Water features can add beauty and pizazz to any decor both indoors and out. They can be stress-relieving and relaxing not only to the eyes and ears, but the psyche as well. With today’s advancements in pumps and filtration systems, they have become very popular when planning the decorative touches to almost any environment. Does this Spark an idea?
Interior Water Features
Some people like to bring a piece of the outdoors inside to enjoy all year long. Indoor water features offer the peace and tranquility that many only enjoy outdoors in those precious summer gardens. They can be as simple as a tabletop fountain or as elaborate as an indoor pond complete with waterfall. Tabletop fountains consist of a small submersible pump inside an enclosed bowl. Wall fountains and waterwalls use a larger pump but the same basic idea. The water stays in an enclosed bowl or container of some type, and a pump sends it through a tube to the top where it flows out and down the wall. Colored lights or colored acrylic panels can make a basic water wall into a complementary element in style in an office building or home. From contemporary water orbs to more rustic water fountains, an indoor water feature can enhance any aspect of decorating.
Outdoor Water Features
Outdoor water features are usually the focal point in any garden. A simple reflection pool can add grace to a zen garden, whereas a nice fountain can add a bit of stature to a more formal yard. A waterfall can add some beauty to a more informal yard geared toward more natural appearances. The ideas one can use in a water feature are only limited by the imagination and space. Adding a small fountain to a simple pond maybe more than enough to add some extra flair to an otherwise drab area in your garden, or sometimes the simplicity of the pond alone will be enough enhance the beauty of the plants surrounding it. Adding fish will help keep the water bright and colorful, but will add work to the feature itself. Adding plants in a water feature with a vinyl liner will require putting them in pots before you submerge them, whereas in a more natural stone bottom, they can grow in the soil on the floor of your pond.
Benefits and Special Effects
There are many benefits to adding water features. They improve the curb appeal of any property instantly, they attract wildlife naturally, they offer a pleasing view when looking out the windows, they extend and bring together outdoor living spaces and they arouse the pleasure sensors in the brain. With the appropriate plants and surroundings they can also create a zen experience helping to balance the yin and yang in fung shei gardening. Special effects surrounding your water feature can greatly improve the overall appearance. These special effects can cause a balance of the garden, enhance lighting for nighttime viewing and hide unsightly wires and external pumps needed to maintain the garden, all while creating an outlet of creative flow for any gardener or weekend warrior who enjoys home improvement projects. Special effects such as water misters can also provide nourishing nutrients to the plants surrounding the water feature. Taller plants surrounding the area can create a more private and peaceful area in which to relax and enjoy your garden. You can also use natural stones and rocks to create a waterfall or to line your water feature to help balance the natural beauty. Some people belive using natural smooth stones to line your water feature or to create shelves within the feature will help introduce a zen setting as well. Whether using natural or man-made ornaments, be careful not to create a cluttered appearance.
Choosing An Outdoor Water Feature
There are a few things to consider when choosing an outdoor water feature. The first thing is size and amount of space needed. A pond or fountain usually looks smaller in an open space than on paper, so make sure to accomodate for this without going overboard and making your whole area nothing but water. You will want plants and flowers surrounding your feature to give it a more natural or manicured appearance. You need to decide if you want a more formal appearance or a more laid-back natural look to your water feature. This will help you choose the correct ornaments and plants to place in the surrounding areas as well. Some do’s and don’ts of planning your water feature: Do plan ahead. Failure to do this will result in an unbalanced effect and will slow the process greatly. Remember, a professional will have the right tools for the job, so make sure you obtain these things before you start your project to avoid any delays. Do shop wisely to avoid spending more than you need on unnecessary accessories and tools. Don’t do anything dangerous unless you know what you’re doing. This includes the electrical work needed to make your features work. Don’t try to incorporate every color of your garden into the theme of your water feature. Too much of a good thing will rarely make a great work of art. Don’t plan your water feature near trees or shrubs that will drop leaves or debris into your pond or fountain. This will aid in keeping your feature crystal clear and enjoyable everytime you view it.
Plants and Flowers
If you are having a moving water feature such as a fountain or waterfall, some plants, such as lily pad plants and some lily flowers, won’t thrive. However, some plants and flowers more than enjoy the cleanliness of the moving water. The size of your pond will also help you choose plants. If you have a small pond, chose one or two plants to fill and decorate the space, whereas a larger pond will accomodate more plants and a muriad of colors. Larger pools having varied depths will help propogate a larger diversity of plant life. Marginal plants and flowers help line the border of a pool or pond and will help blend the accessories in the water feature with the plants and flowers growing in the garden surrounding the feature. Free-floating plants love the serene calmness of a pond and are a great addition to a pond using oxygenating plants which grow completely beneath the surface. They provide oxygen and keep the pond clean and appealing to view by ridding the water of algea-causing carbon dioxide. Some plants attract wildlife such as frogs and toads.
Fish In Your Water Feature
Many people enjoy raising fish in their water features. Koi, and goldfish are very popular choices in self-contained water features. Younger fish are smaller and weaker than older, larger fish, so they may not survive. Add 1 inch of fish to 2 square feet of water. This allows for prevention of territorial issues, as well as for growth of the fish for future room and feeding issues. You may also wish to invest in some water and air cleaning fish, such as minnows, which eat bothersome mosquitoes to help keep the water clean and assist in keeping the environment pleasant to enjoy. Another thing to consider when choosing fish is protection from predators such as kingfisher, raccoons and cats. Usually keeping either bog-type or marginal plants or housing the fish in at least two feet of water will provide enough shelter to protect them. A good biological filter or a waterfall feature will help provide oxygen to the water for the fish’s benefit and will help maintain the ecological balance the fish need. When introducing fish to the water feature, give plants at least 4 weeks in the water to provide enough time for them to take root properly, making them more stable with the movement of the fish. In winter, if ice forms over the pond, create holes in the ice with heat, not by beaking the ice apart with tools.