Most renowned architects and homeowners in Orange County, CA, understand that a well-placed water feature at their homes or office complexes is a central focal point that draws people’s attention without having to plant many varieties of plants. Many have long depended on The Landscape Expert to design, construct, and service their fountains, pond, and water features. A fountain, pond or water feature built by a professional adds a tranquil element and serene finishing touch to your property.
Understanding Fountain, Ponds, and Water Features
Being close to water is a natural desire for many people. There is nothing as soothing as the tranquil sound of water trickling down a water feature. Fountains, ponds, and water features not only add sound, movement, and texture to your landscape designs but also help you experience the natural, beautiful, and unique surroundings.
A functional water landscape is made up of different elements that work together. Continue reading the article to learn more.
What Are the Benefits of Fountains, Ponds, and Water Features?
With the right position and accompaniments, a water feature can transform your outdoor décor in a significant manner. Here are eight reasons why water features are ideal for your backyard garden:
- Transforms your home into an oasis of fresh air and relaxation
Certainly, the first benefit of a water feature is that it purifies the air. Water generates useful negative ions into the environment. This is very beneficial bearing in mind the unhealthy conditions like pollution created by a modern lifestyle.
It also reduces sound pollution originating from barking dogs, annoying neighbors, and traffic on the road. Instead, it covers these noises through its trickling and calming sounds resounding throughout your home.
- Can fit even in small spaces
Do not automatically rule out the idea of building a water feature because your yard is small. Most water features are tucked into areas previously considered as uncharted territory.
- Makes your yard look bigger
You don’t have to worry much about the small size of your backyard. The reflective property of water can give an illusion of a big yard. For maximum reflection of water, consider using a dark-colored material for the water feature.
- Attracts wildlife and birds to your yard
Water attracts different types of insects, small animals, and birds. Birds will keep the soil aerated while insects will be helpful in cross-pollination. Moreover, your children can learn a lot by just observing the wildlife in your yard.
However, to get this benefit, your water feature should be well positioned and accessorized.
- Allows you to spend quality time with your loved ones
Do you know why hotels and resorts incorporate water features like fountains in their premises? Water is one of the essential elements of life. No wonder it has the power to attract and hold people’s attention for hours. It also has the ability to heal and inspire. Therefore, incorporating a water feature like a fountain in your yard offers your family and friends a central area to gather around and spend some quality time.
- Increases your home’s value
A well-maintained water feature enhances your home’s look which automatically makes it appreciate in value. Therefore, hiring a landscape expert is crucial. They will help you maintain the property in its best possible state, thus, being able to fetch the maximum price for your home if the need to sell your home arises.
- Easy and affordable to maintain
Unlike swimming ponds, they require little maintenance. Water recirculates so they do not use a lot of water or grow bacteria.
Additionally, you can enhance your pond or fountain with pond plants such as water lilies or water lettuce. They act as natural decorations. For a seashore appeal, you can choose to add sea coral and seaweed. Ensure these plants have enough sunlight, sugar, vitamins, and salt in the water. Remember, they are living organisms.
Cleaning a water feature is also very easy, refreshing and enjoyable but it should be done regularly. It prevents blockages and minimizes the risk of algae building up.
- They allow you to customize your landscape
When you install a water feature in your home, you get an opportunity to make your home unique. For instance, hard carved rocks can create a beautiful fall and flowing water elements. If you would like to enjoy such a one of a kind water landscape element, consider hiring an expert.
Different Types of Water Features
A pond is a simple landscape feature that is very popular with homeowners. It is built by digging a hole that is later lined with a liner (it can be flexible or rigid). A filtration system is then installed alongside a submersible pump that keeps the water clean. Some homeowners use a waterfall that reduces noise originating from the pump.
Fountains can and do include different types of statues, have in-built scuppers. They also have LED lights that enhance the elegance. The sound they make depends on how much water pours. Almost all fountains come with a collection pond from which water recirculates.
A standard waterfall can either be designed and built as a standalone feature or added to the pool area. It can be made from sculpted concrete, real stones or fiberglass and then painted. Its height mainly depends on your yard’s topography. The amount of noise produced by the waterfall depends on the type and number of water drops as well as the amount of water movement.
A rain curtain is a complex feature. Small holes of equal size and with a similar pattern are drilled on the top of the device. A pump is then added to recycle water. Rain curtains create a superb effect as part of a swimming pool or outdoor decor.
If you are looking for the aesthetic look and feel then you need to consider building scones. Scones feature lions’ head that empty water into tiny receptacle ponds.
