Water lilies (Nymphaea Species) provide much beauty in water gardens, each plant replaces it’s flowers as soon as they start to fade. Their flowers float on the surface and come in every color in the rainbow, including bi-colors. Most water lilies are either tropical (freeze/frost conditions in winter will kill them) and hardy lilies (survive up to zone 3). Northern gardeners will need a hardy variety. Bird bath type heaters should keep the water in your container from freezing.
In a container environment they tend to take over other plants you might want to place in them. What if you want water lilies and a couple other plants for variety without having to install a pond or a large stock tank type of container? That’s not a problem because water lilies also come in dwarf sizes, also known as miniature water lilies. In addition to being perfect for container water gardens, they also work indoors near a window where they can receive full sun or in small containers on a patio table. The Japanese call these small table top versions “bonzai water gardens”.
In 2009 an extremely rare pigmy Rwandan water lily was stolen from the famous Kew Gardens near London. The extremely valuable specimen grows in mud rather than water. A Scotland Yard spokesperson said that the thieves stole the irreplaceable tiny water lily in an area not covered by security cameras.