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Last Updated on February 17, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
With summer on the way out and the cooler weather of fall moving in soon, you should consider getting outside and doing some landscaping. Water features for the garden are a great addition to your backyard space. A few years ago, my husband and I tore out our dilapidated wooden porch and had a stone patio installed. We included a fire pit and seating wall and it was designed in a slightly odd oblong shape to accommodate the area we needed to keep clear for the septic tank. After adding in decorative fence posts, grape vines and an assortment of plants you would think we were finished, right? Nope...as beautiful as it was my husband insisted it needed one more thing: a water feature!
We did a little bit of research as to what sort of water feature we wanted to add (and what we could afford after throwing away many thousands of dollars on the patio!) and started with a simple birdbath. Since then, we have moved on to bigger and better water features but I encourage you to start small in your backyard projects this month! If you are considering adding water features for the garden, there are many options to choose from.
Types of Water Features for the Garden:
The birdbath: A bird bath is a simple water feature to add to your backyard. Most require nothing other than setup and the addition of water. A few have a pump or fountain feature that will need electricity but that is not necessary. Just scrub clean every few weeks and keep it topped off with water. It will attract birds who will then eat pesky bugs in your backyard. Water features for the garden are not only pretty but functional!
Whiskey Barrel Pond: A bird bath worked fairly well for a short amount of time but in the heat of the Georgia summer it spends more time dry than actually containing any water. Or, if we have a particularly warm and wet summer it is an amazing breeding ground for mosquito. One thing I do NOT want in my water feature is mosquito breeding! So, we decided we needed a little bit of moving water and a bit of something living in our water feature besides bugs. We moved onto the whiskey barrel water feature!
Can you see our lovely little Koi in there? The benefit of using a whiskey barrel and pump as your water feature is that it allows you to add fish and water plants like our water lily and a few other plants we got at our local water garden store. Yes, the benefits of living in a big city is that we have an entire store dedicated to outdoor water features like this. And boy, do I get pond envy every time I go in there! The Koi are actually very hardy and even when we get a hard freeze they have been fine. As long as the barrel isn't frozen solid they have room to swim and plenty of air for a few days. Of course, if you live in Vermont this might not be a viable outdoor water feature for you unless you add a heater!
A Backyard Pond: Well, my husband decided that our water feature wasn't big enough and built a pond with a small river and waterfall. While it was definitely a huge undertaking, it was well worth it for the beauty and peace it brings to our backyard space. The benefit of him doing it himself was that we save quite a bit of money. The downside is that there was a LOT of swearing going on.
Why Add Water Features for the Garden?
Water Features Help You Relax: Having an outdoor water feature is a great way to unwind after a heard day's work. The sound of running water is a huge stress reliever!
Water Features are environmentally friendly: Current research suggests that having a pond in your yard may improve air quality. The constantly evaporating water helps filter the air. It also increases the biodiversity of your landscaping, attracting animals and birds that enjoy a slightly cooler and wetter environment.
Increases your home's resale value: Outdoor spaces are THE up and coming must have for home buyers and adding a water feature and a few benches and potted plants can be a big draw when you put your home on the market.
Creates a family friendly space: One of the things I love about our patio is that it is a relaxing and soothing place to gather with the kids. We sit around in our patio chairs and the kids play with the dog or just hand with us and enjoy a snack. They love to watch the fish in the pond and try to catch the lizards as the hide in between the rocks. Water features are just one aspect of creating a friendly outdoor space for your family to enjoy together.
Water makes the yard look bigger: The reflective properties of water mean it can make some spaces look bigger. For maximum reflection, you should use dark material for the feature or fountain.
Have you ever considered adding a water feature to your backyard?
Check out WaterGarden.com for more information!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.