Water features remain a crucial garden element
I’m a huge fan of water gardens, and I don’t think that any garden should be without some form of water feature. Aside from the many benefits to wildlife, water brings a vital element to gardens, both in sight and sound. Creating an oasis isn’t just about throwing a load of plants together into a pleasing scene. It’s about creating a space that provides titillation for all the senses; sound, sight, smell, touch and, to some degree, taste (just don’t go around licking plants that might give you a stomach ache). And water has something to provide at all times of year too. When it’s thawed, you get the trickling and babbling of brooks and streams. When it’s icy and frozen, there’s a magical beautiful about the splits of white and the morning frosting that covers a garden pond.
If you’re dreaming of a pond, then it might seem like the wrong time of year to start building such a feature. Winter’s on its way, autumn leaves will soon be falling and clogging up waterways, so perhaps a late summer pond building session isn’t the best idea? I tend to disagree with this view as, whilst not a lot of life is going to be exploding in your underwater scene through the winter months, come the warmer spring, life comes in abounding amounts. And, if there’s no pond to populate, creatures will simply move on. The ground’s not yet frozen either and you’ll soon be clearing beds for the autumn so, in many ways, no is the ideal period to dig out the foundations of your pond and prepare it for next year. If you’re going for a smaller container pond such as me, you can get away without using filters, but if you have something a little more dramatic, hozelock pond pumps are ideal.
Of course, you may not want an actual pond for many reasons, but this doesn’t mean you should be without water. Water features are the best way to avoid worrying about children falling in ponds, and they won’t require the maintenance and clearing that ponds do. Yes, you won’t get the aquatic life, but you may still get passing birds and foxes taking a quick drink too. Birdbath fountains and cascading water features, such as those available in Sam Turner’s garden water features section, are ideal for adding water to your oasis in a simple, easy to look after and safe way. Whilst they can’t be used during the winter, they can be used indoors too, so you transport your garden elements into a conservatory, close your eyes and pretend your somewhere tropical.
Creating a garden environment that fulfils all the senses can be hard to achieve, but you can instantly provide additional interest by adding the element of water. And, once your stream, tub or pond is glinting in the sunlight, attracting all manner of creatures and providing comfort to your ears, you’ll wonder why you never included it before.