Water features in residential yards are becoming fairly common just about everywhere! While not everyone is getting involved in this trend, the benefits are hard to overlook.
Knowing the different categories is a good place to start. Based on our experience, there are 6 common types of water features for different property styles and needs.
Benefits of water features include providing tranquility 24/7 and creating natural, aural, and visual appeal for zen gardens and medatative spaces. However, what many people also don’t realize is that they’re also surprisingly easy to maintain.
Why Are We So Obsessed With Water?
It’s a well-known fact that humans are drawn to water. Even a quick glance at humanity’s behavioural patterns reveals a long-standing fascination with oceans, lakes, and rivers. But how did our collective fixation begin?
Historically, humans first settled along rivers simply to be near a water supply. Going forward, most of the world’s major cities thrived because of their proximity to bodies of water, which were used primary for consumption, agriculture, and navigation. This, in turn, has helped kickstart periods of industrialization and innovation, fuelling trade, manufacturing, and commerce for much of recorded history.
Recreationally, people actively seek out beaches, swimming holes, and viewpoints that overlook the water. Travel blogs and photographers dedicate themselves almost exclusively to finding the world’s best lakes and beaches. Thousands of tourists and summer vacationers worldwide pursue lakes in which to swim and launch their boats every year.
Vancouver’s famous seawall and climate is another testament to people’s love of water. At 28 kilometres long, it’s the worlds longest uninterrupted waterfront path, and sees millions of walkers, joggers, cyclists, and hikers per year who are drawn to the beaches and viewpoints it affords.
Put simply: areas near water are pretty! People like to be near it for the sense of relaxation and fun it affords them.
Types of Water Features
These are small, cost, effective, and portable. They’re easy to install, and make a great addition to your yard if you want to enjoy the sound of a water feature without taking up too much space.
Self-contained water features
These are usually pre-drilled stone columns set atop a concealed basin full of water. The water is pumped through the top of the column, then trickles down the side and into a bed of river rock before re-entering the basin and cycling through again. They’re generally small and cost-effective.
Usually consist of man-made rivers that begin at a high elevation. The water runs down the river, where it’s eventually stored underground in a reservoir sealed by pond liner before being pumped back to the top. It’s a bigger project, so it’s more expensive, but it’s a great addition for those who have space and want to create a larger water feature that’s safe for children and pets.
Ponds look great and can include a variety of plants and aquatic life (like fish, bugs, and frogs). Despite their classic appeal, however, they can be expensive, can attract unwelcome wildlife like raccoons and mosquitoes, and can present a safety risk for children.
Water weirs are small, low-maintenance, modern waterfalls. The can be installed with or without ponds. Their cost depends on how much walling needs to be built to accommodate them, so they can be both expensive or inexpensive.
This type is also quite modern. It’s usually prefabricated and fairly easy to install. The only drawback is that these tend to experience water loss and need to be topped up regularly.
The Benefits of Water Features
- Realizing how nice it is to be near running water, many homeowners and strata complexes have taken to adding water features to their properties.
- Having a water feature in your yard or patio can help provide calming sights and sounds, promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
- They can help draw beneficial wildlife to your yard, like birds, butterflies, and bees.
- Correctly built water features are low maintenance and surprisingly cost-effective, which makes them a great investment because they can increase the value of your home.
- Those who have water features installed in their yards and gardens know that it amounts to more than just a feature – it’s a lifestyle change.
General Tips and MaintenanceGeneral Tips and Maintenance
- Add lighting! Water features with lights are well-defined and distinctive day in and day out.
- Water can evaporate or splash away from your water feature, which means you may need to add more water from time to time.
- Pumps should be winterized from approximately November through March to prevent damage to the pump.
- If you have children or pets, consider choosing a pondless water feature for safety reasons.
Imagine the pleasant sound of gently flowing creek. Now, imagine being able to hear that whenever you step into your backyard. Water features (especially small ones) are simpler to install and maintain than they seem, and can bring forth a big change in how you and your family perceive your landscape.
If you’d like a water feature installed in your yard, consider getting in touch! We’d be happy to help you with any design questions you might have and would love to work with you to help bring the water to you.