Natural Water Features for the Garden and Landscape Natural Water Features for the Garden and Landscape

Installing a water feature in the landscape that achieves a natural and harmonious look with the setting takes some contrivance on the part of the gardener. While adding a stand alone fountain to the patio might be as simple as adding water and plugging it in, incorporating a water feature that appears more naturally occurring is not necessarily a simple affair, but it need not be too difficult. The following text outlines natural water features for the garden and landscape - from large scale ponds to small rock basins.

A garden pond adds the dimension of water to the landscape; water brings its aesthetic beauty to the setting along with the life it allows to flourish - wildlife, water plants and marginal plants. A garden pond, however, is not as simple as an installation process and you are finished. Ponds require continued maintenance to insure their overall health and beauty. Water checks and plant maintenance are part of the weekly - sometimes daily - routine. Yet, the beauty of a garden pond is unsurpassed by other features and will become the dramatic focal point of your setting.

To allow your pond to appear as natural as possible, you will want to avoid tiled or elaborate edgings. An un-edged pond may require more upkeep, but the overall effect will be more rustic. You may also opt for natural-seeming rock pilings or even gravel, but manicured edges will reveal the gardener’s hand more - not a bad thing, but it will lessen the natural look you may be attempting. If your pond is a wildlife one, you need a landing or entryway for various creatures. This should also be created with as natural a hand as possible.

Of course, you might consider adding special features to your natural-looking pond in the form of bridges or nearby platforms from which to enjoy the view. Depending on your landscape or garden design plan, these additional features may prove delightful in their own right. However, avoid fountains or unlikely props for your rustic pond. Consider instead, an island in the center - a series of boulders that are visible above the water or a log that splays along the edge. Mimicking nature need not be difficult when you consider all the natural props available to ornament your vision.

Of course, to achieve a healthy water balance, it is sometimes necessary to install a feature that moves the water. A fountain does this - but it is not quite in keeping with the natural tone. A cascade or series of small waterfalls, however, may be incorporated to look like a natural occurrence. A water course that trails over stones and large rocks will seem perfectly at home given the proper landscaping. Garden cascades are ever easier to install given the wide array of materials that make constructing these features feasible even for do-it-yourselfers.

Also, consider a small stream as a natural watercourse for the landscape. Just like cascades, the necessary materials to build a stream and keep it flowing can be easily purchased through your garden or home improvement center - the mechanism that keeps the stream flowing can also be camouflaged with natural elements for a smooth fit into your setting.

If you desire a natural water feature but require something on the small side, you might consider natural basins. A boulder or large rock with a natural indention is the ideal place for water to collect atop it. Several of these in and about the landscape will provide water with minimal maintenance. These charmingly rustic features will attract wildlife and add greatly to the scenery with their minimalist appeal.

Water is always at home in the garden, but for a perfectly natural fit consider any or all of these natural suggestions. With careful attention and landscaping, your features might seem as though they’ve been there all along. By blending them into their surroundings, you insure a lovely vision that is entirely in keeping with nature.

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