Adding ponds, waterfalls, and fountains adds a pleasing kinetic dimension to any landscape plan.
Water features can be small, off-the-shelf elements, or custom-engineered designs that wind throughout an entire yard. Water features bring sound and movement into your landscape spaces, letting you escape to a more tranquil and cooler feeling environment.
Environmental concerns and wilderness appeal have made water features more popular than ever. Fountains, ponds and waterfalls can be dramatic or restful; they can add beauty to stark walls, invite wildlife and give you back a sense of serenity after a long day.
Water features can be made of natural or architectural materials. In a country setting, old fermentation barrels invoke a sense of tradition and heritage, while in urban settings a rocky watercourse brings in a touch of nature and wilderness. Pond plants give both fish and birds a source of food while concealing pumps and other equipment.
Your landscape architect can help you decide what kind of a pond you want to create, and where to put it. Before you select a site, consider what kind of pond and pond environment you want to create and how close you would like it to be situated to your residence. After you settle on a spot, decide what the right features might be.During the site selection process, note the location of trees, roofs, or other landscaping.
Fertilizer runoff and leaves can affect the health of your pond, so make sure not to locate it at the lowest point on your property. Make sure drainage is designed to divert runoff from your pond area.Consider, too, that your aquatic plants will need at least four to six hours of sunlight a day, so heavily shaded areas are not an option unless your pond is strictly fish-only.
A drain, liner and edge should be in your pond plan, and make sure water and electricity is available to fill your pond and operate a pump.If you do not wish to have fish in your aquatic environment, consider a smaller pond that will act as a collection point for a waterfall. Small waterfalls use surprisingly little water and yet provide the sound and ambience of a larger waterscape.
If you want your pond to be a home to Koi or goldfish, design a slightly larger pond than you think you will need. More pond area gives you more options for more kinds of fish or other wildlife.
Here are two kinds of ponds to consider:
Koi ponds require more space because this valuable Japanese fish grows to large sizes and requires a depth of four to six feet. Koi are plant eaters and your pond will need to be at least a thousand gallons in order to support enough plant life to keep your fish happily fed. You can calculate the rough capacity of your pond in gallons by multiplying width, times the depth, times the length times 6.5.
Environmental ponds, also known as water gardens are ponds that combine various plant and fish types. This type of pond should be at least two feet deep, and more if you live where deep freezes occur. While not strictly necessary, your pond can benefit from having a pump and biological filter to keep water cleaner. Circulated water allows you to utilize a watercourse, waterfall or fountain, adding ambient sound to your pond environment.