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Looking For Calm? Plan A New Water Feature In Your Garden

Adding a water feature to your backyard is a wonderful way to create another layer of serenity in your quiet space. The tranquil sounds of water bubbling, the sunlight glinting off the surface… all intended to enhance your calm.

If you want to add your water feature this spring, for a summer of enjoyment, you should start planning now!

What Kind Of Water Feature Do You Want?

There are several questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How big a feature do you want? This depends on the size of your yard and your existing landscaping. You don’t want the feature to become overwhelming. Balance is everything!
  • You also need to decide why you want a water feature? If it is to enjoy the sound of running water, you’ll want to place it not too far from seating areas and you’ll want an option that runs, like a waterfall, rather than a standing pond.
  • What type of feature would suit your current landscaping?
    • Pond
    • Waterfall
    • Stream
    • Fountain
    • Some combination of the above?
  • How much budget you want to set aside for this project? With water features, ‘you get what you pay for’ is a true statement. If you skimp up front, you’ll have more maintenance issues downstream.

Features Of Different Options

Pond — A pond, whether inground or above, including fish or not, is a beautiful addition. You can add a waterfall, to get more of the sound of water effect. Either way, a pond is lovely but it is also space consuming so you need to have a big enough yard to accommodate a pond without risking that someone is going to fall into it because it’s taking up too much space! Consider also, if you have a sloping area in your garden, how a waterfall would look, with a pond at the base, making positive use of the natural grade of the ground.

Ponds are build with a pump to ensure that oxygen levels are adequate for maintaining fish and plants. Your setup will also include a filtration system, which removes debris and other matter that might throw the pond out of balance. While a pond isn’t expensive to maintain, the initial cost might be a consideration, particularly if you want to add a waterfall to your feature.

Placement of an inground pond is particularly important if you want to avoid flooding your garden! A low spot that will already be taking the bulk of the spring run off might overwhelm the pond, in terms of water and chemical balance. Another consideration is what trees you have around the pond. Overhanging deciduous trees can look romantic until you end up spending a lot of time cleaning the leaves out of the pond.

Pondless Waterfall — As stated above, you can include a waterfall with your pond, but if you have small pets or children and are concerned about their safety, a pondless waterfall is a great option! The waterfall is designed to flow into a rock and gravel basin, which by way of a pump, is cycled back up and down the waterfall without pooling.

Utilizing natural elements, like boulders and rocks, to create your waterfall allows you to place it in your garden, almost as if just appeared there one day! A waterfall can also spruce up a space that is otherwise less visually appealing, like a standard retaining wall. Double it up with a waterfall and now you have a focal point to enjoy!

Stream — If you really want to create an interesting focal point and have the space for it, you could use a stream as a way to connect two separate features. For example, you could have a waterfall that is connected by a tiny stream to a pond. With the addition of foliage and rocks, the whole water feature can look very natural!

Fountain — If space is an issue, a fountain might be the perfect solution. An above ground fountain creates a gorgeous focal point in a garden. You can do anything from a traditional stone fountain or bird bath in the middle of your yard to a modern spherical waterfall fountain feature on your deck.

Just be sure to match it to the style of your home and garden. A focal point that doesn’t blend well with the surroundings isn’t a plus. If you use smaller, self-contained fountains, you can place several of them in your garden, surrounded by flowers and foliage, so that they almost seem part of the landscape.

Water gardens — A water garden is a space where you cultivate water plants. This could be a watertight container or a group of them on your deck, or set amongst other foliage in the garden. Lotus is a great example of a beautiful flower that blooms in water. Water lettuce and canna plants are other options.

Make A Water Feature Part Of Your Larger Landscaping Project

If you were planning to revamp your landscaping this spring, including a water feature in the plan from the beginning will be a lot easier—and less expensive—than adding it in later. Having to grub up some of your newly planted flower beds to make room for the pond isn’t ideal!

Whether you’re planning to DIY your project, or hire a professional to get it done, visit your local garden center for advice and information to make sure that your water feature project is a success you can enjoy for years to come!

Backyard tranquility: Landscape with Waterfalls

Backyard water features are becoming more and more popular, year after year. Who wouldn’t like the soothing aquatic sounds and the sparking quality as the sun light reflects off the trickling water. Big or small, birdbath or a koi pond, there is something for everyone and making a splash in your garden this season can be both easy and inexpensive.

Consider these questions:

How big do I want this feature to be? What type of shape? Cost?

It would be difficult to install a waterfall feature that flows into a large pond if you do not have the adequate space. Be honest with your limitations and consider the space, shape and balance before committing to a design. Also, consider your wallet. Cost can be a big factor when considering the type of pond you want to build. There are many inexpensive options – ready-to-install kits found at your local home garden center, professional landscapers and DIY resources found online.

Pond vs. pondless?

A pond is a beautiful living thing. An established ecosystem works with Mother Nature to provide food, shelter and safety to the wildlife living in its waters or around it. A pump circulates the water to ensure adequate oxygen levels for healthy fish and plants. A filtration system is also needed to remove debris and organic matter, and to maintain a stable, biological balance in the pond. Once established, a pond is all-natural, low maintenance and will run year-round. However, the initial cost and operating costs could be far greater than the pondless option.

A pondless waterfall works very much like a regular pond except after the hole is dug; it is then lined with rock and gravel and filled with water. The water is then circulated from below the rocks by a pump and is cycled over and over. Similar to operating an outdoor swimming pool, the water feature will not be operational for parts of the year. Pondless water features allow you to have the benefits of a waterfall without the presence of pooling water which may be a safety concern for parents of young children and small pet owners.

Research online, visit gardening centers and home and garden shows for ideas. Weather you choose to make this a weekend project or hire a professional team, this will surely be a beautiful addition to any backyard.

Come in and check out our simple, no digging, pondless backyard waterfall called Colorfalls.

For more free landscaping advice, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help you out.