Great project, I don't have a water feature in my yard either, but I don't want one. I do not like frogs, so have never had the urge for a water feature !
I was wondering how the plants would fare when the heat hits 100, did you pick out the plants with that in mind? Can they tolerate the hot water?
I used a good sized horse trough and made a platform of cedar with a barrel to create a waterfall. I LOVED that water feature and wish I would get around to making another one some day. THAT one I had INSIDE a 6 x 12 chain link dog run with cement floor so I could padlock when we had little people company. I am very distressed at how many people don't realize the drowning risk a water feature is for little kids.
We've already hit the high 90's and while the kettle has heated up, all it appears to have done is stimulate growth. I'm having to add about an inch of water every day to compensate for evaporation.
All of these are tougher than nails plants and pretty much kill-proof. They're invasive in natural areas and once established,folks battle them for years.
Good point about taking extra care when small children are present. A child can drown in 6"of water in a 5 gallon bucket.
I found it interesting that you used chameleon plant in your water garden. I did not know it could grow in water. I have it contained (barely!) in one area of my garden, around a Nikko blue hydrangea, some Northern Sea Oats, and an Indian Hawthorne, in about 50-75% shade. In the worst summer heat, the chameleon plant seldom receives water outside of the soaker hose area immediately around the hydrangea and the occasional overspray of the sprinkler. Yet, it grows quite nicely. What an adaptable plant.