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Water Features in your Landscape

by John and Shirley Kelley, Master Gardeners

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, a water garden with a waterfall, fish & plants.

A water feature can be a great asset to any home. It makes a great gathering spot when having a party or friends over. It can add value to your property, compliment any landscape, and reduce your lawn maintenance.

But you are saying to yourself that takes too much water! Not really.  It takes less water for a water garden in a year than it does to maintain a lawn. Ponds need to be installed in the right place. To be considered:  Child safety (only 24" deep), the availability of utilities, and the ability to maintain an eco system.

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. One of the problems is usually over feeding of the fish. This can contribute to bad water quality if they are over fed and there’s not enough filtration. You can install a filtration system or UV light to help with the cleanliness and water clarity.

You can have a small 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! You can also have the more traditional multitier fountains.

A water feature can be one of the most enjoyable things in your landscape if planned for properly! The best advice I can give is don’t jump off the deep end and start digging a hole in the ground without doing a little research. You need to know what you want the end results to be! Do you want plants and fish or do you just want the sound and the water!

We can guarantee that if you decide to include a water feature in your landscape and you’ve done your homework, you will not regret it!  Carpe Diem!!


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