Water Feature Design Tips: Creating a Zen Retreat

December 18, 2012

Landscape Water Feature Design Portland OregonWater is the most calming element. Humans naturally delight in the endless sounds and sights of water. If you’re looking to add interest to your outdoor area – or if you’re looking to mask unwanted sound, such as that of the traffic on a busy street – there’s no better approach than adding water features. Portland garden lovers can create a beautiful water feature that blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape by following these tips:

Match the size of your water feature design to the size of your available space. A six-foot statue fountain would look out of place in a postage-stamp-size yard. To create soothing, visually pleasing landscape water features, think in proportions and ratios. Versailles palace just outside of Paris can sustain enormous fountains, since the grounds are sprawling. On the other hand, if you’re looking to add a water feature to your side yard, an overflowing jar or planter would probably fit better.

Think in terms of miniature landscapes. To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to spot why Japanese and Chinese landscape water feature design is so charming. The next time you’re at the Chinese or Japanese garden here in Portland, notice how each area is made to mimic a scene in nature. For instance, a rock surrounded by raked sand could be designed to look like a mountain on the plains. Charming Zen landscape water features often follow this rule; a pond could look like a mountain lake, for instance, surrounded by boulders and dwarf rhododendrons mimicking trees.

Surround the water feature with boulders and plants. This will soften the edges, making for a more seamless transition from water to land in your water feature design. It will also help hide utilitarian elements such as pond liners and leaf screens, which can detract from the enjoyment of water features. Portland homeowners can experiment with ferns, grasses and azaleas. Look for plants that love humid air – they will naturally thrive around your fountain or pond.

Finally, remember that standing water will turn murky unless you add some sort of pump to keep the water flowing. Thoughtfully designed landscape water features can lead the eye from one beautiful scene to the next. However, poorly thought out water features soon turn into eyesores that are about as graceful as a neon sign on a church. If you’re looking for help with your water feature design, give us a call. We are passionate about creating calming, Zen-like water features. Portland homeowners across generations have trusted us to create stunning ponds, fountains and waterfalls.