Create Your Own Backyard Water Feature Create Your Own Backyard Water Feature
Whether its a small bubbling stream or a still, placid pond, having water around seems to make people feel more relaxed and comfortable. However, in modern communities, therejust isn't much natural water around. As a result, many people try to recreate the feelings of being close to water by building their own backyard water feature or water garden. Whether it's a small fountain, a fish pond, or a simulated babbling brook, a backyard water feature is a great addition to a yard and the good news is, building your own backyard water garden is a relatively straight forward project to take on. Here's some ideas on how to build your own backyard water feature.
- Remember, location is important. A water feature is a fairly permanent addition to your yard so you need to determine the best place to put it. Having it close to the house will allow you to enjoy it even from inside but try to avoid locating your water feature under a tree (or it could fill with leaves and debris). Placing your water feature in an area protected from the wind will help minimize evaporation and water wastage (particularly if your feature includes a fountain). If you have small children, putting it in an area young children won't be able to get into (behind a wall or fence) is important.
- Since water features are usually a feature of a garden and not the focal point, make sure your water feature is appropriate to the size of your garden, your yard and your home. For example, a large water fountain would look out of place in the small backyard of a town house while a smaller, simulated bubbling brook would fit in nicely.
- Decide what you want from your water garden. Moving water produces a pleasant sound that can help mask the sound of nearby traffic. However, moving water requires a pump to keep the water circulating. (small pumps suitable for water features are available at home and hardware stores and while most require a 120 volt circuit, smaller low voltage pumps suitable for smaller ponds are available and make for easier do it yourself installations).
- Alternatively, a still pond will provide a quiet, calm place to relax and recharge, and a still pond is best for growing plants (you do need to be sure the location gets at least five hours of sun per day to allow the plants to thrive).Unfortunately, still water also provides an ideal environment for mosquitos to lay their eggs, so consider adding fish (guppies, small goldfish) to your pond to help keep the mosquitos under control.
- Building codes vary across the country but since water features require both plumbing and electricity you may need to get a building permit before installing yours. As well, if your feature will requires digging into the ground, you should have your local utilities mark the locations of their facilities before you do any excavating. (some telephone wires are buried only a few inches beneath the surface).
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Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer whose work has appeared on numerous web sites, as well as in newspapers and books in both the US and Canada. He has been quoted as an expert on home related topics in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal.