A water feature can enhance your outdoor space with movement, sound and texture – plus it provides instant relaxation. Don’t let the price or size of it kill your Zen, though. Whether your yard and budget are large or small, there’s an option for you.
If space and cost are factors, consider a freestanding fountain. They’re easiest to install, move and clean. Most of these fountains include a pump and can be set up instantly with no professional help. Treescapes in Andover offers a large selection, with styles ranging from traditional to modern. Ron Cash, manager at Treescapes, said the variety and affordability of freestanding fountains help people realize that water features can be a realistic option in their yard.
“There’s truly a fountain for everyone,” he said.
Container water gardens also are an affordable option. Do a quick search on Pinterest and you can find plenty of ideas that use anything from a whiskey barrel to a terracotta pot.
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If you need a water feature that can sit on your porch or patio, a freestanding fountain or container water garden is the way to go.
For something a bit showier, consider an overflowing pot or bubble rock fountain. These types of fountains use a natural looking structure like a boulder, urn or granite column on top of a bed of river rocks covering a basin that the water drains to below.
Nathan Polson, designer at Hong’s Landscape & Nursery, recommends having these types of water features professionally installed. Polson said he fixes a lot of projects, which end up being more expensive than having them installed in the first place.
“You want the right size and shape of basin,” Polson said. “The main mistake I see is cheap basins that cave under the weight of the structure.”
While these fountains require less maintenance than ponds, they still need to be cleaned yearly and treated for algae. They also offer the possibility of installing a future pond by using the area dug out for the basin.
A beautiful pond with a waterfall, bright water lilies and colorful fish darting around can make the ultimate statement in a garden. But projects like this require a lot of space as well as large financial and time commitments.
For a quality pond, LaLana Moore, owner of Scenic Landscapes, says to avoid preformed ponds, which are unnatural looking, often crack, and aren’t deep enough for fish and plants.
Pumps, skimmers and filtration are essential to keeping your pond healthy and clean, as are beneficial bacteria that can eliminate algae that turn water green. Moore said moving water is critical for circulating oxygen for fish and plants, and keeping mosquitoes away. Moore also recommends an annual cleaning of your pond.
Mike Kandt, president of the Kansas Pond Society, has four ponds that include a waterfall, a 9,000-gallon koi pond, and a 30-foot stream. While this setup may be a bit ambitious for the rest of us, Kandt advises that any pond project is going to be a significant investment of time and money.
“Don’t rush into it and carefully plan it out,” Kandt said. “I’ve got a 3,800-pound rock in one pond that isn’t going to move. I needed to know exactly where I wanted it.”
No matter the size or price you choose, the addition of a water feature to your outdoor space is sure to bring hours of enjoyment.
“Everyone needs a water feature in their garden. They just don’t know it yet,” Polson said.