Spending money on curb appeal is a costly necessity, one that adds value to your home and makes it stand out. Carson Arthur, the outdoor expert, has seen an increase in homes building water elements into existing gardens or outdoor landscaping. Here are some ideas to consider before calling a landscape design contractor to get your new outdoor project started.
While water in the garden is always fashionable, I’ve noticed a big movement away from ponds and into self-contained fountains, urns and water features. These units may range in size, shape, colour and volume, but they have one thing in common: the irresistible sparkle of water droplets in the sun.
How water elements can be transformational
As a designer, I always try to include a water element in every residential space for both the aesthetic value, but also for the tranquil sounds. As a homeowner, I transformed the location of an old above ground pool belonging to the former owner into a stunning focal point in just a single day.
For my home, I decided to go with a 5’ tall slate urn from Aquascape because I loved the way the water flowed down the individual shelves of the fountain. It also helped that this is a lightweight, self-contained resign system with everything I needed in the box. A self-contained system means that the water recirculates from a catch basin located below the fountain, up through to the top where the water cascades down the sides, and back into the catch basin. While these systems are pretty much foolproof, there are a few simple pitfalls to avoid!
How-to’s and what not to do’s
- Make sure that the water is not splashing out past the catch basin. Every single droplet that falls on the ground or in the garden instead of the catch basin means that you will have to refill more often. I have made the mistake of placing a waterfall in a windy corridor in the yard. The wind kept blowing the water enough that it splashed to the side of the basin and effectively draining itself every 3 days. If you are concerned or think that this might be happening, add a rubber liner, which funnels into the basin and widens the catchment area.
- Use River rock and beach stones to hide the liner and the basin. I am a huge fan of water features that have the water mysteriously disappearing into the ground. Unless the basin is a designed feature, seeing the black molding really detracts from what you are trying to create. I went with a combination of large and small stones to effectively hide everything. The trick is to cover as much of the basin with the large stones and then fill in the gaps with the pebbles.
- Get your power source in place before you dig. Too often, homeowners make plans for a great water feature, break ground and THEN realize that there is no easy way of getting power to the space to run the pump. Obstacles like patios, driveways and walks ways can all turn a simple job into a logistical nightmare. One option that you might want to consider is a solar powered pump. This option allows you to have a plug anywhere you need it, provided it is in a sunny location.
If you want to make a splash (pun intended) in your garden this summer, consider using one of these systems. With an expected installation time of 3 hours, you get instant summer impact that requires very little care and maintenance. In fact, that older these fountains get, the better they look.
Summer may not be around the corner – after all, it just ended! – but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to plan for the future. Use our directory to find a landscape design contractor who can work on plans for your next backyard renovation.