Few things are as soothing as the sight and sounds of water. From the crashing ocean waves to the smoothest reflecting pool, humans are naturally drawn to water, and for some good reasons, too.
Water has been shown to have healing powers for everything from anxiety to Alzheimer’s. And it’s not just magical thinking, either. Science backs up those feelings of peace and wellness that we often can’t quite explain ourselves.
Beyond that, water is simply one of the most enjoyable additions to a landscape design. It provides relaxation, entertainment and of course a stunning centerpiece in your yard. Front or back yard, large or small, there are many ways that you can include water in your landscape. Here are a few that can inspire you to dream of your next outdoor project.
Koi ponds, wading ponds, even koi wading ponds! There are myriad options for adding a pond to your landscape, from DIY pond kits that let you build your own pond over the span of a weekend, to naturally occurring ecosystem ponds, to professionally installed and landscaped ponds.
Before you dismiss a pond as too much work, or needing too much space, consider this: a naturally balanced pond will require almost no maintenance, because Mother Nature will take care of it herself, and for seasonal maintenance you can either devote one day in spring and one in fall to cleaning it out or you can hire a professional pond contractor to do it for you in a matter of hours.
And a great pond doesn’t need a lot of space. While the most common pond size is ten feet by fifteen feet, you can enjoy koi-gazing in as little as a two-by-three spot. Plus, a pond can be built right up to the edge of your patio or deck, so if you’re tired of all the mowing and lawn care, a pond may actually be less maintenance.
A pond can be a source of enjoyment for your whole family. Kids love to feed the fish, grown-ups love to spend a few quiet moments relaxing near the water’s edge, and yes, you really can have a pond that is designed for wading. We know someone who has turned her koi pond into an activity center, with easels and paints set up for budding artists to explore their creativity. It makes an excellent attraction for family get togethers. Add a touch of your own creativity and we bet you can think of ingenious ways to make a pond the center of fun for your family, too.
Waterfalls And Pondless Waterfalls
As the heading implies, waterfalls make a great addition to a pond, but you don’t need a pond to have a gorgeous waterfall. Pondless waterfalls are similar to fountains in that they simply recirculate water through a hidden reservoir. But unlike fountains, your waterfall can be designed in just about any length and configuration, to cascade over beautiful natural stone formations.
Waterfalls, with or without a pond, add an entirely new auditory dimension to your landscape, bringing the soothing sound of water bubbling over rocks and falling into a pool below. We know plenty of people who enjoy their morning coffee on the patio just so they can listen to the calming sound of water before starting another hectic day.
Pondless waterfalls require almost no maintenance, besides occasionally removing fallen leaves and periodically checking the water levels, since some water is lost due to evaporation. They’re easy to turn off during winter months, and can even be put on a timer so that they only run during certain times of the day, like that hour when you’re sitting on the patio with your coffee.
Waterfalls added to a pond not only look great but they can help keep your pond healthier, too. By recirculating water, they keep the oxygen levels healthy for fish, help reduce algae bloom and can even be left on during the winter to keep ice at bay. Plus, the beauty of a winter waterfall partially iced over is truly a sight to behold.
Streams are usually designed to flow into ponds and waterfalls and serve a functional as well as aesthetic purpose. Like waterfalls, they help keep water circulating to support the overall health of your ecosystem.
They are also ideal additions along walkways and garden paths, and can turn uneven, sloped ground or a generally uncooperative space into a source of peace and enjoyment. Streams pair perfectly with other water features, too, like fountains and bubblers, and are a natural showcase for stone.
Bridges are ideal companions to streams, whether it’s a single stone slab or an elaborate archway. Streams can run beneath decks, even create separation between different areas of your yard. They can be designed in just about any width, length, and curve, depending on what you want to achieve with your space.
Bubblers And Columns
Whether you’re not inclined to a pond or waterfall, or you simply want an additional low-impact and charming water feature in your yard, bubblers and columns are an excellent choice. They add both the visual and auditory components of water, are easy to maintain, and come in such a variety of sizes, shapes and styles that you might be tempted to incorporate more than one of these beauties into your landscape.
They’re perfect for just about any space – front yards, patios, gardens, wherever you want to add a bit of sound and motion. They come in sizes small enough to be installed near a window so you can enjoy the sight and sound right from your kitchen table, or large enough to be a focal point for added curb appeal.
Bubblers and columns can be anything from round and squat, to tall and elegant. Choose from a variety of materials including steel and other metals, ceramics, basalt and various natural stones. They come in plenty of colors, too, so you can indulge your creative side and imbue your personality into your landscape.
While technically a pond is a water garden, there are other ways to enjoy water and to try out your green thumb, too. Water gardens can be brought right up to your doorstep in containers placed on a patio, deck or porch. You get the benefit of water with the added perk of a low-maintenance hobby right at your fingertips.
You can keep fish in a container garden, too, which can make it a fun addition to your overall landscape design. Plus, you may find that your water garden naturally attracts other fun critters, like frogs.
Much like a pond, you can choose from a variety of plants to create your garden. And like a pond, plants should be chosen to create a balanced ecosystem that is as easy to manage as it is delightful to look at. Water lilies are always a pond and container garden favorite.
Spill Bowls And Basins
A combination waterfall and bubbler, spill bowls afford you a versatile and creative way to add water to your landscape. They’re just what they sound like – bowls that “spill” water into one another, which recirculates much like in a pondless waterfall.
But the great thing about spill bowls is that they can be linked and configured in any way you choose. Use a single basin as a standalone bubbler, or link two, three or more to create a chain of bowls that becomes a waterfall in its own right.
Use spill bowls on a patio or near a window so you can enjoy them from inside and outside your house, or incorporate them into your pond landscaping for a unique effect. They can help you take advantage of awkward spots or uneven ground, too. Install bowls at variable heights and let gravity do it job. When it comes to these bowls, your imagination is the only limit.
Water can be used in any one, more or even all of these ways to add sound, motion and beauty to your outdoor space. If you’re dreaming of a koi pond, gently curving stream or peacefully flowing waterfall, get in touch with us for a consultation. We’ll help you explore options and create a plan to fits your space – and personal style – perfectly.