Water Feature Considerations

July 2011

Water features are some of the most peace-inducing ingredients in a landscaping design. As any professional landscaping designer will tell you, the sound of burbling water is soothing to the soul, and few activities relieve anxiety as well as watching water trickle.

It’s not surprising, then, that the addition of a water feature is one of the most sought-after landscaping services. However, in order to ensure you’ll be able to enjoy them for years to come, it’s good to plan out a few aspects of new water features. Portland area residents can avoid hassles later by thinking ahead about the maintenance, location, style and safety aspects of new water fountains and pools.

Maintenance

Are you a hands-on, DIY type who’s happy to perform regular maintenance, or are you looking for low-key water features? Portland is a wonderful place to keep aquatic plants and koi fish, but these features need lots of attention. Throughout the seasons, a plant-filled water feature will need you to replace dying plants, fertilize for new growth, deadhead flowers, remove algae and more.

In contrast, you can make a low-maintenance water feature out of a ceramic pot or a giant orb with a hole bored through the center. Although you may need to clean the components of this kind of water fountain every once in a while, it will require far less care than a landscaping design that contains an ecosystem water feature.

Location

Water features aren’t easy to put in, so there’s a good chance this aspect of your landscape will stay in place for years to come. Here are a few things professional landscaping experts keep in mind when placing a water feature:

  • Place spraying fountains in locations that are protected from wind. This will limit how much water blows away and evaporates.
  • Check for the locations of utility lines before you dig.
  • Don’t place ponds underneath trees – they’re likely to become clogged with leaves and other debris if you do.

Safety

Water features are lovely, but they can also be dangerous, especially when kids are around. To protect guests and youngsters from the danger of drowning, you should consider the appropriate depth of the water and the specific location. They should be tucked away where kids won’t be able to stumble onto them easily. Those who provide landscaping services often recommend installing a pedestal fountain or wall to elevate water fountains out of kids’ reach.

Design Considerations: Style, Proportion, and Scale

Aim to match your water feature to the rest of your home and landscape. A bubbling Grecian urn makes for a fabulous focal point in a museum, but it wouldn’t match a farmhouse very well. Landscaping design gurus often suggest water features with strong geometric lines for formal gardens; informal gardens look great with water features that mimic nature.

In addition to such stylistic considerations, it’s smart to think about how the size of your water feature will match the rest of your home. A small patio will do best with a miniature water feature, such as a pot with a burbling fountain. On the other hand, a larger landscape can sustain more grandiose designs, such as a large pool with an invisible edge.

Water features: Portland is a great town for them. By following the tips listed above, you can create a peaceful flowing oasis to foster your personal relaxation.

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