Many gardens seem to be lacking water these days, and I don’t mean the plants aren’t getting enough hydration either. Fewer gardens seem to be home to a pond or water feature, maybe because some feel such things are too difficult to install. This isn’t always the case, and the benefits of a water garden are huge for both personal and environmental well-being.
In this post, we will discover just how easily water can transform your garden and drastically improve it.
- Focus on Calm
A big part of creating a water garden is the calming atmosphere it creates. It goes without saying that a calm space can be incredibly beneficial for both physical and mental well-being, for all ages. Many hospitals incorporate a water garden into their grounds for the massive benefits it has for patients, families, and staff.
The science behind the soothing effect comes from the negative ions that are released by moving water into the surrounding atmosphere. It’s these negative ions that make the area and air feel so refreshing – no wonder so many people enjoy visiting the seaside!
When there’s a larger number of negative ions in your surroundings, there are many positive effects on your body, including increased blood flow and oxygen to your cells – these can help lower blood pressure. Increased oxygen aids your metabolic process which also influences your mood. More oxygen means a better process and a better mood.
From helping patients recover faster after surgery, to offering a soothing space to de-stress after a busy day at work, there’s a strong argument to why everyone should think about including the element of water in their garden.
- Build A Pond
If you’ve got the space, I’d highly recommend adding in a pond. They are usually larger features but can be as small as 6×8 feet. You will also want to create a waterfall that feeds into the pond, as the moving water is what produces those negative ions.
There are a few things to consider before going ahead with your pond. Firstly, the space you have for a pond and just what size you would like to create. Also, think about the space around the pond as you’ll want to add plants to the edge. Cost is another factor, and a pond is going to be one of the more expensive additions to your garden.
Think about whether you’d like to DIY your pond or hire a professional. Ponds are bigger projects, so you’ll want to consider how much disruption it will cause to your home, how you’re going to get the materials you need and how you will get rid of any waste.
Maintenance is surprisingly simple. Every few weeks you’ll want to clean out the filter in the skimmer which removes debris from the water. This is a small, fast job, and the rest is handled by nature. You’ll want fish in your pond, as they help balance out the ecosystem by eating any build-up of algae. They also add color and interest to the pond, and as they have a friendly nature, they’re fun to interact with.
Don’t forget plants, as you’ve got a wide variety to choose from; Iris pseudacorus ‘Berlin Tiger’ are great to plant at the water’s edge, and produce beautiful bright yellow flowers. It goes without saying that the water lily is a great choice, but it isn’t just pretty – the leaves create shade and protection for your fish from predators and strong sunlight.
- Create A Stream
This option tends to be used in conjunction with the previous and is normally utilized by those with larger spaces. You can create a larger main pond as I described previously, then smaller ones around your garden linked by streams. The final smaller pond is where the pump is situated to keep water circulating back to the waterfall. This creates the ultimate water garden.
If you want a similar effect but on a smaller scale, try creating a waterfall that falls straight into a stream, which then makes its way around your garden, finally disappearing into the ground back to the pump. This method will take up less space but still create that calming environment.
- Water Features
If you would prefer a smaller option for adding water to your garden, I would suggest a water feature. The choices are so broad that there will be an idea out there for any garden. A simple search on Pinterest instantly reveals many ideas for various spaces, and the many different types of water feature you can install.
- Pond-less Waterfall
It sounds like this could be a big job to install, but it’s surprisingly simple, and for the result, they’re completely worth it.
At the base of the waterfall, you will need to dig a hole and line it, then add a basin matrix box and cover it with gravel. This is where the pond will sit, underground and out of sight, giving the ‘pond-less’ appearance. A pump is also installed in the hole which will pump the water from the pond up to the cascade box, and that is the basis of a pond-less waterfall.
The rest is down to how you want to design the appearance of the waterfall, what size it is and if you plan on including plants in the design. I’d suggest researching how others have designed a pond-less waterfall to suit their space first.
- Water Fountains
There are various types of water fountain including vase, bubbling rock, column and the traditional bird bath. There’s something to suit every style of garden, and fountains can be any size feature but still give the desired result.
Fountains require a basin to be installed underneath them, which stores water and the water pump. The setup is similar to a pond-less waterfall, but vertical instead of horizontal.
Due to the many types of fountains, they can take a more natural or modern form to suit different garden themes. They are usually stand-alone pieces, like a statue or sculpture. Bubbling rock and column fountains tend to take on more natural forms, whereas vases and bird baths can look more man made. If you’re looking to add a small water feature, a fountain is the option to start off with.
- Give Back to The Environment
As well as having a positive impact on people, water gardens are great for the environment as well. For the most part, they water themselves, meaning you don’t have to water the plants, bar the occasional top up due to evaporation. This means you save a lot on water consumption.
You’ll also be attracting insects and animals to the garden, such as bees and butterflies. Having a bird feeder will attract birds, and be beneficial if you also have a bird bath. Make sure that your feeder is squirrel proof as birds may not get a look in.