A beautiful back yard combines the best of what Mother Nature has to offer. That includes naturalistic plantings, reclaimed wood, natural stone and boulders, wildlife, and one of the most transformative, expressive features you can add to your yard – water.
Water is one of those unique features that creates a multi sensory experience, from its sight and soothing sound, to the sensation of water against your skin. And even though water doesn’t typically have a scent like you’d associate with flowers or herb gardens, anyone who is near a water source knows that it brings a certain unique scent of freshness to its surroundings.
Ponds and pools are two of the most obvious ways to bring water to your outdoor space, but don’t limit yourself to the obvious! There are so many small, meaningful ways to incorporate water in spaces both vast and tiny, that all it takes is a little bit of imagination.
Here are some ways that you can use water in your outdoor space to create an enjoyable, relaxing and sensory experience.
Use Water To Block Unwanted Noise
What would you rather hear on a pleasant afternoon outdoors: the sound of car tires racing by on pavement? Or the sound of water cascading over natural stone?
Try one more: would you rather hear the neighbor’s lawn mower? Or the sound of water splashing down a fall or fountain?
If you said the latter in each case, then a water feature is for you!
Running water can do wonders to block out all that restless, distracting neighborhood noise. Running streams, fountains and waterfalls all create “white noise” at the same auditory frequency as common disturbances like lawn mowers, traffic and air conditioners. The difference is that the sound of water is far more soothing than any of those others.
Locate a running water feature near your seating area and you’ll have a much more relaxing experience as the moving water easily masks other noises.
Make The Location Count
One of the many wonderful advantages of a water feature is that it can be enjoyed from both inside *and* outside your home. That means before you choose a spot for your new feature, consider where it can be placed to maximize your enjoyment of it.
A fountain, bubbler, or even a small patio pond with a waterfall can be placed near a window so that you can enjoy the sight and sound whether you’re outdoors or in.
Let go of the traditional idea of a large lawn and bring your pond and waterfall right up to the edge of your patio or deck. You’ll be able to hear and see the water from any seating and dining areas on your patio, where it will also serve to create a peaceful environment by blocking out most common distractions like air conditioner compressors.
If you already have a natural water feature like a stream or pond in your yard, it’s easy to add a waterfall for added pleasure, and even bring seating right to it. Design around existing features to ensure that you have easy access and a viewing area that you’ll use.
Get Double The Benefit With Rainwater Harvesting
A water feature comes with a lot of benefits, from adding visual and auditory appeal to positively affecting your health and state of mind. But did you know that it can also serve a benefit to your landscape?
Incorporate rainwater harvesting into a water feature like a running stream or add decorative rainwater barrels to just about any location in your yard. You’ll be rewarded with an easy, effective and beautiful way to collect and store up to 500 gallons of water that can be used to irrigate your landscape. This is great during water restrictions and droughts. It’s also an effective way to lower your water bills during spring and summer months!
Plus, watering your landscape with rainwater actually provides more of the nutrients that your landscape needs, and fewer chemicals (like chlorine, fluoride and other additives) than watering with a garden hose. That means a healthier, more lush landscape that is also self-sustaining.
Make A Statement
There’s quite a lot you can do with water features to add interest and personality to your outdoor space. Tall features, like water columns and bubblers, add an architectural element that can become a focal point.
Combine a water and fire feature for an especially magnificent effect. These two elements individually have the power to captivate and mesmerize. Together, they create a powerful draw, especially for nighttime enjoyment. Locate a fire pit near a pond or bubbler, or include a fireplace where your pond meets the patio to enjoy both.
Some features let you get creative and design just the type of scene that you’ll enjoy most. Spill bowls are a great example. Use one in a small space and enjoy the sight and sound of moving water. Join two, if space allows, for an added waterfall effect. Or join three or more in a larger space to create a longer flow and cascade of water. The latter can be especially effective if your property is sloped or you’re dealing with a steeply graded area. Simply install spill bowls strategically throughout the area and before you know it you can have an entire wall of water!
Yes, water looks and sounds amazing. It can add a special aesthetic to your space that you can’t get any other way. And another thing you won’t get without water is the abundance of wildlife that relies on it.
While certain types of flowers and plantings will attract birds, bees and butterflies, they won’t truly arrive (or stay!) until you add water.
Add a fountain or shallow pool where birds can splash and bathe and you’ll be rewarded by their company and playfulness. Create spaces where water can collect on flat stones, like those near a pond or stream, and you’re much more likely to attract butterflies who need the water.
Some wildlife can only exist within the context of a water feature. Think koi and goldfish in a pond. Or even neighborhood frogs hanging out in your patio pond or water garden.
Whether you choose a full size back yard pond or a compact patio water garden, the presence of water means you’ll also be able to enjoy the delightful presence of wildlife.
There are so many ways to incorporate water into your landscape that the best way to create a vision is to start with a consultation. If you’d like to learn more, and to explore how water can add beauty and serenity to your space, get in touch with us and let us know. We’ll meet with you and listen to your dreams so we can make them come true.