Water features can add a touch of drama, a soothing background noise and even a sense of serenity to your garden. As well as the traditional half barrels and shell-shaped fountains, there are now plenty of contemporary designs using stainless steel, natural stone and glass to produce dramatic effects, including sheets of cascading water.
What You Need To Know
Most water features need a pump to push the water around. Solar versions are the easiest to install as there’s no wiring. Low voltage models have a long cable (usually 10m) that has a plug and transformer. These can be run into the house or to an outdoor power socket. Mains-powered features will need a certified electrician to install.
Fountains add sound and movement to your garden without the level of maintenance needed for fishponds and other standing water features. The raised feature needed doesn’t have to be the standard artificial rock either – you can now buy sleek glass, steel and stone water walls that create a continuous ‘sheet’ of moving water and water spheres that work in the same way.
All fountains need some sort of reservoir to collect the water at the base. These are either above ground containers that should complement the fountain or plastic below ground containers. Above ground units are good for use on a patio or deck where sinking a reservoir below the surface would be difficult.
Water Walls, Pebble Pools & Spheres
Water walls, pebble pools, spheres and most other features are based on the same principal of taking water from a reservoir at the base to the feature, using a pump.
Water walls can be freestanding or you can buy the aperture and fittings and install them in a garden wall.
This is really a job for the experienced DIYer or a garden design company.
Solar Powered Water Features
Solar energy hasn’t just changed the garden lighting market. Now you can have fountains and pebble pools driven by the sun as well.
There’s no specialist installation to worry about, making these features easy to site on patios and decks. Some have an option to select the pump to switch on in the evening instead of just when the sun’s shining.
The power of the fountain is limited, so it’s more suited to pebble ponds and water spheres, rather than a stand-alone fountain.
Where To Put Your Water Feature
Site your water feature, and especially a fountain, so that it’s in a sheltered location – if it’s exposed, you might find the wind will blow the water away from the reservoir. Sun traps can also be a problem, as the water will evaporate more quickly.