Topic: Water Features

Date Posted: Friday, December 11, 2015
Posted by: Tanya Zanfa (Master Admin)

Gardner’s World: Go with the flow when choosing a water feature

Gardner’s World: Go with the flow when choosing a water feature

WHEN it comes to gardens I think that the most effective way to introduce a touch of magic is with the addition of a water feature.

Any outdoor space can be given an enchanting effect by the way that water adds movement and sound as well as reflecting precious natural light.

If you decide you would like to have a water feature then there is huge scope for its creative use as part of your overall garden design. Consider first what type will best complement your house and garden, rather than just choosing one you simply like the look of. If you want to position one near your house, then a formal type of water feature, like a raised pool, would be well suited. Natural stone or brick built raised pools are by their very nature architectural and will harmonise well with the geometry of a house. They are also much easier to maintain than a sunken pond surrounded by planting.

Add a modern touch by making a still water reflection pool to create a tranquil and relaxing space ideal for meditation.

Alternatively, you can introduce moving water in the form of formal jets or ornamental fountains to add more visual interest and give your garden a soothing soundtrack.

Informal style water features with flowing curves will look much more natural when set away from the rigid lines of the house. Still water natural ponds also need an open position away from deep shade and any overhanging trees to have a good chance of maintaining a balanced eco-system.

A pond will attract more wildlife if it's made with gently sloped sides or a pebbled beach so that birds, frogs and other animals can access it easily.

You can even go one step further to encourage more wildlife by extending the pond liner past the edge of the pond with soil and moisture loving plants on top to make a bog garden around the pond, but ensure the pond liner has some drainage holes to prevent logging.

Moving water can be effective with informal water features by sculpting natural looking streams and cascades to meander through the landscape as they would in nature. This is a particularly effective approach to take for sloping sites where you can work with the natural gradient to create a series of interesting mini waterfalls.

Most of the water features mentioned so far require a fair amount of space, but there are also options for very small gardens.

Wall mounted features take up very little space and can form striking focal points in a huge variety of styles to suit your house and the effect you want to achieve. Alternatively, container ponds can be made or bought ranging from sealed half barrels to bubbling ceramic pots to fit comfortably in the smallest of spaces.

Another option is a the re-circulating water feature with hidden underground reservoirs which pump a gentle flow of water through and over the surface of drilled decorative stones or sculptures. If children use your garden then water features with hidden sumps like these are a much safer choice than open ponds or raised pools and they also stay clean for longer due to minimal exposure to sunlight and debris.

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