Water gardening has grown from the formal Koi pond into all types and shapes of water features. Moving water masks road noise and gives you the sense of privacy. Whether you're in an urban courtyard or a suburban neighborhood rocks, fountains, statuary, waterfalls and streams can be combined with a pond to add visual interest or become its own feature. They create functional outdoor living areas where you can enjoy the tranquility and beauty ponds provide, while boosting the your home's value and curb appeal.
Take your time when looking at the different types of water features and choose what's best for you, it will be well worth your investment. Creating a water feature is a fun and exciting process consisting of endless designs and limited only by your imagination. With so many types to choose from anyone can add a water feature to their backyard landscape.
Koi ponds are sought after by pond owners that plan raising an abundance of koi for selling, showing in fish clubs, competitions or simply an enjoyable hobby. With this goal in mind these ponds discourage the presence of species like goldfish. Another distinguishing factor is the design of the pond itself. While a koi pond may also include plants for filtration or aesthetic appeal the design of this type of pond is all about the koi. These ponds do not contain plant shelves and are usually 4 ft. in depth or more. The reason for this is to discourage predators and increase usable area for their fish to roam and grow. Koi ponds also utilize bottom drains and large amounts of water flow to create ideal breeding conditions. These typically rely on heavy duty filtration systems, and UV sterilizers and are much more complex then the pond skimmers, pressurized filters and waterfall boxes water gardeners use.
Decorated with spitters, plants, lighting and other outdoor decor, water gardens these ponds have become a popular addition to backyards. They can contain all types of fish with goldfish and koi being the most popular. Water gardens are typically less than 2 ft. in depth and contain plant shelves around the outside perimeter to hold a wide variety of aquatic habitat and visual stimulation.
Preformed Liner This typical "Do It Yourself" beginner pond is usually purchased as a kit at Lowe's or Home Depot. A hole is dug into the ground with the same layout and the preform shell is inserted to hold the water. In-pond filtration systems are easy to install and can hold a few colorful fish and some aquatic plants. This pond type is where many customers begin before upgrading to a more custom pond design.
EPDM Rubber Liner Also a "Do It Yourself" pond kit construction or an elaborate professional installation. Rubber liners allow for more creativity when constructing the shape of your pond and are often decorated with rocks, streams and waterfalls. Rubber lined ponds are generally larger in size and utilize waterfalls, pressurized filters and bog plants to provide circulation and filtration. These ponds can contain many colorful koi or goldfish as well as a variety of aquatic plants. With the flexibility of the liner these ponds tend to more easily blend into the surrounding environment and look more natural.
Pondless features use a catch basin filled with rocks that will allow the water to pass through so you can enjoy a waterfall without an open body of water. These are ideal for homeowners concerned with safety, working with smaller areas or are on-the-go and don't have time for a full pond. Since there is no open waterbody, fish are not part of this feature but a wide variety of bog plants can be incorporated into the design.
This fountain feature also uses a catch basin to re-circulate water however instead of a waterfall a decorative fountain, pot or rock can function as the water feature focal point. This type of feature requires little room, provides the sound of running water and is easy to maintain.
Waterwalls & Spouts
Growing in popularity, waterwalls and formal wall spouts are an elegant way to add the sight and sound of water to vertical surfaces. They are great for smaller outdoor areas or even an indoor space. Waterwall spillways are designed specially to guide the water down the wall for a gentle trickle. Spouts are an easy way to add water to a formal retaining wall.
Container Water Garden
The smallest of water features, this type of "pond" can make use of any type of decorative pot. Simply place a few potted aquatic plants, maybe a fish or two, and you are done. Great for decks and patios!
When planning to build your water feature, plan for a weekend, one preferably without rain of course. Many kits usually need only a weekend to complete. Just remember it is far easier (and cheaper) to work with your pen and paper in the planning stages than it is once you start building your water feature. Planning ahead helps prevent any unwanted surprises. Keeping a water feature will definitely be a learning experience, and as you learn more about the technical aspects of maintaining water quality, keeping koi or aquatic plants, and managing the pump and filter, your pond will look better and better, and bring you more satisfaction as a hobbyist.
Of course, these examples only scratch the surface of the benefits that a decorative pond or water feature can bring to your yard. You don't have to start out with a big in-ground pond; But once you hear the sound of the water, see the wildlife it brings and feel your stress melt away, you'll be hooked!