Water features like garden ponds, waterfalls, and fountains have a naturally calming effect and showcase your landscaping “A” game. Who does not like sitting on the back patio and hearing the gentle flowing of water or seeing their garden oasis glistening? A well-designed and executed water feature project will transform your landscaping into your paradise while also potentially increasing your overall home value.
The most important part of a garden pond or any landscape water feature is construction. A poorly-executed installation can result in being an eyesore instead of a relaxing, stunning focal point. Speaking to a professional and working out the best placement, materials, and overall landscaping (after all, your water feature is one part of your landscaping, not the whole thing) in your yard or garden is crucial to having your vision become reality. When planning your garden pond or water feature a few major aspects to consider are:
- Location: proximity to home, electricity availability, exposure to sun, etc.
- Size of your feature: volume of water will affect amount of maintenance needed
- Budget for your new water feature
- Surrounding landscaping: complimentary plants and hardscaping
- General construction tips such as liner type, installation, etc.
- Lighting your new water feature with garden lights or underwater lighting
To illustrate the potential of your garden pond and water feature, here are some inspirations that caught our eye and details on what makes them stand out:
This pond is beautiful yet discrete. It does not draw the eye too dramatically but instead blends more with its surroundings. The placement of the plants is very precise, building up in height to finally match the rest of the landscape. In this way, the water feature melds seamlessly into the overall landscape design and provides a peaceful, tranquil feel. The border of the pond draws just enough attention to make it noticeable without being jarring almost as if the landscape designer simply framed a naturally-occuring feature.
Photo: hgtv.com/Jeff Stafford
Photo: Eye of the Day Garden Design Center
These examples show how fountains are a great way to create an elegant look or can be used as a more artistic installation. On the left, a more traditional fountain blends with its landscape surroundings and water in its color while also providing the pleasing sounds water features provide. On the right, a fountain is shown as a more shocking and bold piece, providing both the audible pleasantness and an artistic showpiece for the area. For those thinking a fountain is a massive water-usage item, this is incorrect. Fountains are designed with water conservation in mind and recycle the water used. Fountains in a garden can also help provide moisture in the air for surrounding plants.
This small water feature has three wonderful functions. First, it creates a natural look and ties in the stone hardscaping with the rest of the surroundings. Next, this water feature provides a barrier for the garden itself. It acts as a gateway to the rest of the landscaping so that the plants do not simply cut off, but ease into the water feature which, in turn, eases into the walkway. Lastly, the water feature here adds that audible delight to the deck above. The placement of the feature below the deck level allows the sound to be muted and maintain its place as a gentle background ambience perfect for relaxation.
Perhaps one of the more common images that come to mind when people consider garden ponds is the koi pond. Creating a zen atmosphere, this pond features Asian-inspired lanterns and structures to complete the look. As a larger pond on this list, this pond is a centerpiece to the yard, surrounded by moss-covered stones and well-maintained shrubs and smaller trees.
Looking to add a little architectural interest to your water feature? A multilevel water feature like this adds visual interest, tranquil sounds of small waterfalls, and a more dynamic look to your landscaping. This installation even functions as a stream under a walkway making it more unique and visually stunning. Having the multiple levels also helps bridge the height difference between the rest of the yard and where the pathway leads.
This fountain attached to the wall looks as if it were original to the structure when, in fact, it is a modular piece designed to look aged and gives character to the surrounding landscape. Perhaps one of the more specific looks on this list, this water feature certainly stands out and is one of the most unique!
This stone pond is elevated and bridges the gap between the height of the patio and the height of the yard. The very specific usage of plants in the water of this stone pond also helps create a beautiful transition involving the green of the yard and the stone of the patio.
Last on our list is the waterfall feature. This is a larger waterfall feature but they can come in any size. The peace and serenity that is provided by the sound of a flowing waterfall is matched by the visual aspect itself. This feature is sure to provide that relaxing feel you are looking for in your garden.
These garden pond and water feature inspirations are simply a small sample of what your garden could be like. The possibilities are endless and you can work with your landscape professional to create as unique a water feature as you desire. Which of these stands out most to you?