Gardening and Landscaping

Water Features for your Front Yard

Ancient civilizations in Egypt and the Far East first incorporated water gardens to the landscape. Ponds with papyrus, water lilies and swimming koi forged a relationship between man and nature. Europeans carried on the tradition with formal pools and Greek- and Roman-inspired fountains. For modern Americans, what was once a backyard oasis is more frequently being brought to the entrance to buffer the noise in the road and greet the house’s guests with serene beauty.

Advantages of Water Features Close Entrances

Soothing, rhythmic sounds like water trickling in a fountain, along with other organic sounds such as birds splashing in a birdbath, can trigger strong emotional reactions. These sounds may even have physical consequences, perhaps lowered blood pressure, for those arriving home at rush hour. Feng shui, the Chinese system of subtly manipulating energies to attain balance with one’s surroundings, favors small ponds, fountains and birdbaths in entryway gardens. Therefore, the chi life force settles itself prior to entering the home, bringing fortune to the household. The water must never be permitted to get dirty, either stagnate or grow stale, or the good fortune dissipates.

Containers for Water Gardens

Including a water feature does not necessarily entail a major investment of time or money. The simplest water feature, a birdbath, can be purchased easily. Use any waterproof vessel to create a small water garden. Cattle troughs, half-barrels, old cauldrons, toilets or sinks can be converted to water gardens. To add the sound of trickling water, then install a low-voltage, submersible pump in the bottom of the container. Just plug it into an outlet nearby, and water will be recycled via the pump. Some pumps have jet tubes that produce different fountain effects when topped with various heads.

Luring Wildlife

If your container is big enough, fish may be released into your garden. And birds will visit your water feature, while it is a birdbath or a different kind. If you’re lucky, you will see dragonflies with gossamer wings darting on your own garden. Frogs may contribute their distinctive sounds to the water’s trickling. Feng shui contends the yin energy of the water attracts colorful, living creatures that attract yang energy in the sun to establish equilibrium in the household. All wildlife seeks water, adding a different part of nature to relish in your front yard getaway.

Location of Water Feature

Homes having a courtyard entry have the ideal place for a water feature. The walls will amplify the sound of moving water, and dappled light will reflect off it. Particularly if you plan to dig a pond in the ground and line it, you may select a website that could be viewed and appreciated in a window in the house. Based on the pond depth and local zoning ordinances, the region may need to be fenced for the protection of children. Another consideration in selecting a location is that the light requirements of any plants that will grow from the water. Plants like water lilies and lotus need at least five hours of direct sunlight every day to maintain flowers over an extended period.

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