Bring the ever-chang­ing el­e­ment of wa­ter into your gar­den


Whether it’s a sim­ple shal­low pool or a cas­cad­ing foun­tain, there is no bet­ter way to bring life, en­ergy and am­bi­ence into a gar­den than with wa­ter, says land­scape de­signer Trudy Cr­erar, who of­ten in­cludes wa­ter fea­tures in her de­signs. “Wa­ter brings with it move­ment, cre­ates light and shad­ows, a sooth­ing space in the daytime and, with the sk­il­ful place­ment of light, an other-world­li­ness at night.”


Even if you don’t have the space or bud­get for a full-scale foun­tain, a small wa­ter fea­ture can still be ef­fec­tive.

“There are no rules on size,” Trudy says. “It may be as sim­ple as us­ing a dec­o­ra­tive shal­low bowl, care­fully placed to pro­vide wa­ter for birds in sum­mer. I have a stone bowl that our lo­cal king­fish­ers use. Or it may be a moat-like pool run­ning the length of a house.”

For very small spa­ces, Trudy rec­om­mends se­lect­ing a hand­crafted piece, big enough to house a small sub­mersible pump that can be dis­guised by stones. Al­ter­na­tively a free-stand­ing tex­tured wall above a reser­voir that holds wa­ter at the base may be suit­able where space is lim­ited. What’s im­por­tant is plac­ing wa­ter where it can be seen and ap­pre­ci­ated as part of your out­door liv­ing space, or where it can be viewed from the house.


You def­i­nitely don’t want leaks, so make sure you’ve got the ba­sics cov­ered, then dec­o­rate to the theme of the gar­den, says Trudy. “For ex­am­ple, I gilded the in­te­rior of a foun­tain re­cently for a Moroc­can-style gar­den. The glow from the wa­ter was in­tense at night.” If the gar­den has a more nat­u­ral look, then a small bub­bling stream may be more ap­pro­pri­ate.

What­ever you choose, make sure you cater for wa­ter­proof­ing and retic­u­la­tion. “What lurks be­low the sur­face is vi­tal,” she says.

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