QUICK GUIDE TO OUTDOOR WATER FEATURES
A water feature can bring movement, tranquillity, and aesthetic appeal to your garden. Set off with attractive outdoor pavers, a water feature can be the central focal point of your garden or be used complement a larger theme. While fountains, water walls, small ponds, and Japanese deer chasers are very popular for houses, water features can be designed from scratch.
No matter how large or small your outdoor space, you can find a suitable water feature to blend in to the space. Along with attractive pavers, such as sandstone pavers, water features can be designed to enhance the look and feel by bring in more colour, sound, and shape.
Single container water features
These can be used to quickly install a using a pot, barrel, container pond, fountain, or any sort of weather-proofed container.
- Plants – aquatic plants such as sedges and lilies are great for small pots and containers. Daylilies, irises and papyrus go well in wet soil areas around water features.
- Fish – adding fish brings colour to your water feature. Remember to keep your fish protected from predators with pond netting where necessary.
- Water circulation – circulating pumps can be used to circulate the water in your feature using the same water.
- Setting – you can set the feature so that it’s at ground level. Alternatively, water features can be set above ground by using borders to surround the basin or pot. One option is to stack stones around the pot or place the container on top of a bed of stone to support the feature. The setting not only enhances the aesthetic appearance of the feature, it provides a place for the water to run off.
These are more complicated than single container water features.
- Moving streams will usually require at least two pond shells or container pond liners, a pump, and some plants and rocks to surround the stream. Set your feature with a rough paper sketch and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the pond shells.
- Build up the edges with capstones of your choice. This disguises the lips of the liner, allowing the pond blend into the rest of the garden.
- Install the pump and fountain. Water from the lower pond shell will usually be pumped back up to the higher placed shell.
- Fill with plants and fish where appropriate.
Although they involve more work to design and set up, water walls are a wonderful and elegant way to use water to enhance the look of your garden. Water walls are great for smaller spaces as they are very space efficient.
- As in the water pond, you’ll need an upper and lower reservoir as well as a recirculating pump to move water from the lower reservoir to the higher reservoir.
- Natural stones are suitable materials worth considering for the reservoirs and wall face.
- A filter may be useful if the water wall tends to collect leaves or small insects.
- Lighting is a great way to highlight your water wall at night.
- Larger potted plants can be placed next to or on either side of the wall as effective decorative elements.