A recent survey showed that the most popular reason people use their yard is for relaxation. Many people like to add some type of water feature to their yards to bring a sense of peace and calm, to connect with nature, or to attract wildlife. Water features range from a small fountain to a large pond, stream, or waterfall. They can be used to enhance any style—from a modern copper fountain in a rock garden, or an old-world fountain in a topiary garden, to a natural-looking pond in an English country garden. Below are a few ideas to get started.
- Stand-alone fountains are an easy place to begin. They bring art, style, and a focal point into the landscape. Fountains come in a variety of sizes and finishes, can be purchased at garden centers, and just need water and power to operate. They recycle water through a water pump system. Even a stand-alone fountain can bring birds and wildlife into your yard.
- Other water features that use water pumps to cycle water include bubbling urns or spitting fountains. They run over the outside of the urn or water feature and that water runoff is collected in a hidden basin to be recycled back into the urn or fountain.
Water Container Gardens
- Just like you can have plants in a container, you can create a water garden in a container. Start with a waterproof container, then add aquatic plants such as water lily or lotus plants. You can add fish, too. Remember that mosquitoes can grow in standing water, so you will need a water pump in any type of water feature to keep the water moving.
- Adding a pond to the landscape adds a beautiful natural element and is a great opportunity for learning and sharing with children. Many people choose to hire a professional landscape company to install and maintain a pond, though many enthusiasts enjoy it as a hobby.
- Installing a pond starts with either a pond liner, a plastic or fiberglass preformed pond, or a concrete or masonry form. Then, water circulation, water pumps, and water filtration systems are added to keep water moving to add oxygen for plants and animals and to remove things such as excessive algae.
- Your pond is a habitat for wildlife. Research the care of fish, frogs, or other animals and choose plants that will do well in that environment. Learn about water chemistry and how to create the proper balance of oxygen and nutrients in your pond.
- It is possible to have the fun and beauty of a waterfall without the maintenance and safety issues of a pond. The water falls into a hidden basin filled with river stones and then is recirculated to the top of the falls.