Many outdoor home improvement projects are seasonal. For example, it doesn't make sense to outfit your backyard with outdoor furniture and a grill in the dead of winter.
One of the most popular year-round outdoor home improvement projects is installing a water garden. The quiet burbling of water is enough to soothe even the most cutthroat Wall Street trader, provide a wonderful wildlife habitat and cut street noise.
While a water garden can transform any backyard environment into one designed for relaxation and rejuvenation, what you do with it can enhance it. Typically, homeowners install a water garden for any of three reasons: to appreciate the sound of a trickling waterfall, raise fish or enjoy aquatic plant life.
There's a landscaping rule of thumb: If your water garden has a waterfall, you should be able to hear it. So placing it in a location to maximize its benefits is key.
For fish, koi and goldfish are the two most popular choices. Keep in mind that koi eat certain kinds of plants, therefore limiting the amount of plant life you're able to add to the mix.
Speaking of aquatic plants, there are distinctions between those that are commonly used:
- Floating plants float freely on the water surface
- The leaves of surface plants float on the water's surface and their roots remain in the soil
- Leaves of submerged or oxygenating plants remain underwater
- Marginal or bog plants prefer their roots and lower parts submerged
Even though water gardens create a sanctuary of natural tranquility, you'll want to follow any local building restrictions, including the need for any permit.
Because a water garden's pumps and filters are constantly subjected to the elements, have your contractor on speed dial. Water gardens require maintenance. As much as you can, avoid installing one directly beneath a tree. Leaves that drop into the water will decay and could harm fish and plants, while clogging pumps and filters. Just be tireless in clearing leaves and debris from the filter.
As always, seek out expert advice from a local water garden center, landscaper or qualified contractor if you're unsure about anything water garden-related. The last thing you need is a nightmare of a clean-up project, especially if your project is more ambitious, that could have been avoided.
With all they have to offer, the demand for water gardens is at a fever pitch. Installing one is not only a great investment but can also be a soothing addition to any home's backyard space.
Until next time, Happy Home Improving From Build.com, Inc!
by Sean Murphy