Serene garden water feature
The first thing you need to do when collecting building water garden ideas is to do some planning. Decide what you want out of your water feature and what your budget will be.
This might be the hardest part of your project, because it can be hard to visualize what garden water features will eventually look like.
Also, you might not know just what you can and cannot do. This website provides information to help you make those hard decisions in an enjoyable, informed way.
First Things First
Give yourself a consultation. Grab a notebook, a tape measure, and a camera, and go to work. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to accomplish from my water garden?
- What is my budget?
- Where will I be enjoying the water feature?
- Do I want to do the work myself, or hire someone?
- What future problems could I have by building garden water features here?
What do you want your water feature to accomplish?
Here are some more questions to ask yourself when planning your water garden:
- Do you want a formal or informal style?
- Do you want to grow certain types of water garden plants?
- Do you want a large number of fish or other wildlife?
- Do you want a dramatic amount of water falling from great heights, or just a gentle trickle?
What is your budget?
Set a budget for yourself. If you end up spending more to implement your water garden ideas than originally anticipated you could create unnecessary stress for yourself. When you set a firm budget, a lot of the decision making is almost out of your hands. For example, you can’t buy a $2000 filtration system if your total budget is only $5000.
According to Brandon Vannest, who builds garden water features for a living and is the author of How To Build Your Own Natural Waterfall, the biggest complaint that he gets from past clients is that they wish they had decided to make their home water garden bigger. So keep that in mind as you do your planning.
But as long as you follow some basic principles of good garden water features from the outset, you can always enlarge your water garden in the future.
Where will you enjoy garden water features the most?
The most common mistake people make in planning their garden water features is that they stick it back in the corner of the yard, just because they can’t think of a better place to put it.
You should be thinking of where you spend the most time in your house and in your yard. If you spend most of your time in the kitchen, and there are windows to your yard, direct the most exciting pieces of garden water features toward those windows.
If you spend a lot of time in your garden, you should incorporate part of the garden water feature within that garden. Your home water garden is going to be one of the favorite spots for you and your family so why not integrate it into where you already spend most of your time?
Garden water feature during construction
Do you want to do the work yourself?
You might want to get estimates from professional water garden installers, because building a garden water feature is an ambitious undertaking. But if you want to do the work yourself, there’s lots of garden water feature books and videos available to help you.
Whichever way you decide to go, the first thing you’ll want to do is to take pictures of your yard and make notes on them. It never fails that as soon as you leave the area where you’ll be building your garden water features, the space seems to either grow in size or shrink. Make notes on the pictures as to how big the area is and where things are to be placed.
Now that you have the basics, you need to use the right side of your brain and come up with a design. This is the best part of building your garden water feature: nothing is out of bounds, no hurdle too big, if you can imagine it – you can probably build it. Use the pictures on this site, or those in the free ebook How To Build Your Own Natural Waterfall.
At this point you don’t know much about rock placement, design ideas or implementation tricks, so don’t get too technical. Especially if you will be using natural stones, you can’t predict what they will look like together until they are set in place.
What future problems could you have?
You need to look at the terrain to answer this question. Consider these questions:
- Is there a natural slope that would make certain garden water features more difficult to build? If so, could you use this natural slope for a stream or waterfall?
- Is there a runoff problem from neighboring properties that could dump unwanted water into your garden water feature?
- Are there any utilities or easements that would make construction impossible?
- Is there good access to bring in the materials to the site?
- Is there ground water directly under where the liner will be placed?
While most of these problems can be overcome with additional grading and or retaining walls, they will add to your budget, so it’s wise to select the best location for your water garden from the start.
And don’t forget about garden water features safety. While you may think you are simply adding some landscaping, your local government may see it differently.
Depending on where you live, there will be different regulations regarding the installation of home water garden features. You may even be required to put a fence or other safety measure around your home water garden. So be sure to check with your local officials when planning your garden water features.