Cool Off with a Water Garden

By National Gardening Association Editors, July 16, 2007

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There's nothing more cooling on a hot summer day than being near water. If you're don't live near a pond, river, or the ocean, then you'll just have to create your own water oasis!

Adding a water feature to your landscape is surprisingly easy. There are lots of options, so consider how you'll be using it. Do you want to enjoy the sights and sounds of water right from your patio? Or would you like to stroll to a pond further from your house? Do you want something you can move, or a permanent installation?

Water fountains. If you'd like the water feature to be on or near your patio or deck, a freestanding, self-contained fountain is a perfect choice. These fountains can be installed almost anywhere in an hour or two, and will add a measure of elegance and tranquility that belies their simplicity.

Ponds. An in-ground pond is a bigger project, but still one that can be done in a weekend. It can be any size you want, from a small pool with a few goldfish, to a large pond filled with water lilies and lotus. Whatever size you want, pond kits make the job especially easy, since they contain everything you need along with detailed instructions.

Getting Creative

When it comes to water features, let your imagination run free. For example, fountains are available in a remarkable array of shapes, sizes, and styles. From rustic to modern to whimsical, there's one for every garden personality. And pond kits with flexible liners mean you can have just about any shape pond you want, from symmetrical to free form.

Close your eyes and picture this new addition to your landscape. Do you hear the trickling water of a fountain? Are you sitting on a comfortable bench? Are you in the backyard or on the patio? Is the setting in a natural landscape or a formal courtyard?

Where to Locate Your Pond

If you're installing a pond, carefully consider where you want to place it. If you plan to include plants, such as water lilies, choose a site that gets at least six hours of direct sun each day. Avoiding shady spots also means you'll have fewer fallen leaves to clean out of your pond. If you'll be including lights or a pump, choose a location relatively close to an outdoor electrical outlet. Check local building codes and ordinances that cover pools and ponds. And before you start digging, be sure to contact your utility companies to determine if there are any buried lines.

A Feast for Your Senses

Beyond looking attractive, a water feature can enhance your landscape in innumerable ways -- the sounds of moving water, the light reflected off the water's surface, the shine of metal fountains or the texture of the stones you choose to edge your pond. Consider the motion of darting fish, the scent of fragrant water lily flowers. Butterflies flutter, frogs croak, and birds sing after taking a dip. Depending on how it's done, a water feature can affect all the senses, allowing you to create just the oasis you've dreamed of.

A Feast for Your Senses

Beyond looking attractive, a water feature can enhance your landscape in innumerable ways -- the sounds of moving water, the light reflected off the water's surface, the shine of metal fountains or the texture of the stones you choose to edge your pond. Consider the motion of darting fish, the scent of fragrant water lily flowers. Butterflies flutter, frogs croak, and birds sing after taking a dip. Depending on how it's done, a water feature can affect all the senses, allowing you to create just the oasis you've dreamed of.

 

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