left.


 Water lilies and Cyperus papyrus.


Tropical water lily in a colourful pot. Note that the flowers of the lily grow far above the leaves. This is to prevent damage from flooding, which is common in tropical countries.


 Not a great example, but a fun container!


 Water lettuce makes a simple statement.


Water lettuce and water lilies.


Again not the best example, but can you see the tadpoles?                              

Thanks to Ross Bayton for help identifying these pond plants.



  • Hi Kate,Lovely picture's but what would happen if one of our feathered friend's decided to take a bath could it get out again.

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,585

    And I bet you are as brown as a berry after researching all those mini-ponds.  i find plastic buckets from the pound shop make great containers for bog plants and the frogs love them too.if you dig a hole in the border and lower them in.

  • @oldchippy - I think they'd be able to fly out. They're not much deeper than my pond, and I've seen birds fly out of that easily enough.

    @happymarion - yes but it's soon faded with all this snow! Great idea re sunken buckets.


  • Great idea, I have an old tin bath in the garden I will have a go and try and make a pond would it do better if I dug a hole and put the bath in the hole and put large stones round the bath, it is not a large bath maybe a medium one oval 22ins X17ins and 8ins deep, do I put stones in the bottom? and what plants would be best. Thanks Audrey 2

  • if u just sink a bucket in the ground whats to stop beneficial beetles from falling in and drowning ?

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,585

    Hazel7, bog plants do very well in a bog rather than a pond so you can have it wet mud which beetles will scramble over but I've never had that problem.  Some beetles are at home in water but others avoid it.

  • Fab! we've a small and thriving pond (loads of newts and frogs, but never any frogspawn!), but some other options around the garden could look brilliant as well as being beneficial.  I'd be worried about them in this weather though - would it be better to put them in the greenhouse over the colder months, or wrap bubblewrap around them while leaving the top open? Sarah/ 

  • I don't have loads of sun--what would work well for a container pond (it's about 20cm deep and 100cm in diameter)?

  • MarygoldMarygold Posts: 316

    I've often considered making a container pond as I don't have room for a "proper" one but I've never been sure just how small would be possible. What would the minimum dimensions be to be practical and low maintenance?

  • @Audrey 2 - a tin bath makes a very good pond indeed (I know, I've got one). You could sink it if you want to, but you don't need to, my frogs are happy climbing into it via the wall trellis or the pile of stones I've laid against the side of the bath. But if you do sink it, it will be less likely to warm up - and therefore dry out - in summer. Do let us know how you get on.

    @SarahH2 - yes it could be worth wrapping the potted ponds in winter, as the containers could break in freezing weather (especially if terracotta). They'd be too heavy to move into the greenhouse though!

    @Esvery - I have a shady garden, too. I've got brooklime, frogbit and hornwort growing in my pond. You could also try water forget-me-not, which is very robust, though it might not flower as much in really shady conditions.

    @Marygold - any body of natural water in a garden will be used by one creature or another - I regularly find my frogs in the bird bath! You can make a decent pond using an old tin bath or Belfast sink - which may only be one-metre-squared. If you grow submerged, floating and emergent plants in it, you should attract a range of water creatures, such as frogs and water boatmen, even the odd dragonfly if it's sunny.


  • I have a small garden with one water lily plant 4 newts plus a water feature.My only problem is keeping the water clean.I have tried various soluble cleaners plus straw bails,no joy,i shall have to empty it and try again. Any ideas?

  • Try watercress, retired70eric. It helps remove algae. Just get a bag from your local supermarket and pop a bit in water, to encourage it to root. Then pot it up in soil-based compost in a pond basket, and top with a layer of stones. Gently lower it into your water feature and see what happens.  It should take a few weeks for the water to achieve a happy balance, but you should see an improvement. Fingers crossed.


  • I do have a pond approx 15`x6` x 3`+ at the deepest point. I too have birds bathing at the shallow, sloped end of the pond. Especially when birdbaths were frozen solid. I watched 1 blackbird for more than 10 minutes, with 2 others waiting their turn - there is room for several birds but blackbirds really do not like sharing! 

    I will try the watercress and see if it may clear the plant intruder - its not algae which can be removed. This is small frilled plant. The only thing that kills it is icey weather. I can hose it away but it soon grows back and can get up to 1/2" thick on top of the pond. I t is a shame because I have lovely Koi who were friendly until the weed arrived. It must be dark for them too.

    As to retired70eric.......are you trying to keep the concrete or plastic clean? Not really possible or natural. Leave the water to settle, to keep replacing with "clean" water just makes the natural balance impossible. Try a sachet of pond probiotic or similar? Good luck. I nhave had frogspawn a few years in the big pond. I remove this to a small pond as the Koi will eat it and then the tadpoles. I have newts in the smaller pond, they like the leaves at the bottom. They use a rough plank of wood to get out, as do any frogs that get in. 2 or 3 years ago I rescued frogspawn [as it would have frozen that very night] and raised 134 froglets [short version!] in a 4 x 3 fish tank. We learnt a lot about tadpoles and froglets over the 6 - 8 months. The diet varied as they morphed ending with live crickets and mealworms. It was quite something seeing a little froglet leap 6-9 inches at a cricket bigger than itself!! They were moved to a redundant aviary, fed for a few more weeks and then gradually escaped through the open door.

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