For millennia, water has long been recognized as an element that promotes serenity, wellbeing and harmony. The sound of trickling water in a garden helps to block out the focus on traffic noises and other aural disturbances. Quite apart from pleasing the ears, however, is the joy people experience in simply having landscape water features in their yards.
Whether or not you sit outdoors makes no real difference. Viewing the elements from the kitchen window or hearing them from the bedroom while enjoying a nap are both ways that people derive pleasure from their landscape water features.
There are so many possibilities that no matter what kind of outdoor environment you have around your home, there are landscape water features to suit. From state-of-the-art walls of water that cascade down layered stainless steel to Zen-inspired rock pools surrounded by miniature bonsai creations, water can be incorporated into any kind of garden.
Natural versus Ultra Modern
Integrating landscape water features into a garden is one of the most important factors of design. Just as you would not install an undulating clear glass wall fountain in a rustic, cottage garden, neither would you give pride of place to an olden day gargoyle water spout in an up-to-the-minute courtyard featuring clean, sharp angles, manicured topiary trees and modern, stainless steel sculptures.
It is vital that the inclusion of water match the ambience and feel of the garden or else it simply does not make sense. There is no harmony and serenity in that.
Simple or Elaborate
Decide what mood you want to create in your water gardens. If water is a vital element of what you want to achieve, then you may like to design the entire landscaping plan around a winding brook that will be purpose-built.
If, on the other hand, you want to keep your landscape water features simple, then all you need is a single, decorative item that can be bought from any outdoor design store and placed on top of a column, a table or wherever else an electrical outlet is handy.
Water Health and Safety Considerations
Even the most seemingly innocent landscape water features can present hazards in your very own backyard.
Maintain electrical elements so that they do not cause risk of electrocution.
Access to water any deeper than one foot by children or pets should be prevented.
Stagnant pools of water in switched-off fountains or non-flowing rock pools will inevitably become mosquito breeding grounds.
If you live in a drought-prone area and are subject to rigid water restrictions, you might need approval from your local authorities before you install some landscape water features. It depends on the amount of water required, whether there will be spray from the feature, how often it will need to be topped up and there may also be other points to which you will have to adhere before being allowed to create your dream water garden.
Water is a precious resource and even though it makes a stunning visual and aural presence, it can be wasteful under some circumstances.
Ultimately, water signifies life. Even in a parched, brown-grassed backyard, one or two small landscape water features can bring a sense of vitality and hope. As long as you are mindful of water wastage, avoiding hazards, the need for maintenance and the right integration of the feature into the overall look and feel of your garden, you can enjoy many years of sparkling, trickling or babbling water enhancing the outdoor environment of your home.
photo by BFS Man, CreativeCommons