Water Gardens Make a Backyard Paradise
Build a Backyard Paradise that Will Inspire and Relax You
So, you’ve decided to install a water feature. Congratulations! Do you know what kind or how large? For instance, will one of those poly-resin plaques that hangs on the wall and spews water out of the lion’s mouth do the trick, or do you want a pond… large enough to put in Koi and maybe a few water lilies? How about a waterfall to go with your pond? Imagine sipping a cup of coffee in the morning while listening to the gentle sounds of your own waterfall. Well then, it’s time to start doing your research. You can’t just start digging and hope for the best.
To help demonstrate the ins and outs of building a water garden, Pike Family Nursery conducts day-long seminars where a group of homeowners show up on site and actually spend the day building a pond, from breaking ground to completing a waterfall. The Pike seminars are an excellent way to learn the many facets of pond construction, and the EHT staff recently attended one of the weekend classes to see what all is involved. We learned a lot from the hands-on instruction and thought we’d pass along some of Pike’s recommendations.
Doing the Research
First of all, when deciding the size, style and features of your water garden, you can visit your local nursery or home show, and pick up brochures from pond installers for different ideas. Browse home magazines and books, and get input from your family and friends. Above all, the purpose of a pond is to entertain, inspire and relax you. If your pond is placed in an awkward location in your yard or too far away from your house, you won’t be able to enjoy it.
When planning, stand in your backyard and decide if you want your pond in the middle or to one side of the yard, based on where you will most likely want to sit. Be sure to keep it away from low-lying areas though, because fertilizer run-off is not conducive to a healthy pond.
Then, go inside your house and look out the windows. Is there a spot in your backyard that you can see from your family room and kitchen? You can enjoy your pond from inside as well as out, as long as it is placed in an area of the yard that’s visible from most or all windows, and your favorite aspect of the pond, such as the waterfall, is facing toward the house.
Choosing the Size of Your Water Garden
When it comes to the size of your pond, it’s okay to start small, but eventually you’re going to fall in love with your water garden and decide to make it bigger to fit in a few more plants, or to support a few more fish. So be sure to start out at a desirable size and don’t undercut yourself. You’re never going to want to make it smaller.
Also, decide whether or not you will be using rock and gravel in and around your pond. It makes a difference when determining size. Make your pond a bit bigger than you want it to be when it’s finished to allow for rock walls that will be positioned on the shelves of your pond. Rocks aren’t necessary but they make the pond look so much more natural.
The most important step you’ll want to take to find the parts for that dream pond is to choose a reputable retailer. As with any purchase you make, you want to buy from a retailer who carries the best merchandise and in this case, knows how it works. A sure sign that your local garden center or pond retailer knows about ponds is whether or not they have a good-looking, functioning pond in their store. If the retailer knows enough to have built a pond, they probably know how it works. Then you can ask them questions about their products and the building process.