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Building your water feature

By April 5, 2011October 28th, 2021Construction

You’re now in the process of actually constructing your water garden. Here are some helpful tips about building water gardens that will keep everyone satisfied for many years to come.

Plant into a gravel bed

The gravel substrate in the pond provides an excellent planting area for aquatic plants. The plants can be removed from the pots and buried directly into the gravel. Be sure to wash any loose soil away from the roots of the plants before submerging them in the water.

When in doubt, exaggerate

When you excavate your streams, you need to exaggerate the curves or it will appear too straight when you add the rock.

Go big or go home

Big boulders add interest. Don’t make the mistake of using only small stuff. The best ratio is 1:2:1 (1 part small, 2 parts medium, 1 part large).

Don’t sweat the wrinkles

When placing your liner, try to get the large folds out, but don’t worry too much about smaller folds. The main goal with the liner is to make sure it’s lying flat and covering all corners. Remember it will be covered with stone and gravel.

Facing lights properly

Don’t forget that when you are placing lights, position them so that they face away from the main viewing area. The overall look at night will be softer and more romantic that way.

Avoid the chimney look

When a waterfall forms in nature, soil is eroded and stones are left exposed. Try to create the same effect with your waterfalls. Too often people just stack flat stones on top of each other, creating a forced, unnatural look. Instead of building up with stones, build up with soil which looks more natural.

Use the same stone

Quality actually increases when you work with the same stone. That’s partly because you get to understand the properties of a type of stone the more you work with it. In addition, it looks more natural because rock formations in a given setting in nature usually consist of the same type of stone.

Apply personal accents

Add personal accents like moss, logs or special stones once the water is flowing. Moss is added to areas that stay wet from the splash of the falls, adding a mature look that is instantly attractive. It will spread over time, contributing to softening the appearance of the rockwork. You’d be amazed what a difference a tiny patch of green moss makes to the overall feel of a water garden.