Water gardens are a wonderful addition to any property. They incorporate stonework, interesting plants and lighting. Water gardens which encompass waterfalls and fountains provide the garden with the soothing sounds of running water and all water gardens create a sense of coolness and tranquility as well a place to include exotic species of plants.
Water gardens can reflect the surrounding landscape, they attract birds with the sound of running water. Also, what are the characteristics of your garden? Do you want the garden to blend in with surrounding natural landscape or do you want it have formality and crisp architectural lines? Also, consider the size of your property, and the amount of time you want to spend maintaining your water garden.
When designing a water garden remember that both fish and water plants prefer sunny locations. Locating a pool beneath a tree which sheds lots of leaves and fruit could be problem unless you’re up for lots of maintenance. Place near a water supply or add a water supply near the pool. Have an electrician install lighting.
When you are selecting aquatic plants remember that they should only cover about half of the water. Plants can be free floating, submerged, or marginal. Some water garden plants are treasured for their fragrance while others for the vibrant and colorful blooms. Not only are fish a fun addition to the water garden, they are also very beneficial as they aid in controlling larva and other insects.
If you do decide to include fish remember that pools and ponds should be at least 5 feet x 10 feet. This will keep the temperature of the pool cool enough for the fish to survive. The depth of a fish pool should be about 2 feet for gold fish and 3 feet for Japanese Koi. Fish can survive beneath one foot of ice providing there is a hole for air.
It is important to keep water gardens free of algae. Algae problems can be caused by water which is too warm or by and overabundance of nutrients in the water resulting from over fertilizing plants. If ponds are made correctly and are maintained properly algae problems and control will be kept at a minimum. You can get rid of algae by cutting back on feeding and fertilizing, incorporating more plants, installing a filter system, or replacing existing water with fresh water. All garden pools regardless of size will need maintenance throughout the year. With proper planning you can ensure a healthy balance between living and decorative features of a water garden that can almost care for itself with simple maintenance inputs from you.
The easiest method of installing a pool or pond is to use pre-formed plastic pools. These are available at most large garden centers. Generally there a four basic shape to choose from; square, round, oval and kidney shaped. Simply dig a hole to match the shape add sand, place the preformed pool in the hole and level. Be sure the pool lip is above the ground by 2 inches, this will prevent rain water from flowing in to the pool.
Polyvinyl liners can be shaped to what ever you decide. Dig a hole to the desired shape, add a layer of sand and place the liner in the hole. Weigh down the edges. Here the edge can be created with a landscape stone coping. Pond filters can be used to keep the pond water clean.
John Green is the editor of GardenLeap, a garden magazine for garden enthusiasts.