Which Water Feature is Best for Your Garden?
TV programmes like ‘Ground Force’ and ‘Love Your Garden’, and more recent examples such as ‘Garden Rescue’ and ‘Big Dreams, Small Spaces’ have helped make water features a popular feature in gardens across the UK. Viewers want to see how attractive ponds and fountains could look amongst their own plants and flowers.
Compass Garden and Landscape Design are specialists in garden design in Bradford on Avon, Bath, Bristol and across the south west of England. Here we look at some of the most common types of water feature – and which could be best suited to your space and budget.
These are one of the most popular water features in gardens across the UK. Ponds are excellent at encouraging the natural eco-systems within your garden; irises, water lilies, rushes and grasses will all thrive in the water, while amphibians (frogs, toads and newts) and insects (damselflies and dragonflies) are all happy to feed and breed there.
Ponds do require a certain amount of time and money to install; you will need to dig it out and install a waterproof membrane. You should also ensure that aquatic creatures can get in and out easily so make sure part of the pond can be accessed via a natural slope rather than a steep artificial edge. Ideally the pond should be exposed to a mixture of sunshine and shade – too much sun could encourage harmful algae, while too much shade could inhibit plant growth.
If you want to add some fish to your pond, then bear in mind there will be plenty of hungry predators around, such as herons, cats and foxes, who won’t be able to resist such a tempting meal. You may need to protect your pond with netting or wire mesh, and this is particularly true if you have young children who could easily fall into the water. However, any form of protection will spoil your pond’s natural beauty.
These give any garden a striking focal point, and there are health benefits too. Many people find the sound of running water soothing and stress-relieving, while fountains also help to purify the air by releasing so-called negative ‘ions’ into the atmosphere. Remember that they can take many forms, with the water spouting out of walls, statues, jugs and you can even buy ‘disappearing’ fountains, where the reservoir of water is underground (and there’s no chance of children falling in).
However, fountains also require a considerable financial outlay. Gardeners need to consider not just the initial cost of the fountain and its installation, but on the continued upkeep. You will need an electrical supply to the pump to ensure the water keeps circulating, and a filtering system to ensure the water doesn’t get covered in harmful algae.
Small Can be Beautiful Too
If space and money is at a premium, then a water bowl or trough is a cost-effective addition. These will provide some unusual perspectives as they bounce light around your garden and create the illusion of space. However, you should change the water frequently to avoid the problem of mosquitos laying their larvae in the still water. In most other features, insects and invertebrates will keep the mosquito population under control by eating the larvae.
Bird baths are another inexpensive feature you can add to your garden. However, you should make sure the water level isn’t too deep – a depth of around two inches is suitable for most species – so there is no risk of the birds drowning. You should also ensure the bath is around a metre off the ground and that birds can see the area all around it. This minimises the risk of them being attacked by cats and other predators.
Water Features from Compass Garden and Landscape Design
Compass Garden and Landscape Design have installed water features as part of garden design projects in Bradford on Avon, Westwood, Staverton and many other locations in Somerset and Wiltshire.
We carry out an initial consultation meeting followed by a full survey. This way we can draw up concept sketches, and come up with a full design which suits your budget and the space you have to work with. We only use tried and trusted local contractors to carry out the work.
Our high-quality planting consultancy service means we can recommend what species will work well if you opt for a garden pond, and we can also offer advice if you have a problem with any existing installation. If you would like to get in touch with us, simply follow this link.