Choosing The Right Water Feature for Your Garden

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by chris, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. chris


    Jul 31, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Choosing the right water feature for your garden can be a real challenge. There are as many types of water features as there are techniques for installing and servicing. This article will deal with a few examples of water features, per se, to acquaint us with the wide and surprising array of possibilities for installing water in our gardens and landscapes.

    The Waterfall

    Waterfalls delight the senses in so many ways. The motion itself tends to lead to fascination as we admire the coursing of water over a falls, catching sunlight and looking so fresh and natural. The sounds of the splashing water as it drops delights by soothing, a somehow powerful sound which overcomes and demands attention. Waterfalls seem to close off the outer world, fascinating humans since time immemorial. These water features remain focal points in many of the most exotic gardens and cityscapes in the world, providing places of congregation and repose. And, hey, if kids love them, they have to be cool. An underestimated benefit, as well, of waterfalls is their night time possibilities. Modern lighting techniques can spotlight cascades of water by illuminating from under the falls themselves as well as from outside them.


    Many waterfalls lead into small creeks, coursing through some property most enjoyably, a construct of Nature and man providing more liquid motion to delight the eye and senses. There is no accident that perhaps the most famous residence in the world, Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water" is built over a stream, intimately connected with running and falling water and the sounds and sights therein. The same attributes supplied by waterfalls and listed above pertain to this unique water feature. The sound is effective and can be induced to course through areas to change the sound environment. Water's piercing sound qualities are quite amazing, really. Water's sound is penetrating and a little can go a long way. Thus creeks themselves, if long enough, can literally change the audial environment substantially.

    Bubble Rocks

    Bubble rocks are rocks which have been bored through, length-wise, providing a channel for a small pump to allow water to bubble out from the top and thus coat the rock in water. These also provide the sound of tricking water and can be used in incredibly small spaces. They also take lighting most admirably. The range of rocks one can do this with is literally limitless. There are places one can get any rock bored, usually costing about $50 a linear, bored foot, depending on the size of the hole. Their virtue is in the fact that they do not need a lot of room. Enough for a small basin to hold water and a pump.


    Ponds can be from 8 feet across to lake size. Ponds offer yet another marvelous quality in a landscape or garden: absolute serene water. Inside the pond, there is a range of possibillity that boggles the mind, from fishes to plants, from decorative bottoms to decks built to shimmer an inch or two above the water. Ponds need space, naturally, thus they are not really an urban choice. Generally, ponds have algae issues much more severe than those encounted by rapidly-moving water features and it is always something to consider. Many folks aerate their water by using any number of fountaining gizmos to send the water skyward. This really helps a pond's ecology, especially inasmuch as the aeration provides excellent amounts of oxygen for what lies below.

    Formal Features

    These are constructions of cement and more formal style. They can be hard-lined, sparsely severe-looking edifices which supply the smoothest of cascades, virtual "sheets" of water, falling into almost endless types of basins and pools. These are every bit as satisfying as the more naturalistic waterfalls, creeks and ponds and are also subject to astounding lighting effects. As well, formal water features include those cool little basins mounted on walls, a particular delight at an entryway or even inside a home. The art applied here can be amazing, using items like stone, copper, brass, steel to form illusions and literal artworks. There is, as one can see, no limit in the ability to transform something as simple as the use of water itself into some awe-inspiring human construct.

    Need help with your water feature? Get FREE direct advice from Steve by joining Verdant Gardening and Landscaping Forums - Steve Snedeker is a professional landscaper. Steve has planned and installed award winning gardens across the US and Canada. Visit Steve's blog and see his work at
    chris, Aug 14, 2006
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  2. chris


    Aug 23, 2006
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    Thank you for that information, thanks to you I am now considering bubble rocks for my small pond, they sound so nice and I would like a new small feature.
    ninikins, Sep 10, 2006
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