Water is a magical ingredient to any garden. It adds dancing light, gentle calming sound and brings new life in the form of bathing birds, aquatic animals and lush plants. From the magnificent splendour of Renaissance fountains to the babbling brooks of English cottage gardens, water has enhanced garden design for centuries.
If you are planning to add the magic of water to your own garden, you will need consider a few essentials. Here are some tips to get you started.
Set a budget
From a simple bubble pond to a complex design of cascading water, there are a vast array of water feature options available no matter what the budget. You should also consider ongoing running costs. Most water features are powered by electricity-driven pumps, however, solar-powered options are widely available which keep costs to a minimum.
Choose a style to complement your garden
Traditional – If you have a traditional garden, you will probably wish to select a classic water feature that will blend with the setting. A wildlife pond or bird bath with small bubbling fountain may be suitable for a cottage garden, while a pedestal fountain brings a touch of Italianate elegance to a small courtyard. Where ground space is at a premium, wall fountains, such as classic gargoyles, would be suitable. Select an authentic-style finish to your feature – go for stone, old terracotta or lead.
Modern – For a contemporary, minimalist-style garden, you might wish to choose a water feature that is sleek and simple in design. Cascades and tiered fountains offer spectacular centerpiece displays, and an orb that bubbles softly onto a bed of stones provides a clean, simple shape. Water blades are an exciting option: these are eye-catching features combining the stillness of a reservoir with a dramatic sheet of falling water. To make your feature stand out, choose bright shiny materials such as stainless steel and copper. And for added spectacle, choose a feature which incorporates lights so that you can enjoy it by day and by night.
Select your site
Go for a unshaded area where natural light will glint on the water and add to the visual display. But you must also consider the practicalities. If you choose a water feature with a pump you will need a power supply nearby. Cables can be buried in the soil but hard paths and patios pose tricky obstacles. Solar and battery-powered features are handy alternatives; the only necessity with solar-powered features is to ensure they are located in a sunny position.
Love the sound
One extra thing to consider is the sound you will add to your garden. Some water features gush, others drip and gurgle. Ensure you are comfortable with the constant noise. Remember that you can opt for still rather than moving water if you’d like to preserve the silence.
Don’t forget that maintenance is key to enjoying the longevity of your water feature. Water must be kept clean and clear, so ensure you clean your pump and filters regularly in fresh water and invest in an algae stopper. A well-planned and well-maintained water feature is sure to bring added tranquility and entrancing displays to your garden.