Adding a Water Feature to your Garden
By: Chris VanCleave, Chairman Helena Beautification Board
I've always loved to sound of moving water. Whether its walking by the ocean at the beach or skipping rocks in the creek by our house, the sound of moving water has a soothing and calming affect and so it was an easy decision for me to decide to add a water feature to our garden space. Our garden is small by most standards, but I quickly figured out that regardless of the size of the space, you can add a water element. We chose a concrete fountain and the benefits have been tremendous for us. It created an instant focal point in that area of the garden, it provided essential water for birds and pollinators that inevitably visit each year and the soothing sound of the water creates a real sense of tranquility in our garden. This comes in especially handy after a long stressful day. Here are a few things to consider when wanting to add a water feature to your garden:
- What type of water feature suits your fancy. Big? Small? Stream? Fountain? Bucket? Whimsical?
- Location. Location. Location. Placement depends on what you'd like to do with your feature. Ours is in the corner of a garden bed near a window so it can been enjoyed from inside the house as well as outdoors. You could even start with a tabletop model.
- A good pump to circulate the water can be found at most home and garden centers and aren't very expensive.
- Site Preparation Matters. For fountains, level ground is essential. For streams and ponds, excavation and liner placement is crucial.
- Dress it up. Once installed. surround the feature with plants or stone to give it a natural affect.
About the Author
Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian", Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing the world's most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith's Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the Top 100 places to live in the US. His writing is seen on About.com, HGTV, Home Depot Gardening Club and on his popular website; RedneckRosarian.com, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years' experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticulture societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.