By John and Shirley Kelley, Master Gardeners
I’m not fond of winter. I would much rather be outside in the yard and around my garden or water features! Winter is a great time to start planning your landscape for a nice water feature. A water feature can be a small urn or fountain, or a water garden with a stream, waterfall, plants, Koi and goldfish
A water feature can be a great asset to any home. It can reduce your lawn maintenance, and after a stressful day it can be the best place to end the day! Ponds need to be installed in the right place. Child safety needs to be considered,,along with the availability of utilities. When digging you need to check for sewage and electric lines. The location of the water garden needs to be close to where you spend the most time, such as your patio or where it can be viewed from the house. To create an ecosystem you need to consider the size of the pond, provide 2/3 to 3/4 coverage of plant life, and only the amount of fish for the amount of water in the pond.
You need to balance your water, plant life, fish, and have good filtration. Water features are not maintenance free, nothing is, but they can be less maintenance if they are built right.
You may decide to go with a small feature using the urn or vase, which are referred to sometimes as disappearing fountains because the water basin is under ground and you don’t see any standing water. These are extremely low maintenance and easy to maintain!
The best advice is don’t jump off the deep end and start digging a hole in the ground without doing a little research. You can consult with a water garden nursery in your area, garden center, or a water garden contractor for information.