We provide water garden design, installation, and consultation.
There are a lot of reasons to have a water garden. My first excuse to build a water garden at my house
was because I wanted to grow some water plants. It doesn't require much water to float a few plants. A tub
or basin that holds water is enough for many plants. There are a slew of aquatic plants that can float on
an inch of water or less or love to be in a bog or un-drained container. Water noise to block out the
sounds of the traffic and neighbors attracted me. A stream seemed like a challenge. But once I made one
I was rewarded by the increased bird-life that was attracted to the water. My enthusiasm was fueled so
when I got a chance I built a pond for someone else. Finding reasons for water features beyond their
simple beauty has been easy. Surprisingly they have not been that difficult to construct.
Water evaporates from ponds at about the same rate that it transpires from a lawn. This makes a
good argument for putting in a water garden or another great excuse for minimizing the area taken
up by turf. Most folks are quite satisfied with a much smaller pond than they would be for size of
their lawn. The impact of the pond is just so much greater than for an equal area of sod. The sound
of water can be great for masking traffic or industrial noise. The water noise produced is a white
noise that people find calming. Maybe it is also due to all of those extra negative ions floating
about. The practitioners of Feng Shuei have found importance in the specific placement of water in
the landscape for centuries. Whether the project requires a lake or just a small basin, water brings a
coolness and visually arresting focal point into a landscape. By using a pump, either in or out
of the water, noise, splash and the sparkle of moving water becomes a part of the landscape. Fish
and plants can be a part of the water garden as well. I am not fond of adding chlorine to the water.
Fish and plants won't tolerate it. I would rather set up a small ecosystem that can be fairly self
supporting. Algae will grow. Barley straw can help a lot with the string algae but does not stop it
entirely. Think of the algae as the weeds of this section of the garden. I will tolerate a little
and pull out the rest. I started my first pond so that I could have lilies and other water plants.
Most of my garden endeavors have been inspired by the plants that I can grow if I only had perfectly
drained soil for an alpine bed, or a wet zone for bog plants or in this case a basin where lilies,
lotus and other aquatic plants would thrive. It is important to keep the fish population down to a
level that the water can cleanse itself or you have to add lots of expensive equipment, uv lights,
filtration tanks etc . . . The natural way that this is accomplished is through the actions of
bacteria on every surface exposed to the water and the absorption of the nutrients by the plants.
In order to have more, or larger, fish more filtration must take place. This can be accomplished
by moving the water past a greater amount of filtering materials. I usually do this on the intake
side of the pump but have set up systems that just transport the water from one side of a pond to
the other and filter at both ends to maximize the water filtration. The bacteria population is
dramatically increased by the water movement. Their population will crash if the water is turned off
for even as little as 4 hours. So I try to set up the ponds to run continuously. It is important to
keep water from running into a pond. The surface water picks up nutrients and organic material and
adds it to the water. It is difficult to balance a pond when this occurs.
California natives that can go in or around your water feature: Mimulus