Jason and I have installed many water features over the years. They can range widely in their complexity and might be overwhelming at first to consider adding to your garden. However, I believe they are always worth it. Water, in its ancient ways, provides tranquility, prosperity, and restoration. Don’t underestimate what the power of a small fountain can do for both the beauty of your yard and your peace of mind.
Reasons to Install a Water Feature
- Healing Powers
Throughout history, religious followers and philosophers have all recognized the healing properties of water. Water is used to, “cleanse, bathe, heal, restore, replenish, or purify.” It is an integral part of baptism in Christianity, a useful tool for meditation in Buddhism, and in Hinduism and Celtic traditions, immersion in certain waters brings believers redemption and freedom.
But the healing powers of water extend further than the spiritual realm. Heard of hydrotherapy? Steam baths, saunas, hot and cold compresses – these are all examples of how water has been scientifically proven to heal. Not to mention the impact of sound therapy. The simple sound of water trickling is therapeutic on its own.
So why do we all feel this natural connection to water? Is it because our body is mostly made up of water and we all know we need it to survive? Is it also because it makes up most of our planet? Something to ponder next time you are sitting next to a lake, river, pond, ocean, or perhaps your very own garden water feature.
Water features are versatile. There is a type for everyone! They can be big, luxurious, expensive, and require lots of maintenance; or they can be small, pretty, budget-friendly, and easy to care for. They can also be anything in between. I will get into all the different types later in this blog.
- Curb Appeal
This one is obvious. Water features are very aesthetically pleasing and provide great value to a home. They are the wow factor, that extra umph that really makes a garden special and unique.
- Wildlife Attraction
All animals need water to survive – so why not provide them with the watering hole of their dreams! There is no need for a TV or phone when you have a water feature with running water. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, frogs, and more will come to your water feature to drink while you get to relax and enjoy the show. Water features are a no-brainer because they are beneficial for all parties involved, including Mother Nature!
- Improves Air Quality and Noise Pollution
Water features not only benefit your mental well-being, but your environment as well. Flowing water masks noise pollution while also purifying the air around you. When water evaporates, negative ions are released. According to WaterGallery.com, “These negative ions cleanse the air, making it more refreshing to breathe. The clean air also helps you think more clearly and focus better.”
Pro Tip: If you can, be sure to locate your water feature near a window of your home so on nice days when the windows are open, the melodious sounds can be enjoyed from inside too!
Pondless vs. Pond Water Features
There are many types of water features including pools, fountains, waterfalls, streams, bird baths, wells, and more. Something that differentiates them is whether or not they have a pond, or some kind of small body of water pooling at the end of the flow of water.
Though beautiful, ponds are very high maintenance. Over the years, we have found that clients don’t prefer ponds because they are artificial environments that need to be checked often, sometimes requiring professional help. This can largely depend on whether or not you have fish. I have found that one of the biggest problems with ponds is that clients have too many fish and overfeed them.
Even more, ponds can be dangerous if you have kids or dogs. Dogs can cut the liner and make a mess while children can fall in and get hurt, depending on how big it is.
Water features that don’t have a pool of water at the end are what we call “pondless.” We deal with these more than any kind of water feature as they are preferred by clients due to their lack of maintenance.
Falling Water vs. Bubbling Water
Pondless water features can take many forms but we most often work with pondless waterfalls. The difference between these and bubbling fountains is how the water cascades. Waterfalls tend to be bigger due to the nature of the way the water falls from a height. From Aquascape.com, here is an image of how they work:
“Pondless waterfalls work by pumping water contained in a large, in-ground reservoir up and through the Waterfall Spillway, allowing the water to flow back down into the reservoir. This simple recirculation system requires very little maintenance, is easy to install, and ideal for families with young children or pets that love to play in water.”
Bubbling pondless water features are a great option for something smaller and more subdued. Here is an example of one we did a few years ago:
Here are some more simply yet effective bubbling water features we have done.
No matter your style, yard size, skill level, or budget, I am confident there is a water feature out there that will enrich your outdoor space and bring peace and tranquility to your life!