Water Garden in a Whiskey or Wine Barrel

Parrot Feather

Parrot Feather Plant


Terri O craft projectAfter you have gathered your supplies, and soaked your barrel overnight, creating this backyard garden showpiece should only take you about an hour.



  • Whiskey or wine barrel (You must soak barrel overnight so wooden slats swell properly before planting garden.)
  • Plastic tub liner (sits inside barrel)
  • Water pump (size: 80 to 120 gallons/hour. We used Pondworks Pump.)
  • 3/8-inch tubing
  • Dechlorinator (neutralizes chemicals in water)
  • Plants used: Water lily, Anacharis, Parrot’s Feather, Spiderwort
  • Easy access to hose






  1. Soak barrel overnight so slats swell and seal appropriately. Once dry, place plastic tub liner inside (It should fit snuggly).
  2. Fill up liner with water up to desired level.
  3. Set up water pump, according to package instructions. Remember, you want a device that pumps 80 to 120 gallons of water an hour. Once it’s installed you can adjust the flow, particularly if you’re using a decorative garden aerator, such as a frog.
  4. SAFETY TIP: Double-check outlet before you plug in. Make sure you use one that’s equipped with a GFI (ground fault interrupter) safety fuse.
  5. Now you’re ready to place plants in your water garden, starting with the most delicate, such as Anacharis. Plants that don’t need to be submersed should be elevated out of the water. We used upside down plastic plant containers.
  6. Maintain your water garden by pruning and feeding your plants, and always check your water level.

Can’t get enough gardening? Check out THIS VIDEO.