If you want to add a touch of class to your garden, you cannot go wrong with a good water feature. There are options out there for gardens of any size or shape, and while getting your feature exactly right can take some planning, setting it up should be quite simple.
So, what exactly do you want out of your new water feature? Many homeowners choose an easy-to-maintain feature to serve as a talking point, even shaping the rest of their gardens around them. Others install features that will help them to attract local wildlife, adding uniqueness and colour to their garden while also enjoying the benefits of having pest-eating critters on hand.
If you are unsure, don’t fret - there is plenty of inspiration waiting online! The relatively simple setup required for features like cascades has also led to some truly creative takes on classic designs. In other words, you should feel free to take your time to decide on a feature that suits your garden perfectly.
For help in planning and installing your water feature, speak to a local landscape designer. They should be able to talk you through each of your options, whether you want to add a water feature to the garden you have or design an entirely new garden with a feature included. If you decide to install the feature yourself, be sure to consult a local electrician first; most water features are pump-powered and, as you probably know already, electricity and water do not exactly mix well with one another! In other words, you will need to make safety a priority during your installation.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the most popular garden water feature ideas.
Easy to set up and beautiful to look at, water balls are a good choice all round. They are also surprisingly versatile, coming in a huge variety of metals and natural stones. Unlike a few other options on this list, water balls are also child and pet friendly, making them a great choice for homeowners who have to keep a constant eye on their little ones.
Certain water balls come complete with LED lights. This not only makes the feature even safer, but it can also let you enjoy it well into the evening.
One thing to keep in mind before you book an installer is exactly how large of a ball you want for your property. Remember, you do not want a feature so large that blocks your view of everything else (think of it as missing the garden for the feature).
Garden ponds are a treasured classic, but getting one installed is not as simple as just digging a hole. For one, you need to think about what kind of pond you would like - are you eager to attract fascinating frogs, insects and other creatures, or would you prefer a simple pond with clear water to help you relax?
Another important choice to keep in mind is what type of liner you want for your pond. If you dig a hole and immediately fill it with water, what you will end up with is a hole of muddy water. It is possible to buy pre-shaped pond liners that can simply be dropped into place, but you also have the option of buying a flexible waterproof liner or even using concrete.
Try to keep the overall look of your garden in mind before you make a choice; for example, if your garden’s layout is quite formal, you may want to choose a square or rectangle shaped pond.
You will also need to take some time in choosing where you want your pond to go. On the one hand, you will not want your pond to be permanently in the shade, so watch out for overhanging trees and other structures which may cast shadows. On the other hand, if your pond enjoys sunlight throughout the day then it will become a breeding ground for algae, which will quickly turn your beautiful pond into an icky green mess.
While there is a treasure-trove of information online for anyone interested in garden ponds, you can still benefit massively from a consultation with a local landscape designer. Let them know exactly what you want out of your pond and how much space you can spare for it - they will then be able to help you plan it out or, if necessary, suggest alternatives.
Part of what makes cascades so fantastic is their simplicity. These pump-fed waterfalls all work according to the same design principle, allowing creative homeowners to build them out of everything from clay pots to upcycled watering cans.
Beautiful both as a standalone feature or as part of a pond or fountain, cascades require you to think carefully about the shape of your garden. The water needs somewhere to go, so not only will the feature need enough elevation to work properly, but you will also need to shape it in a way that properly directs the water.
Again, you can benefit greatly from looking for inspiration online, but be prepared to ask a landscape designer to help you get a solid plan in place.
As beautiful as a stream can be, it is also worth remembering just how well they can compliment the rest of a garden. Streams that meander along garden paths or zig-zag down the length of a garden make a wonderful aesthetic addition (and how often do we forget how calming it can be to simply sit quietly and listen to flowing water?)
As with cascades and ponds, the position of your stream should be a top priority during the planning stage. You have the option of buying pre-formed stream units, which are essentially a series of waterfalls, but should not shy away from a more customised design that will suit you garden more specifically.
Another thing to keep in mind is the source of your stream. Most of the time this will be pump-fed anyway, so why not turn it into a feature all its own? Your new stream could look that much more decorative with a bubbling spring feeding it at the source.
Some people just want to use their gardens to sit and relax; for them, reflecting pools can be the ideal garden feature. Often compared with zen gardens, these features are perfect for just sitting and admiring, though with a little bit of maintenance they can quite easily be upgraded to feature beautiful plant life or useful animals and insects.
Installing a reflecting pool will require you to keep proper filtration mind. It should not be a problem if you do not want any wildlife taking up residence in your feature, but shallow standing water can quite easily cultivate algae. As such, your landscape designer may recommend a small filter be installed to keep things clean.