Add sparkle with water
Bring your garden sparkling to life with a water feature! Geoff Hodge checks out the latest designs and explains what to look for
Trickling, splashing, shining and reflecting; there’s no doubt that water can bring a garden to life with sound, movement and wildlife. And, if you don’t have space for a pond, there’s a wide range of small, self-contained water features that will suit even the smallest city courtyard. Choosing a water feature has never been simpler, thanks to the many different styles, designs and materials available. Ideally your chosen feature needs to match your garden’s style and fit in with its overall design and layout. For instance, a rustic stone or rock feature might suit a naturalistic cottage garden, while a classical multi-layered fountain or figurine might be better in a more formal space. An oriental-style garden can be complemented with a simple bamboo ‘deer scarer’ feature, whereas stainless steel or even rusty-looking corten steel monoliths, spheres and water walls are perfect for modern gardens.
Where to put it?
It’s best to consider how you use the garden before buying. For example, if you have an uncluttered area set aside for alfresco dining and entertaining, you may favour a compact, upright water feature or even a wall fountain to serve as a focalpoint. If you have young children, who tend to be fascinated by water, go for a feature with a hidden reservoir to eliminate any risk of accidental drowning. For quick and easy installation choose a self-contained design that doesn’t require plumbing in. These have an integral water reservoir and come complete with a small water pump to circulate the water. Some do require a bit of technical expertise in setting up, but this should only take a few minutes once you’ve dug the hole for the reservoir. Then, just fill with water and plug it in. Keep an eye on the water level; if it runs dry you might damage the pump. Many water features also come complete with integral lights, which illuminate the water and add sparkle at night. Even though the individual lights are small, it’s amazing how much light they can provide.
FOCALPOINT FOUNTAIN Kelkay Dapple Cascade £99.99 Polyresin with pump and LED light. H58x27x27cm
WALL-MOUNTED SPOUT Haddonstone Soane Mouth of Truth Fountain £399 Cast stone – pump not supplied. H64x65x8.5cm