If you love the soothing look and sound of still or running water, these backyard landscaping ideas are made for you. While installing a large fountain or pond is a major project, for most hobby landscapers, putting in a simple water feature won’t take more than a day’s work. Here are a few ideas you can tailor to your preferences.
Upright or Hanging Fountain
While a large, two-tier, public park-style fountain could easily run you several thousand dollars, more modest fountain can be found for a few hundred. Wall fountains can be found for $150 or less.
Two approaches work well with fountains. The first, which works well with large fountains in formal gardens, is to make the fountain a focal point of the yard and create a flower bed encircling it. The other, which works well in informal gardens, is to nestle the fountain back in an alcove of shrubbery and plant water-loving plants like ferns around it.
Create your own backyard pond using a heavy plastic pond form or butyl pond liner. A rectangular form can make an attractive reflecting pool in a formal garden. For a more natural look, though, choose an irregular shape with curving edges. Blend the edges into surrounding ground with a layer of flagstone interspersed with common pond side plants. Building rock ledges down into the pond also gives it a more natural appearance.
For most waterfalls, you’ll also need a pool at the bottom to collect the falling water and help circulate the water back to the top of the fall. For the waterfall itself, you can either mound dirt on one side to form the basis of your stone water or, for a low waterfall, just stack the stones. You’ll also need to install a pump and tubing to bring the water up from the pool.
An alternative that looks great in a formal garden is a stacked stone wall waterfall. These falls consist of vertical walls of stacked decorative stone. In several places on the wall, a stone juts out and sends forth a an unrippling sheets of water into the pool below.
Garden Rain Chains
This is more décor item than a landscaping idea, but it’s a nice thing to have if you love the sound and site of running water and live in a rainy area. Rains chain is made of metal loops, cups, or other shapes linked together to catch falling rain and guide it down into a large dish or rain barrel. Installation requires nothing more than hanging the chain on a downspout.
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