A scupper looks like a scone but is wider and has a lot of water volume involved. They take water from an upper level to a lower level. The lower level can either by an existing in-ground pool or a standalone channel. The sound produced is determined by the water volume and the size of drops from the upper channel to the lower one. For a more elegant feel, you can add LED lights with the scupper.
Also called a gurgler, a bubbler creates an impression of water springing up from underground just as you see at a hot spring. They can be small or large. They also give you an opportunity to customize and add visual interest to your water feature.
Probably, this is the most common water feature. It can be a standalone feature or an elaborate feature designed to integrate into your landscape's theme. Watching birds playing in a bird bath after a busy day is not only relaxing but also spiritually rejuvenating.
Simple Tips on How to Select the Right Water Feature
Building a water feature is an investment that requires time in choosing the right water feature. In order to help you make an informed decision, here are five factors to put into consideration.
- Stick to your budget
Start by defining your budget as you explore the available options. Do not forget to take account of costs for electrical work, installation, and maintenance. Also, include costs to purchase protective covers, plants, and fish.
Once you have a budget, shortlist possible options, materials, type, and designs.
- What is the purpose of the water feature?
The second step is considering what you want the water feature to do for you. Whether you want to add beauty and charm or feel the natural sound of water trickling, be sure about your purpose. It will help you find the right feature.
Where will you build the water feature? How much space do you have in your backyard for the water feature? At this point, it is important to draw a rough sketch to scale. Remember to allow for safety gates, plants, brick borders, and other extras things that you might need in addition to the water feature.
Also, put the purpose for your water feature into consideration. For instance, if you want a water feature that will allow your loved ones to sit around and spend some quality time, then you need to have enough space for seats.
Remember to consider the surrounding landscape. Will it provide enough sunlight for your water plants? Are there nearby trees that can affect the amount of sunlight the fountain or pond will receive? Ideally, a water feature should receive sunlight early in the morning and shade in the evening. This will help keep the water cool and minimize algae bloom. Afternoon shade is okay but a fountain under hanging tree branches will require constant maintenance otherwise it will clog with seeds and leaves. How far is the water feature from the house? The water feature that is more than 20 feet from your house tends to get neglected. Besides, you will not hear the gurgling of your fountain or waterfall.
- Available Types of water features
There is a wide range of water features. Your project can be simple or as complex as a pond full of fish and plants. You can buy a pond kit or have the water feature constructed from scratch. If you choose to design and build it from scratch, make sure you use high-quality materials. Water features can be built on or above the ground and can be stationary or moving.
- Shaping the borders
Consider adding borders that will help the water feature compliment with the surrounding area.
Why Does Sound Matter?
How the water enters a fountain, pond or any water feature determines the overall appearance and mood created. For instance, rock waterfalls produce gushing sounds that drown out ambient noise. Sheetfall waterfalls, on the other hand, are very quiet and perfect for poolside conversations. Usually, water features come in different settings. This allows homeowners to change their effect depending on their preference or current activity.
To make sure you get it right, once the water feature is complete, spend a few days perfecting the flow of water.
Do You Require a Permit to Build a Water Feature?
If you want to build a water feature in Orange County, you will need a permit that is issued at the discretion of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Before you get carried away with dreams of a beautiful fountain in your home, it is important to consult with a local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office. They will tell you about all the regulations concerning your property. NRCS is under United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is tasked with helping homeowners conserve water and soil resources. They will also advise you on whether you require a permit and, if so, how to go about it. They offer free technical services.
How to Solve Common Water Feature Problems
You can get rid of algae with UV lights or chemicals, but it will bloom again. To get the best results, add barley straw, biomass filters, or plants. Avoid overfeeding your fish.
Keep the mosquitoes away by keeping larvae-eating fish like bitterlings, goldfish, and mosquito fish. You can also toss in mosquito dunks with Bacillus thuringiensis. It will kill the larvae without causing harm to your animals or plants.
Make sure your nylon netting stretches over the surface; it keeps fish-eating birds away.
In the summer, use a skimmer to prevent debris from reaching the pump. Come fall, use a pond net to remove tree needles and leaves from your pond.
To keep your pond free from ice consider placing a floating pond heater or an air bubbler into one corner of the pond. It will also keep oxygen and carbon dioxide balanced.
Finding a Landscape Expert Near Me
Now that you have a clear image of what you want in your yard regarding fountains, pond, and water features, all you need is a professional landscaper. They will turn that dream into a reality and compose an elegant and calming space for relaxing. The Landscape Expert is your one-stop landscaping expert. As a licensed and insured contractor, we can execute a landscape project of any scope and size and coordinate all aspects of design, construction, and maintenance. We will offer you the most affordable price, no matter where in Orange County, CA you live.