Because water is the most basic element of life, landscape water features have design qualities that few other features in the garden possess. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, fountains, ponds and streams evoke an emotional response as well. They can be an invigorating sight in the morning and can set the scene for relaxation at the end of a hectic day. They invite birds and beneficial insects to visit the garden and mask the noises of urban life with the soothing sounds of splashing water. They make us feel more connected to the natural world.
As with any design choice for your home, the best landscape water feature will be the one that best suits your family’s life style. Practical factors to consider include cost, installation time and upkeep. For long-term satisfaction, design considerations may be even more important. A water feature will instantly become a strong focal point in your garden and as such, will have a strong impact on the garden’s overall style, mood and atmosphere.
Choose a feature that will complement the decorative style of your garden and that will enhance the atmosphere that you want to achieve. A still pond is more suitable for a place of relaxation and meditation than for a busy backyard built for family activities. A stately fountain is ideal for a formal garden but may look out of place in a garden designed for casual entertaining.
Decorative Ponds and Pools
Whether you choose a decorative pool with a splashing waterfall or a serene and still pool, you’ll need to install a circulating pump system to keep the water fresh and clean. Ready-to-assemble kits are available that come complete with a pump, filter and liner. Flexible liners allow you to create a pond with a natural style. Pre-assembled ponds with a fixed liner are available as well.
Surround the pond with rocks and plants to visually connect the water feature with the rest of the garden but make sure that you don’t block access to the pump’s operating system. Check for leaks regularly, particularly around the structure’s linkage points.
Turn a Garden Pot into a Fountain
Garden pots, large ceramic vases and urns can be turned into bubbling fountains. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to able to run the electrical cord from the pump to an outside electrical outlet. Because they already have drainage holes in the bottom, garden pots are typically the easiest to transform into water features. Some pump kits come with attached nozzle kits, making installation. You can purchase nozzle kits separately as well. Once you’ve run the electrical cord through the bottom, use silicone caulk to seal the hole to keep the pot water-tight.
Easy-to-Install Water Features
Bird Baths are the easiest water features to install in the garden. Incorporate watering them into your daily routine, and you’ll enjoy a parade of feathered visitors to your backyard or garden. Bird baths are available in both traditional and contemporary styles in a variety of materials.
For patios, balconies and decks, pre-assembled wall fountains are readily available that make it easy to add the element of water to your outdoor living areas. Simply add water, plug them in and they’re ready to go. In urban apartments, wall fountains are ideal for covering the noise of the city.
No matter what water feature you choose for your garden, be sure to make the most of their eye-catching quality by putting them at a center of a garden vignette. Stage mature plants around them to help make them feel as if they’ve been part of your landscape for generations. Add a few bamboo poles if you’d like to give the water feature a tropical feel. Be sure and place comfortable seating nearby so that your family and guests can fully enjoy the serene sight and soothing sounds of water.