Ponds, streams and fountains are three themes that show up in most garden water features. Being able to see water or hear water moving, or both, is one of the most relaxing experiences on earth.
There are many ways to add a water feature to your garden without spending your life savings. If you want to go big, the sky’s the limit.
1. Running Water from on High
Create a layered tin (or wood) sluice of several levels that carries water down to a small pool. A buried fountain pumps water up to the top of the run so it can stream down with a pleasant-sounding flow.
Part of the fun is watching the water flow, so you may want to keep shorter plants on each side of the sluice.
2. Fountain from on High
Fountains can be just about any height as long as the water pump can shoot water high enough to come out of the opening. A fountain can be made from so many different materials like stone, ceramic urns, wood, metal and plastic.
Glass fountains are pretty, too, but more fragile. Check out the rain chain here. It’s simple but provides sight and sound gratification.
3. A Pond at Any Height
A peaceful, natural-looking pond brings calm to just about anyone lucky enough to observe it. Many garden centers have pond/fountain combination kits that take up very little space, but a pond by itself is OK, too.
Liners, filters, and pumps will be necessary to keep the water clean. Lights are optional, but they are such a wow factor.
A still-water pond with lily pads is the picture of serenity. Combine it with a waterfall that runs downhill or sinks into the ground. Provisions must be made to deal with the end destination of the waterfall.
4. An Ambitious Stream of Beauty
A stream must be contained, and this YouTube video explains what to do. The rocks alone make a beautiful “stream,” but adding water demands an effective drainage system to avoid an erosion nightmare.
A streams can be long or short, but it can have a little arched bridge either way. This feature adds a lot to the water ambience and the imagination. This is another place that night-lighting would add to the outdoor magic.
5. Ponds with Fish
Koi or goldfish are typically found in various sizes of ponds. Cold winters will entail having some kind of heater for them. Koi need about 1,000 gallons of water, three to five feet deep.
They grow until they run out of space. Goldfish are smaller and need a depth of two feet. The Water Garden site has details about how to build your own pond.
6. Splash Waterfall Minus the Pond
This waterfall puts out small cascades that hit the rocks without pooling. The water seems to disappear into the ground. This is quite a bit of work; having a pool with it may be easier, or not.
However, the rocks are very picturesque and would probably add value to a property. There is no standing water that would foster mosquitos in areas where they thrive minus the pool.
7. The Wall of Water
This is a DIY project, and it’s around $300 to make. The Interior Frugalista lays it all out in great detail on here blog . This structure is about five feet tall and less than four and a half feet wide with foot-deep trough.
This could be set against a wall or fence or be the wall in the garden. Only the trough would be near a garden wall; the water wall is in the middle of the trough.
A glass wall is reflective and sparkly when the light hits it just right. The curtain of water provides privacy.
8. The Ubiquitous but Still Desirable Flower Pot Fountain
A really easy and inexpensive fountain, small or large, is made with flower pots and pretty stones. This can be done with attractive plastic pots to cut costs even more.
Water burbles up about six or eight inches and flows down into the pots for lovely sound effects. It does the same job as an $800 fountain. The Happy Homebodies can tell you all about it here. This is ideal for starting small and branching out from this success.
9. Classic Urn Fountains
Depending on the urn, this kind of fountain can be inexpensive or way up there. Urns can be purchased online for under $120 including the water pump. This does not include the foundation it sits on, like rocks or cement or whatever works.
Better Homes and Gardens tells you exactly what to do. As this site mentioned, this urn fountain would look and sound good in the front or back garden. It’s a wonderful way to greet guests near the front door.
10. “Pond in a Pot”
The Balcony Garden Web has good instructions for a small or medium sized pond that sits on a balcony, deck or patio. This is much easier than digging up ground for a pond in the yard, and maintenance is easy as well. There is no soil to contend with, but algae is a force to be reckoned with in a pot.
Solution: paint the inside of the pot a dark color and drain when necessary. Sometimes the bottom of the pot must be cleaned when decomposed matter accumulates there.
Water can be bailed out with a bucket, or the pot can be tipped over after removing plants, but only if it can drain out without damaging the surface it hits. This type of pond usually has plants in it for color and oxygen benefits. Water lilies, cattails and irises are a few plants that do well in a small pond.
A few goldfish or a bubbler pump will take care of mosquitos. This is another small, usually successful way to add a garden water feature without a lot of fuss or cost. Goldfish can be put into an indoor aquarium in cold weather.
Create Your Own Water Feature In Your Garden
Water features come in many forms and provide calming sights and sounds that lead to relaxation and enjoyment. A feeling of accomplishment should be a reward for doing this DIY project, too.
If you can’t live by water, bring the water to you with one of these options. A water feature can give us years of pleasure in our own front or back yards, some with minimal effort and expense. Your dinner guests may want to linger longer, for good or bad, so invite carefully.
Outdoor garden water features add to your atmosphere of choice, traditional or contemporary, colorful or neutral. Express yourself and love it.