Water gardens come in many forms – bubble jets, fountains, gushing columns, vertical sheets of stainless steel, rills, wall spouts and naturalistic ponds. There really is a water feature for every garden no matter what the size or style of it.

If you are considering adding a water feature to your garden, then there are a few practical things that you should think about. Read on for our top tips and advice on what to consider before you plan which kind of water feature to install in your garden…

Water features: What to consider…

Water features

Sensible considerations:

– Make sure there is access to the chosen area for maintenance.  For instance, you’ll need a path or unplanted area near to the water – if it’s a pond then the path should extend from at least one side of the pond.

– Do you have young children who will be near to your water feature? Think about making it as safe for them as possible. Plus, if the pond is in the front garden or your boundary is low making safe choices is essential.

– No water feature should be positioned directly beneath overhanging tree branches because falling leaves taint the water.

– Most features will need some shade to keep water cool, not only for fish and amphibians, but also to deter algae which thrive on warm water, forming a horrible, green, surface slime.

Where should I place a water feature?

– Think about how the pond will fit in with the design of your garden overall; in a formal garden, a feature with straight edges will sit nicely alongside a deck or patio.

– For a natural effect, you can site a wildlife pool next to a meadow or border filled with herbaceous or bog plants.

– If space is tight, barrels or tubs can be used for aquatic plants, and placed on the patio or into sloping ground. Plus, a water feature near to a patio will provide good access to water and power supplies, and the position will allow you enjoy the pool from the patio or indoors.

– A bare courtyard wall can be transformed with a feature erected against the wall.

– Preformed ponds are quick and easy to install, and usually deep enough for plants such as waterlilies or fish. If you’d rather create your own shape, use a liner, and extend sections to form a bog garden or stream.

Attracting wildlife to your garden with water…

Increasingly, the emphasis is shifting from water features enjoyed purely for their beauty and relaxation benefits to their role in attracting and nurturing wildlife. In order to encourage wildlife and provide suitable habitats, water is a key ingredient. Bird song, the buzzing of bees or flutter of a butterfly’s wings are as much a part of a garden as its plants, but for these simple delights to survive, gardens need special areas put aside for small creatures to inhabit undisturbed. A garden pond provides a wonderful home to wildlife, and is a constant delight provided it is properly constructed and well maintained.

Feeling inspired? We’d love to see your proud pictures of your gardens. You can send them in to us via our simple upload form – we might use your pictures online or even in the magazine.