Need a place to unwind, read a book, or kick back with a frosty glass filled with your favorite drink and tinkling ice cubes. A pond or water feature can be a place of contemplation and reflection or mask the unwanted sound of noisy traffic.
It can also be a place to marvel at the iridescent orange and yellow of a cluster of gold fish or bask in the vibrant pinks, yellows and reds of the water lily.
Water has a marvelous reflective quality, showing off the deepest blue of the sky and the effervescent greens and hues of the plants surrounding it.
The local habitat also benefits from water features with the introduction of beneficial insects such as dragonflies (wish eat mosquito larvae)
It provides a home for small creatures such as amphibians, and reptiles, which are decreasing in numbers more and more each year. Birds frequently flock to water as a place to drink and bathe. No matter what type of feature you have, water always adds something special to a garden landscape.
It is important to lay out a plan for your water feature. Consider sight lines (where do I want to be able to see it from). Also, give some thought as to whether it will fit into the existing landscape, blend and enhance what is already there, being careful, not to compete with something else for the same space. Furthermore, consider what sun requirements are needed. Certain plants or the introduction of fish in a pond, require at least six hours of sunlight.
A pond can be elaborate or plain depending on the time and ambition you have to put into the project. The construction of a water feature does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as plugging the bottom of a great pot. Care must be taken when selecting a pot, whether it’s terracotta or glazed, make sure that it is properly sealed on the inside to make it waterproof. The use of silicon sealants and waterproofing sealer for the bottom and sides will achieve this nicely. Ponds can be as detailed as a dug out feature complete with multi levels and waterfalls. Make sure to conceal unsightly pond liners, plastic hoses, and water pumps. Then consider what will complete the feature; will there be fish and pond plants, bubbling water spouts or flowing falls.
Water features also provide a whole new direction in the use of specialized plantings. Aquatic plants require particular attention to thrive. Most are depth sensitive, requiring careful planning as to placement in the feature. A favorite plant is the water lily. It is known for its charming, rich, eye catching blooms. There are many hardy water lilies such as “Little Sue” or “Peaches and Cream” available for zones 4 and 5. They prefer their roots to be spread out in half-bushel containers filled with specialty aquatic or clay based soil to anchor the roots and get their nourishment from the water.
No matter what type of water feature you choose, it can only deepen your capacity to provide the hidden sanctuary we all strive to achieve in our yards.
Betty Drover operates a local garden business and shares this space with business partner Patty Siddall every other Friday. Contact: 250-364-1005